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YP Squadron

Academic Year 2020

Below are brief summaries and images from YP Squadron movement orders executed during academic year 2020:

To Philadelphia 12DEC19-15DEC19

Army-Navy 2019 1

The YP Squadron received a record number of volunteers for its annual Army-Navy movement order to Philadelphia.  120 slots were available for Midshipmen (30 racks on each boat), and roughly 360 signed up within the first fifteen minutes of the form going live.

The lucky 120 that made it boarded the squadron of four YPs and made the roughly 14-hour transit North to Philadelphia.  This included a night transit of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal - a true litmus test for the Midshipman watch teams.

Once berthed in Penn's Landing, the crews had a free day of liberty before the rest of the Brigade of Midshipmen and West Point's Corps of Cadets showed up.  They enjoyed local fare in Reading Terminal Market, climbed the Rocky Steps, and visited the Liberty Bell, among other things.  Midshipmen were offered a special tour of the retired USS Olympia (pictured above) Friday morning, courtesy of the staff.

It had been four years since Navy last tasted victory over Army Football.  Army ended a 14-year winning streak by Navy in 2016, making the annual Army-Navy games high-stakes again.  This trend continued for three years until now - Navy once again defeated Army and took home the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.  The Class of 2020 can now peacefully graduate and commission.

Army-Navy 2019 2

HMS Queen Elizabeth Special Underway NOV19


A small amount of full-time members of the YP Squadron were given the special and rare opportunity to get underway on the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest warship built by the United Kingdom's Royal Navy.  She is unique in that she has neither arresting gear nor launching systems onboard, designed specifically to launch V/STOL aircraft like the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

Midshipmen were treated to both lunch and dinner as the carrier got underway from Annapolis.  It was an all-day event, including tours of the ship's diesel-electric propulsion systems, berthing, wardroom, galley, auxiliary systems, bridges, flight control towers, aircraft, hangar bay, and flight deck.

This was a rare opportunity to give Midshipmen exposure to an allied Navy's culture, and to observe the professionalism and capabilities of the Royal Navy while in the United States.  "A once in a lifetime experience," one Midshipman called it.

HMSQueenElizabethNov2019 2

To Downtown Norfolk 14NOV19-17NOV19

Norfolk 2019

This was the YP Squadron's first movement to Downtown Norfolk.  Typically, YPRON takes two or more boats to Naval Station Norfolk, and is hosted by a warship there.  This time, the Nauticus Museum Pier hosted the Squadron right next to the retired battleship USS Wisconsin.  Midshipmen were offered the opportunity to gain free admission to the museum, to include the battleship.

The Squadron got underway with roughly 60 Midshipmen aboard on Thursday afternoon.  Conditions favored the Mids' transit down throughout the roughly 14-hour underway, and both boats moored up safely Friday morning.

Midshipmen were treated to a tour of the USS Bainbridge on Friday afternoon, and the Hampton Roads USNA Alumni Chapter treated them to a viewing party in town to watch the Navy-Notre Dame game.  The Nauticus Museum made for a great host, with a location right in the heart of the city.

Unfortunately, weather and current conditions on Sunday were well outside recommended operational limits for the 703-class YPs.  Midshipmen were bused back to Annapolis in time for TAPS and classes the following day.  The YPs were brought back by OICs once conditions improved on Monday.

This was the YP Squadron's second successful out-of-area movement during the Fall semester.

Norfolk 2019 2

To Baltimore 27SEP19-29SEP19

Crossing The Tee

The YP Squadron's Baltimore movement order provided the perfect opportunity for new members to get their feet wet and returning members to refine their skills in their new roles.  It is a short trip to the Inner Harbor Pier 5, where the midshipmen took overnight liberty on both Friday and Saturday nights after arrival.  This was a big selling point for Plebes who had not spent a weekend off the Yard since Plebe Summer.  They put the work in to earn that weekend on Sunday, however.  The Squadron executed a series of special evolutions and tactical maneuvers in an operational box set within the Chesapeake Bay during the return trip.

The Squadron planned a total of about five hours of special evolutions, including:

  • Towing Exercises (TOWEX)
  • Underway Replenishment (UNREP) Approaches
  • Man Overboard Recoveries
  • Division Tactics (DIVTACs) and Maneuvers
  • Abandon Ship Procedure

The movement was not without its lessons learned, and the midshipman staff was quick to debrief and is working to learn from them for Downtown Norfolk in November.

A total of about sixty midshipmen embarked on this MO; the end result was 60 midshipmen with a better appreciation and understanding for bridge watchstanding, navigation, seamanship skills and emergency procedures.


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