engine. You can see how beneficial that would be to
where even if you had a fully operational gas turbine
how unrealistic it would be to get down into the small-
est of components each and every class.”
But are there cases where you cannot replace hands-on
training? Actually, probably not, Pearson said, at least
from a standpoint of whether it is possible.
“My initial thought is no, as long as the technology
is keeping up with the educational instruction, and the
particular component,” he said. “For some of the
things, like the smaller courses, the really brief courses,
maybe it’s not cost beneficial to invest in software ver-
sus keeping antiquated stuff. Our policy is we’re trying
to phase out all the old, and the more stuff we can move
to the virtual environment, the better.”
Pearson compared his own experience going through
school in 1986 with what he sees today when it comes to
training. Back then, it was just a chalkboard and some
erasers, but today, a new littoral combat ship engineering
plant technician can walk through a virtual ship environ-
ment, allowing that Sailor to be qualified to operate on
board the ship before ever stepping onto it.
“They’ve seen every single space,” Pearson said.
Roland Yardley, who is a senior defense research
analyst specializing in training-related issues for
RAND Corp., told Seapower simulators and 3D model-
ing software can be extremely useful for crews when
they are in port. This kind of software can “get folks
qualified in port, and do the fine tuning of the engi-
neering ops with a coordinated watch team doing that
underway,” he said. “How can we get the crew up to
speed in port by the use of simulators?”
During times of in-port maintenance or moderniza-
tion, it is a great opportunity to do some crew training,
He said that he did some research a few years ago to
focus on the adoption of these technologies, and there
may be a little bit of time yet before they fully take
over, even though they already have come a long way.
But his work indicated that there is a lot of value to
having these simulators near the ships and ready for
Sailors to use.
“I think in some respects our work points out that
we thought that the simulators needed to be closer to
the waterfront where the ships are located,” he said.
Are there any instances where it might be tough for
simulators to adequately do the job? Perhaps, Yardley
said — the coordination with the watch team is something that would be difficult to duplicate with some
sort of software program.
“You need to have the engineering plant lit off and
involve all the members of the watch team,” he said,
“while simulators can be used extensively to train the
central control system. The coordination with the
watch team in the main engineering spaces, you really
can’t simulate that very well.” ;
27 WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / DECEMBER 2015
Sailors train on a new diesel generator simulator during a project review at Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division
in Orlando, Fla., in August 2014. The simulator, which uses high-fidelity 3D software, was recently installed at Pearl Harbor
naval facilities in Hawaii by the TechSolutions office at the Office of Naval Research.