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NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), wrapped up a weeklong visit to Naval Station Newport Jan. 30, after serving as the school ship for Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS).

"It was a great opportunity for us to showcase our ship and what we do," said Lt. Jonathan Wright, training officer aboard Philippine Sea, who did most of the behind-the-scenes work planning for the week both administratively and logistically. "We brought the students over from SWOS, who were comprised of ensigns and lieutenant junior grades, recently qualified officers of the deck, prospective commanding officers, executive officers, and chief engineers, and gave our crew an opportunity to show them firsthand what they should expect and also inspect when they return to the fleet."

The SWOS students saw direct application of concepts and methods they discussed in class, toured and inspected the engineering plant and other spaces of their choice, received briefings on each space, what goes on both underway and in port, and how that space is maintained.

Philippine Sea's junior officers were also provided hands-on-training at SWOS, using state-of-the-art simulators and technology. The crew received training on bridge watchstanding and advanced navigation techniques. Several crew members navigated a virtual ship through a number of simulated hazards in the full-mission bridge.

"It was good to get back to SWOS and see what the latest simulators can do," said Lt. j.g. Guiliana Velucci, navigator aboard Philippine Sea. "Anytime I can get a chance to fight the ship tactically without the physical ramifications while simultaneously thinking and stepping outside of my comfort zone is great. It definitely helps me become a better officer."

The ship also conducted tours for Naval War College (NWC) students and NWC Foundation members, other Newport naval commands and state and local dignitaries.

"This was a tremendous opportunity to visit a ship and talk with her highly professional crew," said Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Buckner, an NWC student. NWC reciprocated with a tour at NWC for the ship's officers, who learned about professional military education opportunities for both officers and enlisted personnel.

U.S. Naval Sea Cadets visiting the ship were impressed with the crew and the ship's capabilities. "This was an exciting visit for us," said U.S. Naval Sea Cadet, Tyler Bedessa. "We saw firsthand how a ship functions."

For Yeoman 1st Class (SW/AW) Gracie Hudson, one of the highlights of the weeklong port call was participating in a community service project at Lucy's Hearth, the Newport County shelter for homeless women and their children. "It's always good to give back," said Hudson. "I appreciate the opportunity to be here and help out."

Other Sailors participated in the first basketball game between the Naval Academy Preparatory School midshipmen candidates and the Philippine Sea command basketball team.

"It was a great time," said Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Christopher Reed, the game coordinator. "We got a chance to compete and build camaraderie with the future officers who will one day lead our fleet."

Philippine Sea is homeported in Mayport, Fla.

For more news from Naval War College, visit
www.navy.mil/local/nwc/.

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Edward Flynn, Naval War College Public Affairs