NORFOLK, Va. -- Instructors at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Norfolk feel they are leading the way in training the future of naval warfare and operations.
In March, CNATTU Norfolk became home to the first-ever Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System (EMALS) course; supporting Ford class aircraft carriers. This course, in conjunction with its state-of-the-art virtual trainer, enables the Navy to provide training at the point-of-need for the latest advancement in catapult systems.
The EMALS course is required for aviation boatswains mate equipment (ABE) rated personnel to attain essential knowledge and skills necessary to efficiently and effectively operate, support, and maintain EMALS. Through this course, ABEs perform apprentice-level skills under close supervision of CNATTU Norfolk instructors who place emphasis on safety and adherence to procedural compliance in both the training and operational environment.
“The platform launching is the future of Naval Aviation for the USS Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carrier,” Cmdr. Marcus Creighton, CNATTU Norfolk commanding officer, said. “We are proud to bring this emerging technology to the learning environment, providing Sailors with virtual hands-on training, which can be configured to adapt to the needs of individual students.”
EMALS improves warfighting capabilities by launching F/A-18 Hornets, EA-18 Growlers, E-2 Hawkeye, and C-2 Greyhound aircraft from the flight deck of an aircraft carrier without steam power. Electromagnetic technology is the newest launching methodology to be used prior to steam power.-
Planning for the EMALS course began in 2015 and development followed in August 2017. CNATTU Norfolk completed a full classroom and laboratory overhaul to accommodate the EMALS virtual training environment. A Multi-Purpose Reconfigurable Training System (MRTS 3D), the virtual environment through which EMALS is delivered, was installed at CNATTU Norfolk in February.
ABE1 (AW/SW) Jean Torressivestre, the lead instructor for the EMALS course stated, “it has been a blessing to be a part of the future of Naval Aviation. The work that has been put forth by Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment Program Office 251(PMA-251), Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training, and contractor Proactive Technologies in delivering this training to the fleet has been unparalleled to any other effort I have been a part of. I will be forever proud to be a part of this legacy.”
On March 22, CNATTU Norfolk welcomed 10 students into EMALS class 2021-010 which lasted four weeks in duration. Collectively, the students agreed that the MRTS trainer was an integral component in learning how to support and maintain EMALS. Students said that the MRTS trainer was not only fun to use but, also allowed them to understand their roles in operating EMALS in a shipboard setting.
CNATTU Norfolk provides rate specific aviation technical training necessary to meet fleet requirements, while professionally delivering specialized aviation "C" school training to maintain and operate air weapons systems supporting MH-53E/MH-60S Helicopters, E-2C Airborne Early Warning Aircraft, E-2D Advanced Airborne Early Warning Aircraft, C-2A(R) Carrier Onboard Delivery Aircraft, Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM), MQ-8C Firescout, aviation maintenance administration (AZ) management, aviation boatswain's mate (AB), aviation ordnanceman (AO), interior communications electrician (IC) and aircrew survival equipmentman (PR) professional and rating skills.
CNATTU Norfolk is a part of CNATT, a training domain under Naval Education and Training Command and a technical training agent for the Naval Aviation Enterprise, an organization designed to advance and sustain naval aviation warfighting capabilities at an affordable cost.