High work and operational tempo leave little or no
time to train individual LCS crew members at sea.
“We took off the people that used to do training
between the lifelines, the mentors onboard the ship,”
Joe Shifflett, LCS Training Facility program manager in
San Diego, said during a recent tour. “To do that, we
have to do our training ashore.”
It’s a major departure from the surface fleet’s stan-
dard of training or certifying crew throughout a ship’s
train-deploy life cycle.
“This training is changing the direction the Navy
has historically gone,” said Eric Carr, general manager
for Cubic’s Orlando, Fla., operations.
In the fledgling and still growing LCS community,
each Sailor or officer gets trained and mostly certified
ashore, before reporting to his or her ship. Gone are the
days of inexperienced Sailors learning the skills for their
rate and finding their way through their work spaces
aboard ship through on-the-job training, or OJT.
“LCS ships aren’t being designed to support a signif-
icant amount of OJT,” Carr said. During shore-based
training, crews are “highly immersed in a very realistic
training environment before they go on the ship, and
they’ll be certified once they go on the ship.”
Immersive courseware, along with other shore-
based classroom and hands-on lab training in the new
LCS Training Facility (LTF), provides the “Train-to-
Qualify” (T2Q) and “Train-to-Certify” (T2C) require-
ments the Navy has laid out for the community before
crews deploy. Each phase runs about five weeks. Some
training and qualifications can only be done aboard
ship, so those will not change.
“It is absolutely the future of where training is
going,” Carr said, “primarily because we can do things
in a virtual environment more cost effectively. We can
do things repetitively. You can ensure there’s a standard
of instruction that’s provided to all of the trainees, so
there’s a broader sense of consistency.
“There’s a high degree of assurance that when those
Sailors are released for the fleet, for their final qualifi-
cations before deployment, that they all meet the stan-
dard,” he added.
Officials say proof is in the performance of LCS
crews, who all have prior experience on other ships
but for now are new to LCS. Trained crew members
retain about 90 percent of what they learn during the
“Without having to look through the manual, they
were able to go and fix whatever the maintenance or
[operation] they needed to do, because they would
remember it from this type of training,” said Laura
Chon, a Cubic spokeswoman in San Diego.
The near photo-realistic environment created by
graphic designers lets “the Sailor to, in effect, suspend
disbelief such that he believes, ultimately, he gets
sucked into a shipboard environment,” said John
Freeman, Cubic’s director of strategic programs.
“That’s why, when he goes aboard, the feedback that
we’re getting is that people recognize where they are
and what their roles and responsibilities are.”
Carr said the fleet is interested in using some of the
“beta” lessons so far, “so we’ll get additional feedback
from them on the performance.”
The EPT course alone has 412 lessons under development, the initial set ordered, with delivery early next
year, he said. Other courses include Readiness Control
Officer training course and a “haptics” course for the
Mission Bay Trainer. They will include multi-player,
21 WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / DECEMBER 2015
During a training exercise at the LCS Training Facility (LTF) in San Diego Feb. 2, the junior officer of the deck maintains a forward lookout while the officer of the deck consults the Navigation Plan. The Navy is replacing the existing, 12,000-square-foot
LTF with a larger facility being built in a 148,500-square-foot former logistics warehouse nearby at Naval Base San Diego.