GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Mr. Kirk Harris, Special Assistant, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense with direct assignment to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Education and Training, visited Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes and Learning Sites (LS) May 14.
The purpose of the visit was to demonstrate the training used at TSC and LS that provide 24-hour supervision, leadership, training, mentorship of Sailors and how that training can be tracked and used once Sailors transition back to civilian life.
"One of the projects at the Office of the Secretary of Defense is how to document the complete life cycle of a service member as it pertains to credentials and apprentice programs from the beginning of a Sailor's career to when they transition from military to civilian life," Harris said. "We want to install a housing group to capture the very early stages of a Sailors career, because they will be a veteran at some point. For example, if you are an aircraft mechanic and you want to get an Airframe and Power plant license a Sailor would have to have all their hours logged during their time in the Navy so that they can use that time in earning a license."
Harris began the day meeting with TSC's command leadership followed by a tour of the student indoctrination's Life Skills training. Sailors arriving from boot camp attend the training before any rate-specific courses. Subjects taught in the course cover sexual assault intervention, military pay and entitlements, healthy relationships, navigating stress, operations security, banking and financial management service, and responsible alcohol use.
"During today's visit to TSC by Mr. Harris, we wanted to demonstrate how we conduct training and develop today's Sailors," said Capt. Mark Meskimen, commanding officer of TSC Great Lakes. "Visits like this one today are crucial to the Navy's overall mission. They provides us the opportunity to showcase the premier training that we provide to these Sailors, preparing them personally and professionally for their next assignment at sea, and throughout their career both in and outside of the Navy."
At Surface Warfare Officers School Unit (SWOSU) Great Lakes, command leadership led a tour of the training facilities of Basic Engineering Common Core (BECC).
BECC is a 13-day course where students learn engineering principals and theory. It balances Computer Based Training (CBT) with hands-on labs and instructor-led classroom training. They also visited the Shift, Inspect, Clean, Lube oil Strainers Lab, Purifier Lab and LPD 17 Maintainer Course, where students gain knowledge and skills to maintain engineering control systems in the fleet.
The tour also included a stop at the Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit (CSCSU) Great Lakes, where Harris observed the Fire Arms Training Simulator, Electronics Technician/Fire Controlman 'A' school T1 RADAR partial task trainer, and Boatswain's Mate 'A' School.
"What I saw today was really neat," Harris said. "Everything on the tour today is very useful in giving us better understanding and ideas in continuing our project at the Office of the Secretary of Defense. I was impressed with the virtual reality CBTs used to teach engineman prior to actually touching the engine. This gives Sailors better training and confidence in what they do moving forward."
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