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Training Boats (aka T-Boats)

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link   All Posts
Dante Roberts

Another portion of summer training occurred on the Thames River. During this week, we immersed ourselves in the training on the simulator and then on the actual T-boats at the waterfront. During the first two days, we learned about how to be a conning officer (giving commands); how to steer a ship; and how to execute different maneuvers required for man overboards, mooring/unmooring, and anchoring. We applied skills learned from our professional maritime classes and used them directly during this training week.

Following the classroom days, we used our experience from the simulators and applied them directly to the T-Boats. It was rewarding to see that the skills we learned in the classroom were finally paying off in a real-world application. Each day, the boat had assigned cadets-in-charge (CICs) who arrived early to start the engine, generator, and navigation equipment. The CICs researched the weather before arriving and made decisions on how to best carry out the evolutions for the day. Each boat was also assigned a safety officer. They always made sure the crew knew what we were doing, but also allowed us to make mistakes so we could best learn. The last day of T-boats culminated in an exam that included multiple rotations of mooring and unmooring, man overboard recoveries, and an anchoring detail. Probably the best part of the week was getting to know my classmates. As an AIM cadre, I did not know some of my shipmates too well coming in. During this week, I not only worked in a team with some new faces, but also built lasting friendships outside of the training environment.

After the training day, I had the opportunity to go on liberty. During this time, I was able to attend weightlifting and CrossFit with a few of my closest friends, as well as some new ones. On the weekend, I discovered new restaurants with these new friends that I hadn’t known about before. Overall, T-boats had a lasting effect on my classmates and me.