Submariners believe in training. Tactical and technical training for officers and enlisted, damage control, firefight-ing, and more are provided at submarine training facilities.
But training doesn’t stop when the submariner steps aboard ship. On the job training which includes duty section, officer, team, and general military training (GMT) are all important. The Submarine On Board Training (SOBT) Office at Commander, Submarine Group TWO is the fleet manager of training products intended to make on board training easier, better and more interesting. The training products include self study workbooks, video and audio tapes, slides and computer based training (CBT).
CBT is a fairly new mediu~ for submarine on board training. SOBT has fielded products in combat systems, navigation, team training and submarine qualifications areas with increasing degrees of sophistication.
The first product distributed to submarines in 1989 was the Rules of the Nautical Road CBT, a program produced by Naval Education and Training Personnel Management Support Activity (NETPMSA). This training uses color and some animation. The program forces the student to interact with the subject which was change of pace from the passive mode of paper-based training. While the state-of-the-art of CBT has advanced since this was made, it is currently the most popular SOBT program.
The first CBT produced by SOBT was Mental Target Motion Analysis (TMA) Techniques. This teaches fire control symbology, bearing theory, line of sight computation including mentally computed bearing and range rates, different ranging techniques, and torpedo geometry computations. Mental TMA has a small amount of simulation to help the student understand difficult relative motion concepts, good graphics presentations, and extensive drill and practice sections for each training area. This
training was focused on officers but is also valuable training for sonar technicians, fire control technicians, quartermasters, and contact coordinators.
Produced by USS INDIANAPOLIS in response to the need for on board attack party training, the INDY personal computer based simulation/stimulation provides the AN/BQQ~5 or AN/BQQ-6 sonar systems with a single towed array contact, allowing the entire combat team to train in prosecuting sonar contacts. Besides costing the Navy virtually nothing, INDY bas filled a real need.
The RAY program, written by CDR John Fisher (former Commanding Officer of USS RAY), allows the personal computer to simulate the sonar system broadband display. This bas been used for training a variety of personnel. For example, to keep his engineering officers of the watch (EOOW) current in forward watcbstanding, CDR Kevin Leahy, Commanding Officer of USS ARCHERFISH, used this program to test off~going EOOWs on interpretation of the broadband display to safely come to periscope depth.
The Mk48 ADCAP Post Launch Trainer is in production for distribution in 1994. The program allows the personal computer to simulate the Mk81~2 Weapon Control Console in a post launch situation. This feature allows the operator to train on bow to best employ the Mk48 ADCAP torpedo. The software uses data collected from actual firings and bas embedded tutorials.
Combining a computer with a video disc player bas allowed video and computer software to be integrated into a more effective training package. Using this technology, Cruise Missiles Project fielded a system called Tomahawk Interactive Learning Center (fiLC) that teaches loading, handling, physical and operational characteristics, employment and maintenance of cruise missiles with fuJI motion video to enhance understanding and sustain interest. The TILC uses a 80286 based PC, a touch screen and a laser disc. The training is well received by those who use it, but the system in general did not receive much use at first. This is because systems were initially installed in training centers and submarine group and squadron offices. This meant the sailor had to find time to leave the ship to complete the training courseware.
Recently, TILC systems were placed aboard three submarines (with all available courseware) to determine if easy access to the system would increase usage. During the evaluation, the system received extensive use under a variety of shipboard conditions. “The average user found the system easy to operate and the software provided to be educational and entertaining”, said CDR Bruce Miller, Commanding Officer of USS CITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI. “Users were primarily TMs, FTs, and officers. but other ratings such as QMs and MMs demonstrated an interest as well.” Current plans are to distribute this system packaged with a CD-ROM player to all Tomahawk capable submarines on a voluntary basis.
Trident submarines are now being issued computer systems to enhance qualifications training for new personnel. Sponsored by NAVSEA (PMS-396), Trident Interactive Courseware Training Systems OCWTS) come with 44 lessons on 39 laser discs. Each lesson represents an individual subject area as defined by the Enlisted Requirements for Submarine Qualification (COMSUB-LANT/COMSUBPACINST 1552.16A). This training system has made available a pool of knowledge and testing from all Tridents, standardized the knowledge presented, and provided a single source of information for a trainee. “It bas become a vital part of both the initiation of newly reported officers and the enlisted submarine qualification program”, exclaimed CAPT Richard D. Raaz of USS GEORGIA (BLUE).
In response to requests from submarines, SOBT is producing two new computer based courses on Division Officer of the Watch and Submarine Surfaced Shiphandling. These will present technical training on the dynamics of submarine maneuvering and depth control, and will offer drill and practice on these watch-standing skills tailored to SSN 637, SSN 688, or SSBN 726 classes.
SOBT is also cooperating with Program Executive Officer. Ships Defense (PE0-417T) to produce a number of electronic warfare computer based courses on employment and maintenance of specific submarine ESM equipment and suites. These products wilt help increase submarine ETs’ proficiency in an area which is receiving increasing emphasis.
Whafs in the future? As one example, Newport News Shipyard has developed a SSN 688 class Auxiliary Machinery Room (AMR) Watchstation Course which allows the trainee to tour the AMR on the computer screen, using multiple stored video images of the AMR to learn equipment layout and watchstanding. This virtual reality approach has been evaluated by Newport News Shipbuilding and is shown to significantly increase task knowledge and skills within a short time. especially for those with little or no previous experience. This course at present requires specialized computer hardware to play. SOBT is evaluating the need to distribute the computer hardware or modify the courseware to eliminate that need.
On board training courses are also being used by submarine training facilites. For example, Naval Submarine School, New London, is using the AN/UYK–44 computer course to fill in during students’ waiting periods during the formal AN/UYK-44 computer maintenance course. During a test period, students using the computer based course had average scores up to ten grade points higher than a control group.
OPTEMPO is decreasing, therefore inport schools and on board training are becoming much more important. On board training materials wiJI continue to provide training while in port or at sea. Based on fleet feedback, computer based is the most popular medium for on board training. As the modern computer hardware on board submarines becomes more accessible, the ability to use CBT products will expand.