PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (NNS) -- One of the U.S. Navy's eight training centers dedicated to aircrew water survival finalized the $1.1 million installation of equipment Oct. 12, which will serve to expand the center's life-saving training capabilities and directly support Navy aircrew readiness.
Aviation Survival Training Center (ASTC) Patuxent River, Md., completed installation of a Jib Crane, which submerges and rotates the Modular Egress Trainer Simulators (METS M40) multi-seat underwater egress trainer capsule in a swimming pool.
The METS M40 is used to train fixed- or rotary-wing pilots and crew in aircraft ditching and underwater egress training procedures. Cmdr. Mathew Hebert, Naval Aviation Survival Training Program manager, said the new equipment adds value to Navy Medicine and will have positive lifesaving and readiness benefits to joint U.S. military warfighters serving aboard aircraft throughout the world.
"The mission of the ASTC's and their importance to the fleet are to prepare aeronautical personnel, selected passengers, project specialists and other authorized individuals who fly aboard USN or U.S. Marine Corps aircraft in the areomedical aspects of flight and survival," he said. "This crane will make the high-risk training delivered to these warfighters safer, more relevant and more cost efficient, and will help ensure their continued readiness."
All eight Navy Medicine-managed ASTCs employ the METS M40, purchased through Survival Systems Incorporated over a 10-year period. The METS M40 is designed to replicate large, wide-bodied fixed- or rotary-wing aircraft.
Hebert said the new Jib Crane is safer, easier to operate and more reliable. The new crane is capable of moving the METS along multiple axies, simulating a variety of previously unavailable emergency situations and possibilities to students.
According to Hebert, the new crane also represents an enormous stride in providing exceptional value and helping lead Navy Medicine to jointness and interoperability, something which should be echoed throughout the fleet.
"The total number of Navy and joint personnel trained by all eight ASTC across the Naval Survival Training Institute (NSTI) enterprise averages 23,000 students over the past five years," he said. "The cost-benefit savings - and lives saved in actual fleet mishaps - associated with upgrading these cranes is phenomenal."
Of the eight ASTCs in the continental United States, the Jib Crane install at Patuxent River, Md., marks the seventh crane to become operational. The final ASTC Jib Crane installation is scheduled at the Naval Air Station Pensacola ASTC in November.
ASTC Patuxent River, Md., is one of eight ASTCs of which NSTI maintains oversight. NSTI is a subordinate command of the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC), located in Pensacola, Fla.
ASTC Patuxent River, Md., NSTI and NMOTC are part of Navy Medicine Education and Training Command (NMETC), the U.S. Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery's point of accountability for all Navy Medicine education and training.
NMETC, NMOTC, NSTI and ASTC Patuxent River are all part of the Navy Medicine team, a global health care network of Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high-quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.
For more news from Navy Medicine Education and Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/nmsc/.