GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Training Support Center (TSC), Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit (CSCSU), Surface Warfare Officers School Unit (SWOSU), Center for EOD and Diving (CEODD), and Naval Special Warfare Center, Great Lakes hosted Adm. Bill E. Gortney, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, May 15.
The nature of Gortney's visit was to get a better understanding of what the roles are for TSC and learning sites in the initial training process of all new accession Sailors.
Starting off the tour, Gortney began with a visit with Naval Station Great Lakes (NSGL) headquarters for a leadership roundtable including TSC Commanding Officer Henry "Hank" P. Roux Jr.; Capt. Frank Martin, commanding officer, Navy Region Midwest; Capt. Robert J. Fink, chief of staff, Naval Service Training Command; Capt. William Bulis, commanding officer, NSGL; Capt. Rodney O. Worden, commanding officer, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Midwest; Cmdr. Eugene Roberts, commanding officer, SWOSU; and Cmdr. Gregory C. Ludwig, commanding officer, CSCSU; who welcomed him to Great Lakes.
"We were very pleased to have one of our largest customers visit and be able to see firsthand the training that goes into providing them their most valuable asset in the fleet and that is our Sailors," said Roux. "I believe he was very impressed with the staff, with the instructors, military bearing and training that is provided to the next generation of Sailors."
Gortney then proceeded to CEODD and Special Warfare Preparatory School to visit with the SEAL Pre-Buds (Basic Underwater Demolition) and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) preparatory schools. After completing boot camp, designated students are sent through the Navy Diving and EOD preparatory course to ensure they are prepared for the rigorous training they will experience during their next phase of training. Gortney was able to see the swim and physical readiness qualifications in progress.
The visit continued with a visit to CSCSU Apprentice Technical Training (ATT) School for a brief and integrated Learning Classroom tour.
Gortney was able to observe Fire Controlman (FC)/Electronics Technician (ET) "A" School Lab and labs and simulators and Radar Display lab where students learn the basics of troubleshooting electronic equipment.
At Gunner's Mate "A" School, he viewed Fire Arms Training Simulator (FATS) and torpedo tube.
From there, Gortney met with Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions for lunch in the galley.
The tour resumed at Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit (CSCSU) for a tour on the Boatswain's Mate (BM) "A" school USS Whitehat training facility. This "mock ship" gives students familiarity with line handling, ship-to-ship refueling, winching systems and small boat usage.
"We provided Adm. Gortney an understanding of the training curriculum for Sailors and their specific technical rates. We demonstrated our transition to an 85 percent instructor led environment and 15 percent CBT blended training solution, and how the students perform in that environment," said Cmdr. Gregory C. Ludwig, commanding officer, CSCSU. "Additionally, we were able to show the soon-to-be transition from legacy equipment such as the AN/SPS-64 surface search RADAR to a modern basic Part-Task Trainer that will take the AN/SPS-64 system to an enhanced digital training aid."
The Operations Specialist (OS) and Quartermaster (QM) "A" school offered Gortney a glimpse into the technical training in charting, radar scope operations and other core specialties of the rates.
"He was able observe the hands-on foundations of navigation taught to the OS and QM rates with the use of navigational charts and maneuvering boards, as well as the follow on Voyage Management System training," said Ludwig.
Gortney continued his visit with the Basic Engineering Common Core (BECC)/strand where he was shown the training facilities of BECC and Computer Based Training (CBT) classrooms and various labs where they observed the course features in detail. BECC balances CBT training with hands-on training labs, instructor-led classroom training, and the study of fleet equipment in extremely realistic simulations creating an Integrated Learning Environment (ILE).
He also received a tour of the Flat Panel Diesel simulator and explained how SWOSU prepares students into becoming apprentice technicians before heading to the Hull Technician and Damage Control Strands.
"I believed he enjoyed his time in speaking with the Sailors and they enjoyed talking to him as well," said Roux. "Being here for the first time, he really got to see an insider's view of what it takes to get our Sailors ready to go to the fleet. He was very happy and stated that the product he is receiving is outstanding."
Gortney wrapped up his visit with a visit to the battleship USS North Carolina where he received an overview of the responsibilities of the Navy Military Training Instructors (NMTIs) and what their jobs entail as they continue the Sailorization processs which takes basically trained Sailors and transforms them into well-trained and highly skilled members of the fleet.
NMTIs are in charge of anywhere from 250 to 400 students as they indoctrinate, train and mentor Sailors to ensure they are anchored in the warfighting culture of being a Sailor. They oversee watch standing and ensure students uphold all Navy regulations and standards, maintain their military bearing, conduct daily inspections, provide on-base resources to help with students' personal issues and hold weekly liberty briefs to include instructions regarding curfews, alcohol use, off-limits locations and uniform requirements, among other issues.
"I have been in the Navy for 37 years and this was my first visit to Great Lakes. I was impressed with the Sailors in various phases of training I met, and I was impressed with the caliber of the instructors across the board. The training here is critical to the Fleet," said Gortney.
For more news from Training Support Center, