The Operations Officer (OPS)
The Operations Officer is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the ship, including training, combat systems, navigation, and communications.
An Operations Specialist (OS) aboard high endurance cutters that work out of Combat Information Center (CIC), provides a variety of services to the ship. Underway, each team stands a two or three person watch, generally rotating watches with three other teams. The watch personnel consists of one watch supervisor and one watchstander with a break-in at times. The responsibilities of the watch include; maintaining a constant radar shipping picture, disseminating classified message traffic, safe navigation of the ship through restricted waters and during flight operations providing air direction controlling for aircraft. OS's also build and display a tactical operations picture through messages and other vessel information with the help of an advanced computer system. This tactical picture is the basis of all operations planning and is crucial to the success of the missions that a 378' carries out. All vessel information is updated on law enforcement databases kept in CIC and is shared throughout the fleet to keep the latest information readily available. OS's may also be part of the boarding team in order to provide assistance to the rest of the ship. CIC is the starting point for law enforcement and search and rescue cases. The job provides satisfaction for the time put forth.
Communications Division (Radio)
Radio is the heart of all communications for USCGC MIDGETT. With the most advanced communications equipment, Radio Operations Specialists are able to accomplish a wide variety of tasks, ensuring Combat Information Center has the necessary means to operate. Monitoring and redistributing all of MIDGETT'S vital message traffic is crucial to the mission. These highly trained professionals have the ability to troubleshoot all communications issues. Radio watchstanders stand single person watches while underway. The Underway Watch Stander's responsibilities include handling all incoming message traffic, maintaining voice circuits (HF, VHF, UHF and SATELLITE VOICE), analyzing intelligence, and monitoring SIPRNET chat rooms for important communications information. Radio is also in charge of the ships incoming and outgoing mail. Mail is screened, sorted and distributed on a daily basis to ensure all of MIDGETT'S crew receives their information.
Radio is also the control point for the MIDGETT'S entire security program. All Radio Operations Specialists are required to hold a Top Secret security clearance. Each watch stander must undergo a scrutinizing investigation to obtain their clearance. Operations Specialists in Radio are trained to evaluate security packages before they are submitted for an investigation. If the security package is approved, the member submitting the package will be granted a security clearance. All Radio watch standers are also trained to be cryptology experts. Handling this sensitive material requires the highest level of integrity. MIDGETT'S Radio and Combat divisions cross train whenever possible to help ensure that we do our part in supporting the Coast Goals as OS's.
The first six months for a Seaman (SN) or Seaman Apprentice (SA) reporting aboard will be a busy and exciting time. Underway, a Seaman participates in all deck evolutions under the supervision of the Boatswains Mates (BMs), and is responsible for handling mooring lines, anchoring the ship, raising and lowering of the ships small boats, serving as small boat crewman, and performing rescue-swimmer duties. A Seaman typically stands two 4-hour watches a day while underway. In port a qualified seaman will stand watch every 4-5 days. A Seaman can work as a helicopter tie down team member during flight operations, and may become a boarding team member to help enforce laws and treaties. All Seaman will help the galley by serving as a mess cook on a rotating basis. Mess cooking is an important aspect of habitability and crew morale and demonstrates the support side of Coast Guard operations. Seaman also serve on damage control teams during general quarters and general emergency; fighting fires, controlling flooding, and dewatering spaces. Seaman serve as a vital part of the ships defense force by manning machine gun mounts and the MK75/76mm cannon. By the end of six months on board, all Seaman will complete the basic damage control course, qualify as an in port watchstander, and become qualified on helm and lookout. The Coast Guard allows seaman to advance to petty officer in certain ratings through "on the job training", called striking, in lieu of formal schools. Due to the diversity of rates on board, all of these rates are available. A Seaman can strike Boatswains Mate (BM), Damage Controlman (DC), Electricians Mate (EM), Food Service Specialist (FS), Machinery Technician (MK), Store Keeper (SK), or Yeoman (YN). If not striking a rate, many Seaman apply for an "A" school in their desired rate. With a wide variety of opportunities, MIDGETT is a great learning platform for new Seaman.