SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Patrick Henry High School engineering and science students toured Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) North Island learning sites Nov. 9 as part of an ongoing partnership between CNATTU North Island and San Diego County Schools.
Cmdr. Ken Sanchez, CNATTU North Island commanding officer, said the day-long tour serves to familiarize attendees with specific Navy jobs and continues to foster the outstanding relationship the command enjoys with the community.
"We're always looking to further our connections with schools and recruiting commands," said Sanchez. "These connections are often the key to finding the best and brightest next generation of Sailors, and educator orientation visits provide educators and school administrators a first-hand look at Navy life to better inform them about the opportunities a career in the Navy has for their students."
Along with the students, Joe Sklenicka, an education professional from West Hills High School in Santee, California, and Erin Abram, Navy Recruiting District San Diego education service specialist toured the facility.
"Our main goal is to provide Navy awareness to the educator communities that are located within our recruiting district to help them understand the benefits of students exploring careers in the Navy, or any armed service branch," said Abram. "It opens their eyes to what is available in career and education paths."
The tour began at the Fire Scout school house where the group observed a class conducting hands-on training on the vertical takeoff and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicle. Other stops included watching aviation ordnancemen conducting load training on an MH-60 Sierra helicopter training aid; H-60 intermediate level schoolhouse where they received information on aircraft engine maintenance; and at the aviation boatswain's mate schoolhouse, where instructors provided a brief on carrier catapult systems.
Sklenicka said the tour served as an eye-opening experience for him, something he can take back and share with students and administrators.
"I think that this tour is a terrific opportunity to expose high school engineering students to the real life applications of lessons they are learning in the classroom," said Sklenicka. "This has been a very impressive process to go through, and I recommend it to any other educator who has the chance to take part in a visit. The information I will be able to provide to my students will be invaluable."
"We hope to conduct many future tours with educators and students," said Abram. "With tours such as this, educators are able to see where their students joining the Navy will be going immediately after high school graduation, and students are able to see how what they're learning in the classroom can be used in the Navy."
CNATTU North Island is a training unit of CNATT located at Naval Air Station Pensacola. CNATT develops, delivers and supports aviation technical training at 28 sites located throughout the continental United States and Japan.
CNATT is a technical training agent for the Naval Aviation Enterprise, an organization designed to advance and sustain naval aviation warfighting capabilities at an affordable cost and is the largest training center under Naval Education and Training Command (NETC).
NETC is the largest shore command in the Navy and is comprised of more than 12,000 military and staff personnel at more than 230 subordinate activities and detachments in the United States and at remote sites overseas. NETC provides training and education to more than 31,000 students on any given day.
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For more news from Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnatt/.