SCSTC Launches Virtual Shore Maintenance Training Pilot > United States Navy > News Stories

The VMT, an immersive 3D training tool created to support Aegis Weapons System (AWS) maintenance training, is part of the Director’s program of record, Surface Warfare (OPNAV N96), Surface Training Advanced Virtual Environment-Combat Systems ( STAVE-CS). These VMT solutions currently deliver the right training, at the right time, in the right way in our schools, so sailors are ready to keep their equipment at peak capacity and reliability to win the high-level fight.

“In an effort to streamline this initiative, we want to test the effectiveness of stand-alone VMT systems in supporting maintenance skills, proficiency training, and maintenance support,” said SCSTC Commodore Capt. George A. Kessler, Jr. “Our goal is to get the Aegis Computer Network Technician and SPY-1D(V) Radar [ACNT] VMT to the fleet to learn how our ships, training teams, and maintenance teams can use the tools to support just-in-time training before a maintenance check, casualty troubleshooting support, and just-in-time training training. maintenance. SCSTC will then take that feedback to update the systems and provide an expanded plan to better support the fleet.”

From April 2023 through October 2023, SCSTC will collect and analyze data captured from two Baseline 9 (BL 9) Technology Insertion (TI)-16 ships, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Frank E. Petersen, Jr. (DDG 121) and USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123); Regional Maintenance Centers (RMC) in San Diego and Pearl Harbor; and supporting SCSTC shore detachments. To facilitate the delivery of these tools, SCSTC loaded the VMT capability onto separate laptops and provided them to each location for their use.

SCSTC and the manufacturer then provided training at each location to cover system specifications including functionality, operation, use, and data collection. The Train the Trainer (TtT) kick-off session was held with Frank E. Petersen, Jr., Hawaii RMC and SCSTC Detachment Middle Pacific, April 18-20. Separate sessions were held with Southwest RMC, SCSTC Detachment Southwest, and Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee. The training was well received and established the baseline for the execution of the pilot for the next six months.

Why have VMT on board ships?
A knowledge refresher tool for technicians will be the main use of VMT on board ships. The VMT will provide technicians with the opportunity to update themselves on the proper procedures, tools, skills and techniques needed to support preventative maintenance efforts at sea.

“Typically, technicians have a series of infrequent maintenance tasks to perform on their systems,” explained Mr. Christopher Odachowski, SCSTC HQ Help Desk Management Analyst, N9, and Senior Leader of the pilot initiative. “These tasks that support preventative maintenance can be challenging for technicians if they haven’t done them in a long time or have limited experience. VMTs can be used to practice maintenance virtually in a secure environment to update knowledge and build confidence before physically performing the tactical team check. Technicians can also practice complex system repairs prior to execution.”

The secondary use of a shipboard VMT is for combat system training team events.

“VMT can be used in the training environment to simulate the system casualties that ships are currently being trained to deal with during the basic and advanced phase of training,” Odachowski said.

The VMT provides realistic loss control and repair scenarios at a level never seen before on shore. The Combat Systems Training Team (CSTT) can switch from yellow sticky notes and talk about casualty response to the technicians who actually work through the symptoms, execute the associated work packages, and get your ship back into combat.

Execution of pilots on board ships
The VMT hosts software that is a virtualization of the AWS TI-16 technical push hardware set together with a virtualization of SPY-1D(V). Frank E. Petersen, Jr. and Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee were selected for this pilot to maximize applicability as both ships have the TI-16 hardware and an AN/SPY-1D(V) radar with Multiple Mission Signal Processor (MMSP). ). The ships will carry out a six-month trial period comprised of two elements; Free games and specific training events, with 557 ACNT scenarios and 247 Aegis SPY-1D scenarios at your disposal.

“DDG 121 and DDG 123 will utilize the VMT as desired and the system will record usage and document technical proficiency,” explained Lt. Shane Ortiz, shoreline coordinator for SCSTC HQ Training Directorate N7. “During initial loading and training, ships will also identify specific and upcoming infrequent maintenance checks for specific training prior to execution and gather feedback upon completion of maintenance.”

Why have VMT at specific waterfront locations?
Typically, RMC and SCSTC waterfront detachment technicians and instructors have been trained in earlier versions of the ACNT or SPY systems, but do not receive school-specific training on the newer systems for which they will have responsibility. in your area of ​​operation.

“Having a VMT on site, along with initial training on the use and operation of the VMT, will help technicians and instructors expand their knowledge of these newer systems,” explained Mr. Ron Lavold, management analyst at SCSTC HQ’s N9 and secondary leader for the pilot program. “VMT is not just for apprentice level technicians. This pilot will help us with our overall goal of expanding the utilization of VMT at all skill levels.”

Another objective of this pilot is to evaluate VMT as a potential remote support tool in RMCs. The VMT is designed as a distributed training tool, with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and live, real-time student monitoring. These built-in capabilities could potentially be used to support deployed technicians in troubleshooting their systems when downtime is beyond their technical expertise.

Pilot execution in RMC and SCSTC detachments facing the sea
SCSTC and RMCs will create a recommended training plan for technicians assigned to RMC and SCSTC Coastal Detachment maintenance teams to develop and maintain proficiency in BL 9 and SPY-1D(V) with MMSP radar. The RMCs will then execute the recommended training proposals, assess the feasibility of the VMT as a possible remote support tool for the fleet, and provide focused feedback on the usefulness of the VMT in preparation for maintenance actions.

feedback process
SCSTC has created a feedback team that will collect quantitative and qualitative data from VMT users over a six-month period to determine the effectiveness of VMT as a training tool.

“Quantitative data will be collected from VMT files logged on each user profile, bi-weekly usage emails, and a user questionnaire,” said Mr. Eric Hall, SCSTC HQ’s N7 Management Analyst. “Qualitative
data will be collected during focused fleet feedback discussions.”

post pilot
SCSTC will provide a summary of the findings to Navy leadership and recommendations for next steps if VMT capabilities aboard ships and aboard RMCs and support for SCSTC shore detachments prove to be beneficial.

“The launch of this VMT initiative is the result of an incredible amount of teamwork between headquarters and our learning sites and detachments, SCSTC AEGIS Training and Readiness Center, SCSTC Det Middle Pacific, SCSTC Det Southwest; Regional Maintenance Centers; and our industry partners,” said SCSTC Executive Director Mr. Brian Deters. “We are excited and look forward to the results of this important event.”

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