Sailors graduate from CNATTU Norfolk’s first-ever EMALS class

24 September 2021

From Jerron K. Barnett

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. – As the U.S. Navy continues to test and develop its Gerald R. Ford-class of nuclear aircraft carriers, the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit Norfolk reached a significant and historic milestone in naval aviation training, as a group of Sailors graduated from the first Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System maintenance course Sept. 21.
NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. – As the U.S. Navy continues to test and develop its Gerald R. Ford-class of nuclear aircraft carriers, the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit Norfolk reached a significant and historic milestone in naval aviation training, as a group of Sailors graduated from the first Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System maintenance course Sept. 21.

The students were trained on the maintenance and operations of the EMALS.  The mission and function of EMALS remains the same as the traditional steam catapult current in use on current carriers; however, it employs entirely different technologies, according to the system’s online fact sheet. EMALS uses stored kinetic energy and solid-state electrical power conversion. This technology permits a high degree of computer control, monitoring and automation.

The technological modernization of the classroom has had a profound effect on these Sailors, as large, interactive touchscreen Multipurpose Reconfigurable Training System 3D® (MRTS 3D®) technology has replaced traditional methods of instruction in classroom.

“The MRTS technology affected me in a positive way,” Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Launching and Recovery) 3rd Class Tellas Nichols said, who was one of 10 students who graduated from the first EMALS class.  “Instead of reading and looking at pictures on a screen, I got to see the whole process taking place through the simulator, which was beneficial to me because I am a visual learner.”

Sailors using the MRTS 3D® interact with their learning objectives, just as they would on their personal smartphones or virtual video games at home.  For EMALS Instructor Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Launching and Recovery) 1st Class J.C. Torres, the infusion of cutting-edge technology is a welcome addition to the learning environment.

“I am glad we are catching up to today’s technology with the incorporation of the MRTS 3D® into our classrooms,” Torres said.  “It makes the training more interactive and relevant to the technology they {the students} are using in everyday life.”

For the most part, Sailors loved how interactive and realistic the system is, Torres said. The students felt it really drove home the information presented to them and allowed them to become proficient without having to slow down the class.

All involved realized the historic significance of their graduation, and for Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Launching and Recovery) Victor Paulino, another graduate student, he’s excited about the future ahead of him.

“I have been in the Navy for 20 years, and I have never learned like this before,” Paulino said, who is currently serving on the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).  “Now I’m going back to the ship being more familiar with the equipment and its operations.  It felt amazing being part of something so historic and seeing where the Navy is going with training.”

Torres added, “The effort and teamwork put in by so many people and entities really shows how invested the Navy is in improving the way we train our Sailors to get them ready to accomplish our mission.”

As CNATT continues to modernize classrooms all across its domain under the Navy’s Ready, Relevant Learning charge, forging partnerships is vital to mission success, something CNATTU Norfolk Commanding Officer Cmdr. Marcus Creighton pointed out.

“We’re extremely grateful for the partnership formed and support provided by PMA-251 (the Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment Program Office) in bringing this transformational training system from concept to fruition,” Creighton said.

The Multipurpose Reconfigurable Training System 3D®, MRTS 3D®, and the MRTS 3D logo are registered trademarks of the U.S. Navy.
 
 
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