Editor's Note: In Part I, the author makes the case for using ten of the U.S. Naval Academy’s YPs - here, in Norfolk - to train SWOs not at the U.S. Naval Academy.
The yard patrol (YP) craft was built for shiphandling and seamanship training. The Navy’s zero-defect environment for shiphandling includes an aversion to putting combatant ships in undue peril, putting lives at risk, and wasting taxpayers’ dollars for repairs to expensive assets damaged by inexperienced shiphandlers learning to drive. By incorporating various levels of oversight to provide the supervision and to make the operational risk management (ORM) determinations, the surface navy can recapture some of its investments in the YPs to make SWOs better shipdrivers.
Time remains a critical element in an already compressed timeline for ships in port. To introduce YP underway training, I offer the following simplified employment model: