ANNAPOLIS, Md. — For the first time, the U.S. Naval Academy has hosted 80 members of Navy ROTC in the academy’s unique, hands-on training program that gives midshipmen realistic experience navigating ships on the water.
The trainees serve as crew on the Yard Patrol vessels, training ships equipped with realistic Navy gear.
Interest in the program has increased, as the Navy reviews how to prevent collisions at sea like the ones involving the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John McCain that led to the deaths of 17 sailors last year.
Lt. Devan Gurecki, an instructor for the academy’s Yard Patrol program, says it takes the mystery out of serving on a Navy ship.
Cmdr. Chad Graham, the academy’s seamanship and navigation chairman, says the Navy may consider expanding the program.