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CNE Partners with ATG to get Direct Feedback from the Fleet

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS091016-35
Release Date: 10/16/2009 10:32:00 PM

By Steve Vanderwerff, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The Center for Naval Engineering (CNE) has partnered with Afloat Training Group (ATG) to get direct feedback on its training processes and effectiveness.

Soon after assuming command of CNE, Capt. Will Morales decided that analyzing numerous amounts of data wasn't the ideal feedback he needed to determine whether CNE was effectively preparing its students to serve out in the Fleet.

After careful consideration and visits by his staff to several ships, Morales decided that the best way to make an accurate assessment would be to have a team of his own experts observe Sailors performing their duties and responsibilities during an ATG, Unit Level Training Assessment - Sustainment (ULTRA S) inspection. There is no better way for an instructor to receive feedback on their product- a well trained Sailor, than to see their students perform out at sea.

Senior Chief Gas Turbine System Technician Patrick Wesley was tasked by Morales to assemble a team. Before getting underway with ATG, Wesley's team created a plan of action that identified specific areas of interest and how the data would be collected. Their plan called for three phases to ensure the feedback they were looking for would give them the data they would need to assess whether CNE's training is meeting its objectives.

Wesley and his team joined up with ATG aboard the dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48). While there they directly observed Sailors performing evolutions required to maintain mobility engineering and damage control readiness, observed and analyzed the level of knowledge exams given to crew members by ATG and conducted a comprehensive survey to determine relevancy, accuracy, and currency of instruction.

"It's ATG's process; we're using their process to educate ourselves," said Morales. "During ULTRA S, young engineers are required to do basic engineering evolutions, such as lighting off a fire pump, line up an eductor, taking lube oil samples. "They get observed to ensure they are conducting these evolutions in accordance with established procedures and guidance and they get graded. Basic skills we expect a fireman to have, when they are on a ship. We provide a lot of instruction that reinforces these skills and procedures. Having my team onboard while being evaluated allows them to ask the Sailors directly why they were doing something or why they weren't doing what they were taught."

Data used by CNE to track students, such as what ships they are assigned to and the specific curriculum they completed helped Wesley and his team tailor the survey to the Sailors who recently graduated from CNE, to find out if the content of the level of knowledge exams given by ATG is the same as that taught by the CNE schoolhouse and determine if CNE uses the same metrics, the latest technical documentation and procedures as ATG.

After the ULTRA S, Wesley reported back to Morales with the information he and his team had collected.

"It's apparent that a lot of the Sailors are using what we teach them," said Wesley. "Pinpointing specific problems will require us to collect more data."

Wesley and his team will continue to gather data until enough data has been collected and analyzed to make a precise determination on whether specific parts of CNE's training curriculum needs to be changed or improved.

They are scheduled to go aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) later this year during their ATG, ULTRA S inspections.

The Center for Naval Engineering's vision is to provide the right training to set up our Sailors for success while meeting the needs of the fleet. They use state-of-the-art technology and partnerships with other commands to provide training and support to ensure fleet readiness.

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