Coast Guard leverages Navy’s investment in science and technology
to deliver realistic simulator training on multiple ship types
By EDWARD LUNDQUIST, Special Correspondent
The U.S. Navy’s ship-handling simulation technology is being
adapted to train members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
■ Experimental systems become prototypes, transition to acquisition.
■ Instant replay allows instructors to critique student performance.
■ Coast Guard Maritime Force Protection Units employ on-site
The U.S. Navy’s efforts to develop ship- handling simulation to provide realistic train- ing in vessel operation, management, tactics
and other disciplines are paying dividends across the
service, and beyond. The investment also is being
leveraged to support the U.S. Coast Guard.
“We are building and fielding today’s technology
from a development and acquisition standpoint; and
we help broker science and technology and research
and development for developing and fielding tomorrow’s technology,” said John Freeman, director of surface programs at the Naval Air Warfare Center Training
Systems Division (NAWCTSD) in Orlando, Fla., which
provides continuing learning products for aviation,
undersea and surface applications.
“We work with the Office of Naval Research [ONR],
and help ‘transition’ programs to acquisition,” such as the
Conning Officer Virtual Environment (COVE) trainer.
According to Cmdr. Kevin Jones at the Coast Guard
Training Center at Yorktown, Va., the decision to eliminate the Quartermaster rating has meant that Boatswain’s
Mates (BMs) now require training in bridge operations.
“We offer a three-week senior bridge management
course. With BMs running the bridge now, they need
that experience. We use a full mission bridge trainer
(FMBT), which can be configured for different classes of
cutters,” Jones said. “It runs on the same CSC Virtual
Ship software as the SWOS [Surface
Warfare Officers School] trainers.”
“We have built high-end technol-
ogy on COTS [commercial, off-the-
shelf] hardware,” Freeman said. “The
The Coast Guard also maintains a FMBT at the train-
ing center in Petaluma, Calif., for training bridge teams
for the new Legend-class National Security Cutters.
SWOS full mission bridge is more
than just a bunch of computers and
displays all racked and stacked in a
certain physical configuration. The
real investment is in the software. It’s
relatively easy to replicate from a
hardware perspective, and if you own
the rights to the software, or have a
cost-effective license agreement, then you can just replicate the software onto the COTS hardware. If you do it
right, the economies of scale can really pay off for you.”
Coast Guard COVE
“We’ve also helped adapt the COVE simulation technology to the immersive environment of the Coast
Guard units that escort ballistic-missile submarines in
and out of port at Bangor [Wash.] and Kings Bay
[Ga.],” said Freeman.
The Coast Guard training is conducted on site, said
Scott Burlingame, a program manager at NAWCTSD.
“We were able to replicate that with some fairly
minor modifications to the core COVE software baseline. They have simulated environments for both
bases, and can run scenarios with multiple platforms
in a coordinated, integrated fashion. There are a lot of
protocol and tactics associated with how they set up
their security perimeters,” he said.