Navy Puts Training at the Forefront of Modernization (2023)

12/30/2021
By Mikayla Easley

Navy Puts Training at the Forefront of Modernization (1) A sailor tracks platforms using an amphibious assault direction system during a large-scale exercise.

Navy photo

ORLANDO, Fla. — Navy leaders are pushing for new training initiatives and technologies that match the pace of the service’s modernization efforts, expressing concern that current platforms aren’t preparing sailors well enough for the future fight.

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With the Defense Department’s shift to strategic competition with China, the Navy is trying to keep up with U.S. adversaries, including a renewed focus on maritime dominance and investment in new capabilities. As sailors face new challenges, they need more relevant training and information to effectively do their jobs, said Rear Adm. Peter Garvin, commander of Naval Education and Training Command.

“To continue our advantage in the maritime environment and maintain our organic capability to operate and repair complex equipment at sea, we must provide our sailors with the tools and resources required to enable and enhance skills and proficiency … at the point of need,” Garvin said during a panel at the National Training and Simulation Association’s annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando, Florida. NTSA is an affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association.

Garvin said this goal hinges on training systems that are more responsive and can be easily upgraded, “so that we don’t shove it all in [sailors’] craniums at the beginning of their career hoping that they remember it by the time they actually need that knowledge.”

Since taking the helm in 2019, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday has made training one of his top priorities, he noted during remarks at the conference. In his 2021 Navigation Plan to the Fleet, Gilday included training efforts as key components for both developing a dominant naval force and achieving readiness. The Navy is funding new platforms and improving the sea service’s training exercises for the modern battlefield, he said.

However, he pointed to areas where training initiatives and technologies have room for improvement.

First, he said the service needs a “continuous feedback loop” that allows sailors to give real-time input to industry as it develops capabilities.

This would make the Navy’s training more relevant, he said.

In addition, future training systems have to be as realistic as possible and able to accurately replicate aspects “of not only our forces but of potential adversaries,” Gilday said.

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He also pointed to technology that can track an individual sailor’s training performance and progress as an important tool.

During training for explosive ordnance disposal, for example, Gilday said the Navy is using a virtual environment that evaluates a sailor’s mental and physical states. This kind of technology could be leveraged better in Navy training to understand and track where an individual sailor may excel or fall behind in certain skills, he said, comparing the capability to having a “baseball card” of data for every service member.

“What we’re really after is warfighting proficiency,” Gilday said. At the individual level, leaders need to know “not only what we’re good at but what we’re deficient at, and then to focus on those deficiencies in a way to raise the bar for individuals and then collectively across the team,” he said.

Also connected to improving individual readiness is the “absolutely essential” capability to record and track data from training sessions, Gilday noted.

The Navy is trying to make parts of its training more personalized for sailors. The service is currently piloting a customized, adaptive learning platform called “My Navy Learning” that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to recommend objectives, track progress, manage training pace, and more, according to a news release. It is aiming for initial operational capability by the end of fiscal year 2022.

The service also revamped pilot training in 2020 with Naval Aviation Training Next-Project Avenger. The program combines both virtual- and mixed-reality training with flying time in the T-6B Texan II turboprop aircraft using a syllabus that allows students to move through the program at individualized paces, said Rear Adm. Robert Westendorff, chief of Naval Air Training.

“It’s all about producing a higher competency aviator to win that next conflict,” Westendorff said during a panel discussion at I/ITSEC. The program’s self-paced design can help reduce training times for pilots with previous aviation experience or a natural aptitude for learning, while giving others who may need more practice additional time to hone their skills, he added.

Additionally, the Navy is leaning into simulator-based technology like live-virtual-constructive to improve fleet readiness. LVC training uses virtual reality and computer-generated elements to link live platforms with manned simulators.

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Gilday said the Navy “upped the ante” in August when the service completed a global large-scale exercise with the Marine Corps that included three naval component commands and five numbered fleets positioned across 17 time zones. To accomplish this, the Navy used an LVC training environment to evaluate modern warfare concepts, including distributed maritime operations, expeditionary advanced base operations and littoral operations in a contested environment. The exercise was facilitated by the Navy Continuous Training Environment’s networks, simulations, simulation routing equipment, data translation devices and live training range systems.

