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    Undersea Warfare Center’s Engineering Support for the Fleet Remains Open for Business

    NUWC Keyport Develops Training Video to Overcome Coronavirus Travel Restrictions

    Photo By Nathanael T. Miller | 200409-N-YX169-001 KEYPORT, Wash. (Apr. 9, 2020) – Jason Morris, a member of the...... read more read more



    Story by Nathanael T. Miller 

    Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport

    The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Keyport’s engineering support for the fleet has remained open for business during the Coronavirus pandemic through dedicated teamwork and creative thinking.

    During normal operations, NUWC Keyport sends In-Service Engineering Agents (ISEAs) to ships and facilities in order to conduct system installation certification and crew training. The travel restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic posed a challenge when a ship needed assistance installing a new fathometer.

    Tommy Coughlin, NUWC Keyport’s Fathometer ISEA Team Lead, said the team had to find a way to help a ship in Pearl Harbor complete installation of the AN/UQN-10 fathometer, which is slowly replacing the older AN/UQN-4A fathometer in the fleet. Fathometers are critical to a ship’s ability to safely navigate. A ship with a non-operational or non-certified fathometer cannot get underway without special waivers and severe navigational limitations placed on the ship.

    “The AN/UQN-10 is a new safety-of-ship navigation system,” said Coughlin. “The high importance of the AN/UQN-10 system to the ship, coupled with the low level of experience with it in the fleet, makes our job of testing and training even more critical. Testing, execution and crew training are all vital to a crew’s success as they transition from a major yard period back to a sea-going asset.”

    Coughlin said the effort required close coordination between the Fathometer ISEA team, the NUWC Keyport Pearl Harbor detachment and from the NUWC Keyport Instructional Media Development Group (IMDG).
    “The COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions hindered our ability to travel to support our requirements as originally intended,” said Coughlin. “Fearing an inability to support the ship as required, the Fathometer ISEA and NUWC Keyport chain of command looked for alternate methods to complete our necessary support role.”

    Several teleconferences with NUWC Keyport’s Pearl Harbor detachment at the end of March determined no local personnel in Hawaii had the specific knowledge was available to conduct the required training. Coughlin said this led the teams to consider alternatives that would provide the ship’s Sailors with the needed assistance, and this is where the IMDG entered the picture.

    “The Fathometer ISEA and IMDG personnel met via phone on March 27 to discuss the potential for creating a distance-learning product to support the required crew training,” said Coughlin. “Multiple ideas were exchanged, and both sides left the meeting with a series of items to research to ensure the best product could be produced in such a short time period. In addition, the ISEA confirmed with the ship its schedule requirements, any media restrictions, and the ship’s willingness to participate in this distance-learning project. The ship was a go in all respects.”

    Jason Morris, an IMDG Training Specialist, said the meetings with the Fathometer Team, conducted through teleconferences, enabled the teams to work out the specific needs a training video would have to cover.

    “The Fathometer team identified the need for an instructor to showcase how to use the new equipment and software,” said Morris. “Normally, an instructor would fly out to the ship, but, due to travel restrictions and time, we opted for a video that meets this same requirement. We were able to record the instructor using the equipment and entering the required information on the required software. We then organized the lessons into 11 short training videos we could securely send to the ship. These video segments also have the added benefit of being able to be incorporated into future computer-based training programs.”

    Time was a key challenge overcome by the IMDG when producing the video series.

    “Time was the biggest hurdle for us,” said Morris. “We were faced with a very short timeline to get all of this video edited into a usable training format that Sailors could then watch and learn from. We got all 11 videos produced in only three days.”

    Once the video series was transmitted to the ship, the NUWC Keyport Pearl Harbor detachment personnel conducted system certification testing. The high quality of instruction provided through the training video series earned all the NUWC Keyport teams enthusiastic praise. Morris credits the strong teamwork among the various NUWC Keyport divisions for the favorable results.

    “We all chipped in to help the project,” said Morris. “We immediately began collaboration on the script and story boards, and determined the best way to deliver this training. We had members behind the scenes preparing the equipment, shooting photographs of the equipment for editing purposes, and others getting the templates for the videos ready even before we started filming. It was an all-hands effort for this project.”

    Coughlin also said the smooth cooperation of the three NUWC Keyport teams was the root of the successful project.

    “For the entire event, the high competence of three different NUWC Keyport teams was required to accomplish the task,” said Coughlin. “Even with all of the COVID-19 issues the world is having to deal with, none of it stopped NUWC Keyport from providing the best possible products and support to the fleet. This effort enabled the ship to meet its mission-essential requirements, and has also ensured NUWC Keyport will remain at the forefront of fleet support today and tomorrow.”

    Coughlin and Morris both said they believe this model will become a standard method of providing for fleet needs in the future.

    “I can see this benefit,” said Morris. “It allows for the capture of material by a subject matter expert and delivers quality training in the hands of the Sailors without having to travel to various locations, thus saving the Navy time and a very large amount of travel expenses.”



    Date Taken: 06.01.2020
    Date Posted: 06.01.2020 11:35
    Story ID: 371182
    Location: KEYPORT, WA, US 

    Web Views: 92
    Downloads: 1