In the old Navy, Sailors charged with maintaining the ships would have to deal with scaled mockups and chalkboards. Navy training looks a lot different in 2015. Now, if you want to take apart a valve on
a ship, you can do it on a computer in a classroom.
CDR David Pearson, director of fleet enlisted engineering training, said in an interview that virtual training is prevalent in Navy classrooms for surface warfare
officers. Dozens of courses are offered throughout the
fleet on a range of different maintenance processes,
and many of them now are taking advantage of the
simulation and 3D modeling available today.
One of the newer courses is the valve maintenance
course, and it is a good example of how much has changed
when it comes to training maintainers today. This course
makes heavy use of 3D simulation software, and it is one
of the first to be placed online. While it is a short course,
it also is a lean course, meaning Sailors can be trained in a
much shorter amount of time than usual, Pearson said.
“They can go through and do a complete disassembly
of two or three or four different valve types they’re going
to encounter aboard ship in a far shorter time than they’d
be able to do traditionally in the past with just one valve,”
he said. “With the 3D software, they can do the whole
gamut of valves and do assembly and
reassembly, as well as the mainte-
nance they’d actually do on ship once
they go back. And then we kind of
blend that with actual hands on.
They’ll go through the initial phases
of curriculum and we’ll kind of run
them through that process. Then, say,
in the afternoon, they actually get to
put hands on those same valves they
learned about in the software.”
Having a 3D software environ-
ment readily on hand allows Sailors
to practice procedures they will be
asked to do while on board ship,
and do it in a virtual environment.
Then, when it comes time to do it in the main lab, they
use the same materials and tools that they would if it
were a real-time situation.
The benefits are huge. Not only does this make the
Sailor better trained and prepared, it also saves time,
money and resourcing.
“We’re able to have a much larger throughput,”
Pearson said. “The analysis has determined it’s 40 per-
cent more efficient, and obviously there’s a lower cost
to resourcing agencies, whether that be the Navy or
some of our partners.”
Technology has improved by leaps and bounds, not just
in the past two or three decades, but from even 10 years
ago. Today, a lot of training is virtual compared with just
the early to mid-2000s. About 60 to 70 percent of the
training for the valve course is simulation versus hands on,
and for some courses in the coming years on things like
the diesel and gas turbine or the osmosis distilling plant,
Pearson said he expects it to be about the same percentage.
“What that does is also drive down costs for technical training equipment,” he said. “The actual hot
plants of old, we can virtually take an entire engine
apart and show them from the first bolt that holds
them to the mount as well as every single piece of the
21st Century Training
3D modeling and simulation has made maintenance training
a lot more thorough — and efficient — for today’s Sailors
By DANIEL P. TAYLOR, Special Correspondent
Virtual Ship Environment
Having a 3D software environment readily on hand allows Sailors
to practice maintenance procedures they will be asked to do
while on board ship, and do it in a virtual environment.
; One of the newer courses available focuses on valve maintenance.
; When it comes time for hands-on coursework, Sailors use the
same materials and tools that they would if it were a real shipboard situation.
; This makes Sailors better trained and prepared, and it saves
time, money and resourcing.