comms, tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs),
and give them a better understanding of what we do
and why we do it,” Sullivan said.
“We’re transiting together as a package,” Lindstrom
added. “So we need to train together.”
gy. And, she said, the Coast Guard and Navy have
saved a lot of money in training that would otherwise
have to be conducted underway on the water.
To qualify, PATCOM candidates must perform a certain
number of hours in the simulator, and part of their
qualification board is conducted in the simulator,
where they have to demonstrate the proper TTPs. Lt.
Cmdr. Joyce Dietrich-Holm, operations officer at
MFPU Kings Bay, said the PATCOM role is usually performed by an officer or chief petty officer.
Coxswains and boat crew still have to qualify on the
water but also participate in the simulator training, she
Dietrich-Holm said the simulator provides a “
no-risk” training environment.
“They can face different types of opposing forces,
work around commercial and recreational vessel traffic, and practice different tactics that would be difficult
or virtually impossible to do on the water,” she said.
“It’s a remarkable system. It has 14 stations. If one of
the Coast Guard vessels impacts an opposing force vessel, we all see the collision.
“Using the simulator, we’re able to bring in the var-
ious stakeholders in submarine transit security, includ-
ing Coast Guard Command Center watch standers,
submarine commanders, and program managers from
CG Headquarters, Atlantic Area
and District, as well as inter-agency
players to observe and participate
in the training evolutions together.
Our partners and members of the
team are given front-row seats to
extremely complex evolutions and
can develop a more in-depth
understanding of how the PAT-
COM handles each scenario.”
The simulators are kept busy,
with training conducted several
times a week. And, Dietrich-Holm
said, the support team is constant-
ly performing upgrades to the sys-
tem, adding increased capability
and new scenarios.
“I was impressed the first time I
saw it in operation, and now it’s
even better,” she said.
Dietrich-Holm said the Coast
Guard’s adoption of COVE for
MFPU training is an excellent
example of reuse of the technolo-
Kilsgaard said there have been improvements made to
COVE software based on the Coast Guard experience
that will be applied retroactively to the Navy’s simulators at SWOS.
“The Coast Guard benefited from the Navy’s investment, and the surface navy is also benefiting from the
Coast Guard. It’s a two-way street,” he said.
Freeman said that SWOS and the MFPUs have been
a good “laboratory” to try out the science and technology. But, he said, the challenge is to bridge the gap from
when the science and technology objectives are met
and prototype capability is created, and when a fully
supported training system is available that can train
students all day long, or have additional functions or
support different classes of ships.
“We need a transition plan established at the outset
so SWOS isn’t left with a great compelling prototype
but nobody to carry it forward to production,” he said.
“Intelligent Aggressor and Intelligent Tutor are a
couple of great programs that started out as pure [sci-ence and technology] efforts, and are now additional
functional capabilities of a ship handling simulation
system,” Freeman said. “SWOS is trying to get them
transitioned into production.” ■
A Coast Guard 64-foot Special Purpose Craft-Screening Vessel from Maritime
Force Protection Unit (MFPU) Kings Bay, Ga., responds to a simulated threat
during exercise Resolute Guardian 2012 Sept. 25. The Coast Guard has
adapted conning officer virtual environment simulation technology to the
immersive environment of MFPU units that escort ballistic-missile submarines
in and out of port at naval bases in Kings Bay and Bangor, Wash.