Navy Shiphandling Simulator Training Expanded

January marked the one-year anniversary of shiphandling training courses at Newport, R.I., for PCO/ PXO's and department heads attending the Surface Warfare Officers School. Over 850 naval officers have attended either the 20- or the 40-hour course at the simulator complex. Over 20,000 hours of atsea experience ashore!

Throughout the past year over a dozen flag officers have witnessed demos of the training underway.

Among the comments registered by them in the visitors log are: "Best trainer in the Surface Navy." "Wish we had this facility when I was a junior officer." The shiphandling courses are designed to provide the officers with an opportunity to practice and sharpen their "seamen's eye" without risk to their ship or crew. The training facility operated under Navy contract by MarineSafety International Inc. utilizes four ship simulators including a unique bridge wing simulator for docking and close-up shiphandling exercises.

Whenever possible officers receive training on the type of ship to which they will be assigned. Currently, the handling characteristics of the following ship types are simulated: FFG-7, DD-963, FF-1052, AFS, LST, AOR, AO-177 ARS-50, DDG-2 and MCM. MarineSafety plans to make additional ship types and operational areas available this year.

In addition to increasing the types of ships and geographic areas available, the shiphandling training will be available to non-pipeline personnel from the Fleet, reserve officers and entire ships navigation teams. Also, surface shiphandling training for submarine officers will be offered.

Each simulator exercise requires a number of computer data bases that produce the visual scene, ship response characteristics, radar display, and depth, bank and current effects. All of the data bases in use at Newport can eventually be used to bring hands-on training to deck officers at Fleet bases while their ships are in port.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 41,  Feb 1988

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.