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Midshipmen Visit Philadelphia On Board Newest Class YP

Posted on: September 05, 2013 08:00 EDT by MC3 Jonathan Correa

Midshipmen from the Naval Academy’s Yard Patrol Squadron and enlisted Navy personnel of Waterfront Readiness Annapolis went underway on the newest class Yard Patrol (YP) Craft Aug. 30 to Philadelphia.

The purpose of the trip was to train midshipmen on navigation and to certify them for future trips to other ports outside the Chesapeake Bay.

The midshipmen underwent hours of training as well as a final assessment by the department chair before they were approved to get underway. Being able to leave the Chesapeake Bay area on a 703-class YP gave the midshipmen an opportunity to experience how it might feel to command and operate a naval warship.

“The new 703-class YP feels like a real warship,” said Lt. Cmdr. Andy Storey, Royal Navy exchange officer within the Seamanship Navigation Department. “The older YP’s are 20 to 30 years old and the insides are a little outdated. 703s are an incredible asset to have for training, and this ship, YP 707, is one of our newer YP’s.”

Story added that the staff wanted to give the midshipmen the professional reward they get from planning and navigating to a location and standing on the pier, looking at a 300- to 400-ton ship saying to themselves “that ship is now here because of me”.

Not only was the trip to Philadelphia an opportunity for the squadron midshipmen, but it was opened up to all midshipmen to give them the experience underway on an YP.

“We are always trying to realize opportunities to go out and try to do things better than we’ve done before,” said Storey. “We encourage midshipmen who are not squadron members to come and see what we do.”

During the training exercise the midshipmen divided  into two duty sections to give them the same experience they would have on a commissioned ship at sea.

“There were midshipmen on port and starboard look outs, conning officer, officer of the deck, helmsmen – who is usually experienced enlisted personnel – and even one of the senior first class midshipmen acting as the commodore of the ship,” said Midshipman 3rd Class Kamil Krupczynski.

The midshipmen also took the opportunity to do some community service in Philadelphia. They volunteered on board the tall ship Gazela, tarring lines and performing other refurbishing tasks.

“It made me appreciate the old navy being out on the side of the ship,” said Krupczynski. “I could not imagine sailors in history being on the side of the ship fighting. It was a great experience that added to my Naval Academy and overall leadership training.”

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