About the Squadron
The Yard Patrol Squadron (YPRON) is an extracurricular activity that serves as the bridge between the Brigade of Midshipmen and the fleet of Yard Patrol Craft (YPs) available to them.
The Naval Academy's YPs are used by YPRON to provide Midshipmen with hands-on training in seamanship, navigation, naval tactics, communications, naval phraseology and standard procedures. The boats are staffed and maintained by Naval Academy Waterfront Readiness (WFR), and officers from the Department of Seamanship and Navigation (SEANAV) oversee the training as qualified Officers-in-Charge.
YPRON is dedicated to training a team of Midshipman volunteers who qualify on the craft. Their goals vary:
- to learn how to lead in realistic high-pressure scenarios
- to refine their character through close teamwork and the feedback loops provided in debriefs
- to be better prepared for commissioning with a basic experiential knowledge
- to learn from the officers and enlisted that directly support underway and ashore trainings
- to help execute successful movements on behalf of the Brigade
The training provided by YPRON is an initial step towards the development of competent mariners better ready to lead in the unique environments of the Navy.
The YP Squadron is commanded by the Midshipman Commodore. The Commodore oversees for all facets of Squadron training, operations, and policy, and coordinates with SEANAV and WFR. Each pennant has a staff of Midshipmen assigned to it. These Midshipmen are responsible for conducting the operations of the Squadron onboard their respective craft.
There are two to four Midshipman boat crews, or "pennants," that report directly to the Commodore. A Midshipman Commanding Officer is in charge of each pennant. They are responsible to the Commodore for the execution of Squadron training, operations, and policy aboard their individual pennants. They lead a crew of up to thirty midshipmen.
The CO is aided by the Midshipman Executive Officer, who creates in implements the boat's bills. This includes underway and in port watchbills, colors watchbills, meal rotation, sweepers, and berthing. He/she will is the link between the crew and the CO. The XO is available to fulfill duties as the CO directs, and assumes command in the absence of the CO.
This crew is sent out for training on the 676- and 703-class YPs. The newer 703-class features an updated bridge with full integration between the navigation and shiphandling team. Its updated electronics and more realistic shiphandling provide the YP Squadron with unprecedented access to training as close to real warship-handling as a midshipman can get.