MIDN 1/C Amanda Puckett ‘12, Navy ROTC University of Florida, shares her First Class Summer Cruise.
A significant portion of midshipmen’s professional training during their four-year curriculum is received during summer training. Navy summer training includes Career Orientation and Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID) for midshipmen third class and Atlantic/Pacific Training of Midshipmen (LANTRAMID/PACTRAMID) for midshipmen second and first class.
Midshipmen must ultimately make decisions as to which warfare area they will request to be commissioned into; CORTRAMID and the various summer training programs are designed to instill awareness of these areas and provide midshipmen with the background necessary to make informed decisions regarding their career choice.
“I spent 12 days at NAS Point Mugu in CA with VAW-117, The Wallbangers (an E-2 squadron). I received time in the pilot’s SIM where I got to take off, fly, do carrier landings, a cat launch, and a touch and go. I also got to ride in the E-2. I spent half the flight back with the NFO’s (Naval Flight Officers) learning about their jobs and then I rode as a co-pilot where I was able to fly the plane for a few minutes and stayed there until landing.
I also watched the NFOs do their SIM to learn more about their jobs. The picture with the plane flying in the background was taken when I went out to the LSO (Landing Signal Officer) shack and watched the pilots do FLCPs (Field Carrier Landing Practices) as they were preparing to go to the boat. This experience gave me great insight into what the life of a naval aviator is like. This is the pipeline I hope to pursue, but I won’t know until October 2016 if I will get into the program.
On my 2/C cruise, I was on the USS Florida (a SSGN submarine) out of Kings Bay, GA. While underway for five days, I stood watch with my running mate in the engine room, witnessed the boat go through sea trials which included maneuvering drills, emergency blow and being submerged to test depth. While on the sub, we rode down to AUTEC (Atlantic Undersea Training and Evaluation Center) in the Bahamas where the boat shot practice torpedoes in the ranges there.
It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.”