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AEGIS Pilot Program Boosts FC Training Continuum

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090902-36
Release Date: 9/2/2009 5:36:00 PM

By Lt. Gregory Archulet, Aegis Training and Readiness Center

DAHLGREN, VA (NNS) -- Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) and Aegis Training and Readiness Center (ATRC) co-located in Dahlgren, Virginia are making dramatic advances in concepts of future Sea Warrior training.

Based on the analysis of the AEGIS Missile Defense Performance Review (FC Deep Dive) in 2007 and approved by chief of naval personnel, CSCS and ATRC will execute the Aegis Fire Controlman (FC) Radar Apprentice Pilot Program this fall.

The FC Pilot program will focus AEGIS FC apprentice training on operations and routine maintenance while delaying advanced skill training (corrective maintenance and casualty control) until these skills are needed and a contextual basis for journeyman training is gained at sea. The AEGIS FC Pilot Sailors will return to the schoolhouse after their initial 18-month sea tour to complete their journeyman skills. This pilot program is a shift in AEGIS FC training from today's "front loaded, all at once" approach to a continuum of training spread across the Sailor's career.

The FC Pilot program balances shipboard experience with advanced training tailored to the capabilities of the Sailor and the needs of the ship in the Sailor's first sea tour. With the first class convening in October 2009, the FC Pilot focuses on Aegis Radar (SPY-1 and FCS Mk 99) Fire Controlman to validate an adjusted training model, distribution plan, improved training flow, and business cases for wider post-pilot application. The initial FC Radar Apprentice Pilot program will consist of two 12-Sailor classes with a curriculum designed to align the Sailor's initial rate training with required ship skills for the first 18-months of sea duty. The 24 FC Pilot Sailors will be assigned to 12 Commander Naval Surface Forces-approved Ballistic Missile Defense ships in excess of AEGIS FC billets authorized.

The Aegis FC Radar Apprentice Program is representative of CSCS' plan to achieve the training solution to Total Force's ultimate goal of achieving FIT. Modifying FC training and distribution to deliver the right training tailored to the right Sailor and needs of the gaining command at the right time in the Sailor's career. Specific goals of the FC Radar Pilot include:

• Train the human component of the Aegis Weapon System to perform required tasks within system specifications through innovative training techniques, and improved training sequences.
• Support Aegis FC Deep Dive initiatives outlined by chief of naval personnel relative to providing fleet capability.
• Validate business case of modified FC career training continuum.
• Create an evenly distributed training model that connects training with experience.
• Improve current Radar System Controller (RSC) training methods and tools.

The end goals of the pilot program are to improve Sailors' readiness for a follow-on AEGIS radar C school resulting in improved technical skills for journeyman radar technicians and operators. To achieve the Pilot goals, ATRC will teach an AEGIS Radar Apprentice course that will focus on training the Pilot Sailors to perform preventive maintenance on the SPY-1 B(v) / D radar, FCS Mk 99, and auxiliary systems.

The second focus of the course will be preparing pilot Sailors to qualify as RSC and MSS (Missile Systems Supervisor) watchstanders. Since the pilot program tests the greater concepts of the FC training continuum, pilot Sailors will continue to receive CSCS waterfront training during their 18-month apprentice sea tours including advanced maintenance, self-assessment, individual advanced RSC and MSS operator training, and Advance Warfare Training (CIC team). The number and frequency of shipboard training events are designed to prevent knowledge and skill decay as well as enhance the apprentice Sailor's preparation for journeyman training.

At the conclusion of the 18-month apprentice tour, Pilot Sailors will be administered apprentice final exams and journeyman pre-tests. The purpose of the final exam is to measure the Sailors' successes in learning the knowledge and skills expected of an apprentice technician and operator. The purpose of the journeyman pre-test is to determine if the Sailor can validate - or test out - of any of the journeyman training course based upon the richness of the Sailor's apprentice sea tour. If the Apprentice Pilot is successful, ATRC intends to request extension of the FC Pilot program to include the Sailors' journeyman tours.

Capitalizing on current media resources, the ATRC Staff designed a Navy Knowledge On-line (NKO) FC Radar Apprentice Community of Practice (CoP) webpage to allow Pilot Sailors and commands to access Pilot specific information. The CoP will include apprentice sea tour expectations of the Sailor and the ship as well as a tool box of training material that can be used for divisional training. With a "go live" date of August 2009, the Radar Apprentice CoP will be accessible fleet wide to all Sailors through NKO.



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