“What capabilities like [LVC] has allowed us to do at scale is to test ourselves, to mature our fighting concepts, to hone our skills, to sharpen those skills, to learn from them,” Gilday said. “That also informs not only what we’re going to fight with, but also how we’re going to train and what we’re going to train with.”

Rear Adm. John Meier, commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, emphasized the potential for virtual training. To reduce readiness costs, pilots should spend more time in simulators before getting into the cockpit of a real aircraft, he said during the conference.

As an example of how leveraging more virtual training could improve readiness and warfighter capabilities, Meier cited the Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 11 currently equipped with the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet and assigned to Carrier Air Wing One at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia. After training at Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada with other squadrons, leaders realized the unit had a kill ratio two-and-a-half times greater than any other unit.

“What we found in that, pure and simple, was the commanding officer and the training officer … really focused on utilizing the simulators to the maximum extent possible,” Meier said. “We’re talking about a high-end training event, high-end tactics overseen by a training officer.”

Meanwhile, as the Navy continues to prepare for a more complex, all-domain battlefield, it should also prioritize developing virtual environments for information warfare and satellite communication exercises, said Rear Adm. Susan BryerJoyner, director of the Navy’s cybersecurity division.

In 2022, the service will begin introducing information warfare capabilities into the Navy Continuous Training Environment, BryerJoyner said. It is also developing an information warfare certification exercise it will begin piloting to ensure “we understand how to operate together as a team in order to improve our warfighting lethality,” she added.

“I have communicators that don’t know how to switch from satellite to satellite because we do it exactly once, maybe twice, per deployment and we hold our breaths until the last possible moment because we want to reduce the impact to the warfighter and their ability to do assured [command and control],” BryerJoyner said during I/ITSEC. “That may work when we have the luxury of time. It does not work when we have to switch … quickly and minimize disruptions to communications.”

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BryerJoyner also warned that training needs to be integrated service-wide — an impossible feat without system interoperability. She asked industry to help the Navy figure out the best way for its simulated training environments to talk to one another, stressing the importance of doing so easily and swiftly.

“If we do not include data interoperability as part of that transition, we’ve probably missed something,” she said.

Because of the pace at which technology is evolving, Navy leaders are promoting less traditional acquisition paths to industry. During his remarks at I/ITSEC, Gilday invited smaller companies to explore NavalX and the service’s Tech Bridges across the country as an entryway into the acquisition system. Launched in 2019, the endeavor aims to boost collaboration between Naval labs, industry, academia and other military branches in order to accelerate technology innovation.

NavalX can also help industry and government identify the best acquisition path to accelerate capability development. For example, other transaction authority agreements, also known as OTAs, allow the government and industry to bypass many of the rules designated under the Federal Acquisition Regulation. They can get prototypes into warfighter hands faster, said Hallie Balkin, the learning director for other transactions at the Defense Acquisition University, during a panel discussion at I/ITSEC.

“The way the system is built right now … it’s not sufficient. We are not keeping up with our adversaries,” she said. “But that OTA can be a way that can at least alleviate some of the burdens and pitfalls you have because of this.”

However, NavalX Director Capt. Ben Van Buskirk acknowledged that prioritizing time for training with rapid acquisition paths can be a “big problem.”

“As we’re moving through this development across the pipeline of prototyping, at some point you need to take training into consideration,” he said.

Despite acknowledging NavalX hasn’t reached its full potential, Gilday said the Navy likely won’t be able to develop modern capabilities jointly with industry “unless we have an easy entryway.”

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Topics: Training and Simulation, Navy News

FAQs

What is the purpose of Navy training? ›

The goal of this training is to transform you from a civilian into a Sailor with all of the skills necessary to perform in the fleet. Your training will include physical fitness, seamanship, firearms, firefighting and shipboard damage control, and lessons in our heritage and core values, teamwork, and discipline.

