Surface Warfare Officers School Unit Great Lakes Year in Review

08 January 2020

From Brian Walsh

As the new year begins it would be interesting to look back, and reflect, on the many changes, events, successes of Surface Warfare Officers School Unit (SWOSU) Great Lakes during 2019.

As the new year begins it would be interesting to look back, and reflect, on the many changes, events, successes of Surface Warfare Officers School Unit (SWOSU) Great Lakes during 2019.

The students and staff of the command have created a year that was memorable in many ways; too many to include in a single article.

SWOSU Great Lakes bid farewell and following seas to Lt. Megan Leis as Lt. Cmdr. Shaun Page took over as executive officer.

Fourteen SWOSU Sailors were pinned chief petty officers (CPOs) at Ross Theatre.

This year saw a number of foreign and domestic visits letting SWOSU Great Lakes show and share successes in getting Sailors ready for the Fleet.

Visits included U.S. Sixth Fleet Command Master Chief Johannes Gonzalez; fifteen senior foreign students from Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity; Republic of Korea Fleet Master Chief Yong Hee Kwon and Command Master Chief for Naval Forces Korea Christian Detje; San Diego area educators; Military Legislative Assistant to Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Matt Lampert; and Commander, Naval Education and Training Command, Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad.

SWOSU’s hull maintenance technician (HT) staff and students gathered at their "A" school building to honor the Navy rating established in 1972, although the work they do has existed since the first ship took to water.

Students attending Gas Turbine Systems Technician Electrical (GSE) “C” School now have the latest in high-tech virtual technology to provide them with the right training at the right time in the right way.

SWOSU Great Lakes has incorporated an interactive simulator, called the 19H6 trainer, to enhance instructor-led training for its new Landing Helicopter Assault and Landing Helicopter Dock ship course. The “C” school prepares GSEs to operate, repair and perform maintenance on electrical components of gas turbine engines, main propulsion machinery, auxiliary equipment, propulsion control systems and electronic circuitry.

Students started training with a new Wet Trainer Course curriculum that better prepares them for the Fleet. Launched on September 5, the one-day Basic Engineering Common Core class was replaced to a stand-alone course that all engineering accession Sailors must attend.

The course satisfies Level III of Shipboard Survivability Training Level Requirements IAW OPNAVINST 3541.1F, which is required for personnel who, because of their duties, require additional survivability and Damage Control (DC) training as members of a DC repair station. Before this course, the fleet had to send their newly reported Sailors to SWOS Fleet Concentration Area schoolhouse to receive the General Shipboard DC Training Course (K-495-0045).

SWOSU took another step toward building a safer and more combat-effective force as Sailors are trained under an updated Quartermaster (QM) “A” School curriculum.

Under the updated curriculum, the graduates head to their next command as certified operators of the Voyage Management System (VMS) 9.3, which features a streamlined user interface designed to improve the watch teams’ ability to navigate efficiently.

The update to the instructor-led integrated learning environment includes increased laboratory time, four weeks of terrestrial navigation training and an addition of 40 hours of celestial navigation training, which replaced obsolete training.

SWOSU Great Lakes hosted a Limited Duty Officers (LDO)/Chief Warrant Officers (CWO) program highlighting opportunities and answering questions from over 100 Sailors interested in becoming LDO/CWOs.

The forum led by LDO/CWO Community Manager at Bureau of Naval Personnel Capt. Ed Callahan was opened to all area commands and brought in members of the LDO and CDO community to familiarize Sailors with the options in career advancement as well as ensure a new generation of Navy leaders to become experts in their field as well as reliable and responsible managers.

Sailors continue volunteering their time in the local community improving lives outside of the command.

Sailors from SWOSU Great Lakes are fixtures in Neal Math and Science Academy spending time students assisting in any way they could including in the Sea Perch program. Sea Perch is an underwater robotics program that helps students have a deeper understanding of the design and engineering process.

The past year’s review, along with previous ones, is impressive. SWOSU Great Lakes has created a long annual tradition of successes proving that the command can look forward to great accomplishments in training, volunteerism and continued support with the surrounding community.


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