LONDON (NNS) -- Since its inception, Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) has emerged as the "one-stop shop" for Navy training and career management.
More than 90,000 Sailors and Marines have registered and collectively downloaded more than 330,000 documents.
The Web site is designed to provide the expertise and opportunities required to support professional and personal development through each phase of a Sailor's career.
In a recent message to Sailors in Europe, Adm. Gregory G. Johnson, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, pledged his support for the program. "I cannot overemphasize the importance of the NKO Web portal to our Navy."
According to Pamala Bridges, the Naval Personnel Development Command's (NPDC) regional training authority in Europe, NKO came about as a result of the Navy's efforts to create a "Revolution In Training," emphasizing practical application and compatibility with the civilian sector.
As the Chief of Naval Operations stated his training objectives in Achieving Sea Power 21, the Chief of Naval Education and Training completed its Executive Review of Naval Training (ERNT).
This resulted in the establishment of Task Force Excel. Bridges said the review looked at how the Navy conducted training, and compared it to how private industry trained its employees.
"Task Force Excel created a pilot program to develop partnerships between Navy ratings and their civilian counterparts. This enabled the Navy to create equivalent training programs in various career fields," said Bridges.
ERNT made several recommendations, including that a central organization be established and co-located with the fleet (NPDC), and creation of NKO, a portal dedicated to naval education and training.
With its creation, NKO represents the single source for career tracking. NKO features the 5 Vector Model (5VM) that, together with Navy Personnel Command's Career Management System, serves as Sailors' primary tool for career management.
Through the 5VM, Sailors are able to determine their professional status, pinpoint career milestones and identify skill requirements in the fleet.
Bridges said the long-range plan of 5VM is that it will be the only way for Sailors to manage their careers. And it will be the detailers' resource to see where a Sailor is and where they want to go in their Navy career.
The ultimate goal is to ensure Sailors are well-equipped with the knowledge necessary to perform the jobs to which they are assigned. As technologies rapidly change, parity with civilian industries is an ever-increasing necessity. That is one of the reasons for the emphasis on civilian-equivalent certification.
"We have to figure out how to get as much training as possible for the ratings we represent," said Bridges.
NPDC has 14 Learning Centers, and every rating is assigned to a center. The centers research the best technology certification programs, distance learning requirements and mobile training team needs.
One of the results was the establishment of the Information Technology (IT) Academy at Naval Forces Europe headquarters in London. The IT Academy gives Sailors in Europe the opportunity to earn a variety of certifications from companies such as Microsoft, Cisco Systems and COMP TIA.
Another example of this is establishment of the Navy and Marine Corps Airframes and Powerplant Program (NMCAPP) at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training.
Created in a partnership of the Department of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), NMCAPP is a 30-month long program that gives enlisted mechanics the same credentials as their civilian counterparts.
And the programs continue to expand. Sailors in deck ratings such as Boatswain's Mate, Quartermaster, Mineman, Operations Specialist and Seaman strikers are now eligible for U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine training certification.
"As this revolution in training is now being realized, all Sailors must make [NKO] a part of their routine. If you don't manage your career, you won't have one," said Bridges.
For related news, visit the Naval Forces Europe Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/naveur.