12 October 2010

Training Investments


Our Navy continues to make great progress with the investments that we are making in training. This past year, VADM Ferguson and his team at OPNAV N1 focused on working closely with the Fleet to better understand the critical gaps we needed to fill and develop the right plan to make it happen.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of your feedback throughout the whole process. Our training programs are always under review – curriculums have to be updated, technologies need to be modernized, and programs and policies must be routinely reviewed in their entirety to ensure they are relevant and effective. So it’s absolutely critical that we maintain an open and honest feedback loop with the end-users – our Sailors at the deckplates – to ensure we’re getting it right.

I included a list of the specific investments below that I believe deliver significant benefit to our Fleet. What I need from you is your feedback – are these changes having the intended effects? I want the good and the bad. But if you bring me a problem, I’d also like to hear from you about a possible solution. No airing of grievances just to complain…if there’s a problem then we need to take it on and figure out how to fix it. As a former CNP, I can tell you that this kind of feedback is absolutely critical to help us get it right.

I believe VADM Ferguson and his team have us on the right path. But it is up to us in the Fleet to keep providing the real-time feedback they need so we stay on the right path.
I’m looking forward to your feedback.
All the best, JCHjr

- In response to a ship's call for additional training for junior engineers, Center for Naval Engineering (CNE) developed Apprentice Plus (A+) training to deliver hands-on training on valve, pump and electrical maintenance at the waterfront. A+ training is in place in Norfolk, San Diego and Mayport, and we are assessing expansion to all Fleet Concentration Areas (FCAs) to include Pearl Harbor and Japan.

- In response to Fleet concerns on IT/Network Security, the Center for Information Dominance developed the Information Systems Technician of the Future (ITOF) initiative to keep pace with increasingly complex IT systems requirements and to provide necessary skill sets to maintain, operate and defend Navy GENSER and SCI networks. The first ITOF "A" School pilot convened in July 2010, and all 20 students passed their first Computer Technology Industry Association A+ certification exams.

- With the Surface Warfare Enterprise, reinstituted the Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) Senior Officer Material Readiness Course. PCOs/PXOs are taught material readiness fundamentals, DC equipment/procedures, engineering programs, material self-assessment and shipboard safety in classroom and lab/ship environments.

- Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (CNATT) relocated the Mobile Aircraft Firefighting Training Device (MAFTD) from Pensacola to CNATT Unit Lemoore in response to a trainer casualty. This casualty affected 250 students per quarter and deployment readiness for two Carrier Air Wings. This CNATT effort saved more than $200,000 in repairs to a legacy trainer and avoided a potentially large TAD bill. The updated trainer will remain in Lemoore for future firefighting skills training.

- This year, Center for Naval Engineering updated R-114 Air Conditioning System training to include state-of-the-art simulator use. A shared asset between Submarine Learning Center and CNE, the Multipurpose Reconfigurable Training System (MRTS) is configurable to Los Angeles, Ohio, Seawolf, and Virginia class submarines as well as Ticonderoga class ships. It allows Sailors to practice operating procedures in a realistic environment with real-time instructor observation, intervention and evaluation. Students use the new simulator to conduct realistic system operation, component identification, functional checks, inspection, and fault isolation.

- Center for Surface Combat Systems established Advanced Warfare Training for Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) and Surface Warfare (SUW) mission areas to fix warfare capability gaps on surface ships identified in Fleet combat systems maintenance, operations and employment training. This training - delivered on the ship with CSCS SMEs - has been extremely well received by the Fleet, and there are efforts to expand this 4-week operator training and system groom to other warfare areas.

- At Naval Station Everett, the Fleet Region Readiness Center (FRRC) training facility has opened, which will reduce Fleet TADTAR costs for training outside PACNORWEST. Currently it hosts 42 CSCS courses with the potential to expand training to Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD), SWOS, CNE, and CSCS courses as well as the capability to support ATG and Fleet unit training.

There have also been several BRAC initiatives to realign/relocate several learning centers and sites. These actions provide more effective training while also closely aligning with the other Armed Services:

- Naval Chaplaincy School and Center (NCSC) moved to Fort Jackson, SC and established a Joint Center of Excellence for Religious Training and Education, which includes the Air Force Chaplains Corps College at Fort Jackson, SC. January 2010 marked the first time training for all Services' Chaplains, Chaplain Assistants and RPs was collocated.

- Navy Supply Corps School (NSCS) and the Center for Service Support (CSS) moved from Athens to Naval Station Newport, RI. CSS has commenced their training and the first NSCS class will commence in Oct 2010.

- Later this month, we will open a new Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Training Facility at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. This facility will modernize SERE training for our aviators, aircrew, special forces and force reconnaissance personnel.

- Culinary Specialist "A" School has moved from Great Lakes to Ft. Lee, VA in support of a Joint Center of Excellence for Culinary Training scheduled to begin in Jan 2011. Navy CS training will consolidate with Army and Marine Corps training at Ft. Lee and will be co-located with the Air Force basic food service training.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for the update and requesting feedback. To that end - I want to bring to your attention an issue that has bothered me for quite some time.

Navy TACAIR training requires a significant amount of Red Air. The units that support the fleet with Red Air are primarily reserve or composite units manned by reserve Officers/pilots. Professional quitters…I like to call them. These reserve pilots fly TACAIR “part time” and often also fly for a civilian airline on their off days. These reserve squadrons almost never actually deploy. The reserve/composite squadrons are all tail and no tooth. The problem as I see it has two main components:

First, the current training support structure creates a strong disincentive for young Officers to stay REGNAV. Up and coming USN Officers see their “Reservist” contemporaries enjoying all the benefits and “fun” associated with flying TACAIR while not having to shoulder the burden of deployments and warfighting.

Second, the Weapons Schools, which are staffed by professional USN Top Gun qualified instructors, do not have Jets of their own to train and support the fleet with. They have to “piggy back” in fleet squadron provided aircraft, creating unnecessary training overhead.

Solution: I would dissolve COMTACSUPWING and assign their aircraft to the East and West Coast Top Gun Weapons schools. Essentially allowing the fleet experts to support fleet with training. Naval Reserve flying jobs should be limited to strategic airlift and AEDO type billets.

I am acutely aware of the different funding streams associated with regular Navy dollars and Reserve dollars...but the fundamental problem is there non-the-less and I thought you should be aware.


Anonymous said...

Regarding training in the fleet, why not inculcate shipboard and aviation corrosion control training in OCS, NROTC, the Academy, and Boot Camp-coupled with a fresh infusion of such training like the training that is occuring now with the Corrosion Control Assistance Teams?

I believe future leaders from the very get go need a training package to make them aware of the Navy and its worst preventable enemy-corrosion.

ADM J. C. Harvey, Jr USN said...

REGNAV, thanks for these comments - I'll be meeting with VADM Myers and RADM OHanlon soon at the CNAL Commanders' Conference; it'll be a great opportunity to talk over your ideas with them.

Anonymous, please give me your opinion on the Corrosion Control Assistance Teams and the value we're getting from them. Any ideas on how to get more bang for our buck in this area?
I'm not sure I agree that the officer accession sources are the place for this training; I'm more inclined to hit this area hard in our recently revived SWOS training (at Basic SWOS, DH and CO/XO) and in the Maintenance University we do on the ships for LCPOs/LPOs. Your thoughts?
Thanks, JCHjr