What is Navy continuous training environment? ›

NCTE enables sailors to experience an integrated and secure training environment that can generate a variety of situations that might not be available in a live exercise but should be expected at sea, including scenarios with multiple ships and aircraft, according to Gieri.

What is training in the Navy called? ›

Enlisted recruits head off to Boot Camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center north of Chicago, Illinois, near the western shore of Lake Michigan. While it's called Boot Camp, it's really a huge campus that includes both classroom and lots of hands-on training. The training is rigorous and demanding.

How hard is Navy basic training? ›

U.S. Navy basic training is an intense, eight-week program where recruits endure physical training and must develop emotional endurance. Also, recruits attend classes where they engage with relevant coursework and also receive practical training that allows hands-on experience and prepares them for real-life scenarios.

What are the 2 types of continuous training? ›

In humans, two approaches are frequently used for aerobic training, continuous training and interval training. The continuous training approach includes Uniform Continuous (UC), Varying Continuous (VC) and Progressive Continuous (PC) modalities.

What is a Navy training system plan? ›

Navy Training Plans NTPs are designed to provide for the manpower, personnel, and training planning requirements generally associated with the fleet introduction of new or modified ships, aircraft, weapon systems, and their associated subsystems.

What is the training period of Navy? ›

What is the period of Indian Navy training? The initial training period is 22 weeks for NOC (regular) and 44 weeks for NOC (advanced). After completing your initial training, you are required to undergo specialized training in your respective branches at various training institutions of the Indian Navy.

Which branch has the hardest training? ›

To recap: The hardest military branch to get into in terms of education requirements is the Air Force. The military branch with the toughest basic training is the Marine Corps.

What does the Navy call their soldiers? ›

Members of the U.S. Army and National Guard are soldiers. Members of the Air Force are airmen. Members of the Navy are sailors.

What is a Navy sailor called? ›

1. Squid. Source: Wikia.com. A term used in the old Navy (not the store), Squid is what other branches. (especially Marines) generally called sailors.

What is the failure rate of Navy boot camp? ›

The Navy, Army, and Marines have recruits drop out at roughly the same rate as each other, between 11 and 14 percent annually. Contrary to what many think, the goal of officers in basic training isn't just to push recruits to drop out.

What percentage of recruits fail Navy boot camp? ›

​Yes, it is possible to fail basic training. You could go through the trouble of leaving your home, job, family and friends and come back a failure. In fact, this happens to about 15% of recruits who join the military every year. Too many recruits I speak to think that it is impossible to fail basic training.

How much sleep do you get in Navy basic training? ›

During training exercises, service members may sleep fewer than five hours per night. Typically, that five hours is split up into multiple episodes of sleep, usually lasting less than two hours each.

What is the 4 main training types? ›

Types of Training – 4 Usual Types: Induction Training, Job Training, Training for Promotion and Refresher Process. Training is the systematic process of enhancing the job related skills, attitude and knowledge of personnel. It enables employees to develop and rise within the organisation, increase their market value.

What are the 8 methods of training? ›

What are the different types of training methods?
  • Technology-based learning.
  • Simulators.
  • On-the-job training.
  • Coaching/mentoring.
  • Instructor-led training.
  • Roleplaying.
  • Films and videos.
  • Case studies.

What is a 2 for 7 commitment in the Navy? ›

The term “2 for 7” indicates their decision, after two years of academy training, to devote the next seven years to the Navy or Marine Corps. The "2 for 7" signing for the rest of the class takes place in August after reform.

What are the 4 core attributes of the Navy? ›

Our Core Attributes

The four core attributes of initiative, accountability, integrity and toughness serve as guiding criteria for our decisions and actions.

What is Navy full speed ahead training? ›

As in previous courses, FSA 3.0 encourages Sailors to adopt and demonstrate the Navy Core Values, Navy Ethos, Core Attributes, and Signature Behaviors. Through guided discussions, Sailors are encouraged to think critically about their personal understanding of—and contribution to—the Navy's CoE.

What is minimum time in Navy? ›

Enlisted positions typically require an initial service commitment of four years, but positions involving longer-term training may involve five- or six-year obligations.

