.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Spotlight on Los Alamos: Local man embarks on first sea tour

-A A +A
By Carol A. Clark

The South Pacific will be home for the next three months for Los Alamos High School 2005 graduate Micah Sims. Sims, 20, is a sophomore at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, some 20 miles east of New York City.The academy is unique in that it has a curriculum requirement that each midshipman spend one full year at sea, one trimester one year and two trimesters another year. On Thursday, Sims flew to Guam to board the USNS Concord on which he will spend his first trimester. The Concord is one of the Military Sealift Command’s five combat stores ships.“While on board, I will be required to complete six independent study courses including navigation, seamanship, ship structure and nomenclature, cargo operations, marine engineering, and navigation law,” Sims said. “Each subject assignment is to be completed during the trimester and signed off by the ship’s captain. When I return to the Academy, I will take final exams over the material learned while at sea. On the surface it sounds heavy, but I say hey, what a great laboratory to learn in!” The Concord is a Naval supply ship used to provide underway replenishment to the 7th Fleet aircraft carriers in the South Pacific. It carries 127 civilian personnel, and 26 military personnel, including three other midshipman from Kings Point, Sims said. The Concord is part of 41 ships in the Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force. “She was the first ship in her class to be transferred to the Military Sealift Command on Oct. 15, 1992,” Sims said. “Her capacity is 7,300 tons of cargo, a speed of 20 knots, and she carries two CH-46 helicopters.”The Concord’s anticipated travel pattern will allow Sims the opportunity to visit ports in the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Australia. Sims visited his parents in Los Alamos prior to embarking on his adventure. He thanked members of the Los Alamos Kiwanis Club during a presentation he gave on Nov. 6. “I have not forgotten the generosity of your Kiwanis Club for awarding me one of the local scholarships upon my high school graduation,” he said. “I was able to use that money for the purchase of some technical equipment that has come in handy for my studies at the Academy.”The club has followed Sims’ life since he began his education at the Academy. “I want to thank all of you in the Kiwanis Club for the wonderful support you have shown me, and for so frequently and considerately inquiring about my well being,” he told the members. “I have consistently felt your thoughts and prayers.”Sims said his mother, Marthe Sims compiled a shopping list for him as he travels through exotic places on his trip. His father, David Sims, is happy that the Concord is a Navy ship, “for safety mostly,” Sims said. David is a biochem technician who has worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory since 2000. He also serves as Los Alamos County DWI Planning Council coordinator, a position he’s held some three years.“I’m just extremely proud of Micah and the contributions he is making, even as a student, in the support of our Naval vessels in the South Pacific,” David said. “Marthe and I told him when he left that he was going to be able to see and experience things we would never be able to see or do.”