Guided-Missile Cruiser USS Anzio Hosts Bulgarian Naval Midshipmen Aboard


Guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68) hosted two Bulgarian naval midshipmen to help train them in at-sea familiarization, June 2–16.

Midshipmen Galin Yambolov and Vania Ormanova both attend the Bulgarian Naval Academy, “Nicola Vaptsarov,” where they will spend five years learning about their job and navy tradition. Once they graduate they will earn the rank of lieutenant and serve in the Bulgarian navy for 10 years.

“The purpose of the training was to introduce the midshipmen to the duties and responsibilities of a junior officer during an underway period,” said Ensign Lauren M. Gaidry, USS Anzio training officer and mentor for the midshipmen.

Gaidry said Bulgarian Maritime Engagement Officer Cmdr. John Putnam, put in a request to have the two midshipmen aboard for on-the-job training after hearing about the ship’s scheduled port visit to Varna, Bulgaria.

“I was very excited,” Yambolov said. “I didn’t know what to think about being aboard, but I knew that it will be great to be a part of the crew.”

Lt. Lesa M. Welliver, USS Anzio chaplain, also served as a mentor to the midshipmen and helped them become acclimated to the shipboard environment.

“I made sure they were included in wardroom affairs, crew liberty activities such as sports and tours, and had a good understanding of how the ship functions,” said Welliver.

Yambolov is studying to be an engineering officer and Ormanova a navigations officer. Welliver encouraged them to explore the ship, specifically the areas of the ship where they will work upon graduation.

I was happy to be on the bridge to see the navigators and see what I’ve been studying for three years,” Ormanova said. “I understood that this is my job, and I really liked it.”

The midshipmen were able to interact with the crew outside of the shipboard environment when the ship pulled into Odessa, Ukraine; and Batumi, Georgia.

“I’ve never been to Odessa and Batumi, but being on Anzio gave me this chance, and I thank them for it,” Ormanova said.

“I think seeing the excitement and smiles on their faces when we were going through the Turkish Straits was one of my favorite memories,” Welliver said. “They were marveling at what I believe every sailor loves and has in common across the globe; and that’s the smell of the sea, the glimpse of an unknown land, the random sight of marine life and the wonder of the night sky.”

Both Ormanova and Yambolov said they were very impressed with Anzio’s professionalism and willingness to assist them with anything.

“Anzio gave me the chance to meet people from different cultures and countries, and I’ve made some good friendships with a lot of them,” Yambolov said.

“It was fun having them here, seeing how eager they are to learn both about the Navy and life as a junior officer,” Gaidry said.

Anzio is deployed as part of the George H.W. Bush Strike Group, comprised of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 staff, guided-missile cruisers Anzio and USS Gettysburg (CG 64), and guided-missile destroyers USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and USS Mitscher (DDG 57).
Source: navy, June 21, 2011;