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Trident Training Facility Receives Seawolf Ship Control Trainer

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070409-05
Release Date: 4/9/2007 3:35:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW/NAC) Eric J. Rowley Fleet Public Affairs Center Det. NW.

SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Base (NB) Kitsap Bangor, Trident Training Facility (TTF) received a Seawolf Ship Control trainer from Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, Conn., on April 5.

TTF received the new trainer because all three of the Navy’s Seawolf-class submarines will be homeported at NB Kitsap, Bangor, within the next couple years and TTF needed a way to train the Seawolf Sailors keeping them proficient at their jobs.

USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) is already stationed at Bangor and USS Connecticut (SSN 22) and USS Seawolf (SSN 21) will be reassigned here.

“The basic purpose of the ship control trainer is watch proficiency when we are in port for long periods of time,” said TTF ship control instructor, Chief Machinist Mate (SS) Thomas McCord. “It’s also good for doing things we don’t want to do on a ship for real such as putting the ship in danger. We can now practice our actions for different situations in this trainer.”

The trainer was designed to train five ship control watch stations at the same time which include the helmsman, stern planesman, chief of the watch, diving officer of the watch; and officer of the deck who is in charge of the overall ship safety. All of the watch stations make sure the ship can maneuver safely and effectively throughout the world’s oceans.

“We can take a crew and simulate them diving the ship, which requires them to open both the forward and aft vents so water can go into the ballast tanks to make the ship negatively buoyant.” said McCord. “We can then fail one of the vent groups, which can make it very hard to dive the ship because one part of it is heavier than the other.”

Once the crew figures out one of the vent groups has failed, the instructors see how the crew reacts and gives them reasons why it failed. Then the crew makes a decision on how they are going to care of the problem.

“When the trainer is over, we debrief the crew, make sure they hit all the steps in the procedures and go over anything they may have done right and wrong, said McCord. “We also talk about what we threw at them, how those things affected them and why. Having this trainer here will allow us to keep our Sailors trained for safer operations.”

Having the ship control trainer at Bangor will provide better training and safer operations.

“I think this will be a good deal for the Seawolf guys,” said McCord. “If a crew went into dry dock for a long period of time they wouldn’t have any way to maintain their proficiency and training. Now they do.”



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