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Great Lakes Gives Japanese Navy Fiber Optics Training

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS051027-03
Release Date: 10/27/2005 11:11:00 AM

By Eva Kowalski, Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Sailors and contractors from Japan completed an eight-week training program on operating the Fiber Optic Data Multiplex System (FODMS) at Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) Learning Site, Great Lakes Oct. 14.

Accompanied by an interpreter, five shipyard and machinery work consultants, three petty officers and one lieutenant commander completed the training, which started Aug. 17, with honors. The training will provide them with the knowledge necessary to operate, repair, troubleshoot and maintain the FODMS, which is being installed in one of the newest Japanese destroyers.

“They should now be able to do basic repair and maintenance on fiber optic data multiplex systems,” said Danial Groh, a San Diego City College technical instructor who also trains the Sailors.

Masayasu Torii, Arms Engineering Section Defense Ship department manager for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Inc., said the trainees would gain firsthand experience with the FODMS system aboard the Japanese ship Asago (DDG 2317), which will reach the final stage of construction in March 2007. He also added that a major advantage of the new system is “more space in the ship” because of a reduction in cables.

The new fiber optics system is an advanced message transfer technology operated by interior communications technicians (ICs) in the fleet. It is temperature proof and occupies less space as opposed to the Data Multiplex System, making it an easier system to maintain.

The FODMS course is taught at CSCS as a “C” school to ICs who are ranked E-4 to E-7. “This is an advanced “C” school course for ICs, and this is the first time since we’ve been teaching it that we’ve had any foreign students in the course,” said Groh, adding that a large portion of the FODMS system involves following computer-based instructions. “The technical manual for the FODMS system is computer based. So during lab exercises they would look at their computers, find out what they had to do and then go back to the equipment and perform the task that the computer asked them to complete,” said Groh.

“Our main purpose was to be here for the Japanese students and to create a nice, hospitable environment that was conducive to learning," said GSMC(SW) Ancile Alexander, leading chief petty officer for the International Military Student Office (IMSO) at Great Lakes who coordinated the visit. "We were available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we interacted with them on a daily basis to ensure everything was running smoothly.”

President and Chief Executive Officer of the contract company MLS Corporation Mitsuharu Harayama presented GSM1(SW) Walter Baylon, IMSO leading petty officer, with a letter of appreciation Oct. 11 for the IMSO’s planning and coordination efforts. Baylon said the nine Sailors and consultants will spend the next week in San Diego to learn about the Navigation Sensor System Interface Operations and Maintenance (NAVSSI O&M) that accompanies FODMS.

They will end their U.S. Navy training Dec. 2 in Dam Neck, Va., where they will learn about the gyro system along with two other Japanese crews, including three officers.

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