The Surface Warfare Club aims to introduce the students to the different platforms available to select as a first tour. At NROTC San Diego, we are especially blessed with being surrounded by the largest Navy installation on the West Coast, Naval Base San Diego. The SWO Club attended multiple ship tours throughout the Fall 2010 semester, each one focusing on a different platform. On 14 October 2010, USS STERETT (DDG 104) welcomed aboard the SWO Club only a week away from beginning their eight-month deployment. The Fire Control Officer (FCO) explained to the students the Sterett’s highly capable weapons systems, including the SPY-1D multi-function phased array radar and the missile magazines located in the Vertical Launch Cells. Throughout all the ship tours, the students were able to ask the Junior Officers (JO) about the benefits and drawbacks of each platform. The JOs provided a real insight of what life as a SWO will be like for the students. All the students, especially the first-year students, were taught proper ship boarding procedure as well as protocol when reporting to a ship. This was especially helpful and necessary not only for the seniors, but the underclass Midshipmen preparing for their summer cruises as well.
In mid-October, seniors received their service assignments, officially designating future SWOs. The SWO Club held a special event reserved for the seniors to train in the Navigation, Seamanship and Ship Handling Trainer at Naval Base San Diego. Though the seniors have completed both a Navigation and a Seamanship course through their Naval Science studies, the trainer provided real-life experience that cannot be practiced in a classroom. Not only did the students become more familiar with standard commands, but also the high-tech systems and equipment that is standard on most bridges. The SWO Club hopes to hold another event at the Trainer to build our future SWOs confidence level before reporting to their first ship and standing their first watch.
The Surface Warfare Club successfully introduced students to SWO life through the examination of different platforms, the personal testimonies from current SWO JOs and the practical application provided by the Navigation and Ship Handling Trainer. On behalf of the Surface Warfare Club, I would like to wish "fair winds and following seas" to the December graduates.
- MIDN 1/C Kaitlin Kwiatkowski
Surface Warfare Club President