GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Surface Warfare Officers School Unit (SWOSU) Great Lakes hosted its annual Board of Visitors event with a specific focus on material readiness and engineering training, June 5-7.
The SWOS Board of Visitors is a recurring forum designed to review SWOS curricula and ensure training wholeness and effectiveness, and to maintain alignment with the vision of Navy surface warfare leadership.
Cmdr. Terrance Patterson, commanding officer at SWOSU Great Lakes, served as this year's host and coordinator.
"The [Board of Visitors] looks at surface warfare elements each year, material readiness and engineering, maritime warfare, and navigation and seamanship, seeking to substantiate existing training requirements, identify new ones, and shape future community investments in training," Patterson said. "This was the third Material Readiness and Engineering [Board of Visitors] event since Vice Adm. Richard Brown, commander, Naval Surface Force, United States Pacific Fleet, started this extremely important initiative when he was SWOS Newport commanding officer."
The three-day Board of Visitors process began with the meeting of an advisory group. The group met for two days and is comprised of the SWOS directors as well as representatives from the Navy Operations (OPNAV) staff, the surface type commanders, Naval Sea Systems Command, and a number of community stakeholders.
Key topics for discussion included journeyman electrical maintenance training, machinist mate's auxiliary system technician pipeline, LCS engineering systems maintenance training, along with various community issues.
"Board of Visitors is a critical opportunity for us to collect fleet concerns in a particular focus area." Capt. Scott Robertson, commanding officer of SWOS. "Knowing where the training gaps and shortfall in the fleet exist is essential for making the necessary changes to training or acquire the needed resources to instill professional confidence in our Sailors on ships."
Day three began with a brief of the advisory group's findings to the principals group, which included: commander, Naval Surface Force, United States Pacific Fleet; directors of surface warfare (N96) and OPNAV (N13); Program Executive Office Ships; Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center; and commanders' SWOS and Center for Surface Combat Systems.
Vice Adm. Richard Brown chaired this year's Board of Visitors.
"The training continuum has never been as robust as it is today." Brown said. "From the creation of Basic Division Officer's Course and Navigator Course in 2012, Advanced Division Officer Course in 2014, Auxiliary Officers Course, Electrical Officer Course, Quartermaster Training Continuum, Assistant Navigator School and the Surface Enlisted Engineering Training, we are giving the right training at the right time. It important to meet with all the stakeholders to review fleet input and ensure our training continuum is improving and we are providing our fleet with the best Sailors and officers."
After extensive discussion of the advisory group's findings, the principals group achieves consensus on the action items for follow-up. These actions may prompt immediate changes to existing training or may initiate policy and programmatic actions to shape future training budgets. In sum, the Board of Visitors helps to align the surface community investment strategy for training.
For more news from Training Support Center, Great Lakes, visit www.navy.mil/local/tscgl/.