Is phone allowed in Navy training? ›

Trainees are not permitted to keep mobile phone at the Academy and deposit their mobile phones on arrival for safe keeping.

How much does the Navy pay during training? ›

How much does a Navy Training make? As of Nov 19, 2022, the average annual pay for a Navy Training in the United States is $76,837 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $36.94 an hour.

What is the purpose of training in military? ›

Basic Training — often called boot camp — prepares recruits for all elements of service: physical, mental and emotional. It gives service members the basic tools necessary to perform the roles that will be assigned to them for the duration of their tour.

What is the main responsibility of the Navy? ›

The navy's military role is characterised by threat or use of force at and / or from the sea. This includes application of maritime power in both - offensive operations against enemy forces, territory and trade, and defensive operations to protect own forces, territory and trade.

Why is the Navy so important? ›

The United States is a maritime nation, and the U.S. Navy protects America at sea. Alongside our allies and partners, we defend freedom, preserve economic prosperity, and keep the seas open and free.

Why is training in the military important? ›

Ultimately, the goal of military training is to ensure that when the nation goes to war or engages in conflicts or military operations short of war, the armed forces of the United States will be able to accomplish strategic, operational, and tactical objectives.

What do you call a soldier in training? ›

Meet Your Drill Sergeant

Your first introduction to the Army experience will come from your Drill Sergeants. The drill sergeant is a symbol of discipline and excellence, and he or she will spend the next ten weeks transforming you into a Soldier capable of defending your country and upholding freedom.

What are the 4 principles of training Army? ›

- The Army's Principles of Training are reduced from ten to four principles: Train as you fight; Train to standard; Train to sustain; and Train to maintain. - The rest of the Army's training management concepts and procedures remain the same and are reflective of FM 7-0.

How long is Navy Basic? ›

In total, Navy basic training lasts for eight weeks. The first week is mainly processing, so it's nothing too physically intense. There is also one extra week at the end in which you'll mainly be preparing for graduation.

What is the highest role in the Navy? ›

Admiral

They are four-star flag officers in the U.S. Navy and is the highest rank attainable.

What are 4 benefits of joining the Navy? ›

Work/Job benefits:
  • 30 days annual paid vacation (Military Leave: what it is and how it works)
  • A guaranteed paycheck and Cash Bonuses.
  • Options for full-or part-time service.
  • Low Cost Life Insurance (Service Member's Group Life Insurance)
  • Health and Dental Care through Tricare.

What qualities should a Navy officer have? ›

You also need to be able to: motivate. make decisions. lead by example.
...
Skills and qualities
  • a responsible attitude.
  • leadership skills.
  • communication skills.
  • stamina and endurance.
  • physical fitness.

What are 3 facts about Navy? ›

13 Amazing Facts About The U.S. Navy
  • Navy SEALs have trained their brains to process fear differently. ...
  • All submariners are volunteers. ...
  • There are a lot of brave men and women fighting for the U.S. ...
  • The largest flying boat in existence was built for the Navy. ...
  • There are 140 NCIS locations scattered around the world.

What do you call a person who is in the Navy? ›

Members of the U.S. Army and National Guard are soldiers. Members of the Air Force are airmen. Members of the Navy are sailors.

What is unique about the Navy? ›

The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world

Our navy also maintains an impressive fleet, with 288 battle force ships, 10 aircraft carriers, nine amphibious assault ships, 22 cruisers, 62 destroyers, 17 frigates, 72 submarines and 3,700 aircraft.

Does the military mature you? ›

Military service can result in personal growth and positive emotional experiences, such as: Enhanced maturity. Self-improvement.

Why is training more important? ›

Training gives everyone a great understanding of their responsibilities and the knowledge and skills they need to do that job. This will enhance their confidence which can also improve their overall performance.

What is importance of training? ›

Training is important because it represents a good opportunity for employees to grow their knowledge base and improve their job skills to become more effective in the workplace. Despite the cost of training for employees, the return on investment is immense if it is consistent.

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