Navy ships are incredibly expensive, especially those built with big, bulbous sonar domes that do not simulate Yokahama fenders very well. Our "small ships" (destroyers and frigates) are comparable in size to the battleships of 1900, and often require the use of tugs and pilots. Less time under way, increased pier-side berthing and nesting, and recent collisions and groundings make a strong case for providing more opportunities for shiphandling among our junior officers. Their experience often is limited to cutting large man-overboard maneuvering circles in the ocean or seeing how quickly the conning orders of the harbor pilot can be repeated.
SWOs Need More Hands-on Shiphandling Training
By Lieutenant Commander Michael L. Crockett, U.S. Navy