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.
Surface Warfare Officers School Unit (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 with orders to amphibious assault ships will come through this course and have the opportunity to learn about the ship’s equipment through virtual simulation,” said Gas Turbine Systems Technician Electrical 2nd Class Jacob Parker, a GSE “C” School instructor. “The simulator allows you to navigate main spaces as if in real time. Students are able to start/stop equipment, perform corrective maintenance, and go through various casualty scenarios.”
Included in the simulations are planned maintenance system and engineering operation sequencing system procedures. So detailed are the steps that the simulator takes students through that safety precautions such as tag outs, live work chits, grounding straps, and any other safety features that must be performed before they can continue with the evolution they are working on.
“Having the students adhere to safety precautions now will give them a better insight on how important it is,” Parker said. “With a generation who spends most of their day on electronics, the motivation to learn in more interesting ways will increase not only retention but also a better understanding of what they can look forward to on the ship.”
Before the addition of the simulator, students learned as part of a three-person team to complete tasks on actual physical equipment that they dismantled. That equipment then had to be put back together before another team could begin. The simulator more effectively uses training time by simultaneously allowing up to 18 students to perform required tasks at their own stations with direct one-on-one interaction with instructors as needed.
According to SWOSU Great Lakes Commanding Officer Cmdr. Terrance Patterson, the virtual task trainers enable Sailors to practice and test troubleshooting and corrective maintenance skillsets in a virtual shipboard world that mimics specific platform engineering spaces and equipment.
“The trainer is an outstanding delivery method, where troubleshooting and corrective maintenance reps and sets are accomplished by Sailors, without damaging real equipment,” Patterson said. “The required footprint is small by comparison when looking to build a full-size mock-up lab. Our 19H6 trainer reinforces engineering compliance and the basic six-steps in troubleshooting, and our instructors can tailor modules by selecting scenarios using a drop-down menu function to introduce new scenarios to continue to grow and mature Sailor skillsets.”
The implementation of state-of-the-art training equipment at SWOSU Great Lakes “C” School is part of the MyNavy HR Sailor 2025 initiative to improve and modernize personnel management and training systems to more effectively recruit, develop, manage, reward, and retain the force of tomorrow.
A pillar of Sailor 2025, Ready, Relevant Learning (RRL) delivers a modernized learning continuum that aligns training with fleet requirements and warfighter needs. The 19H6 trainer serves as an example of how traditional classroom instruction is changing as modernized delivery offers measurable improvements to a Sailor’s ability to learn and to retain the knowledge and skills required to be successful at a given point in his or her career. The long-term vision of RRL is to take that kind of modernized training to the point of need in the fleet at the waterfront.
“Currently, the technology is available locally only in our classrooms, but it could definitely be exported via an external terabyte hard drive and employed on a training standalone CPU aboard our warships, which is clearly aligned to RRL concepts,” Patterson said. “I can say with certainty, that after visiting fleet concentration areas and talking with Naval Sea Systems Command Regional Maintenance Center tech codes and ship’s commanding officers that the GSE skillsets coming out of our 19H6 trainer are definitely needed now.”
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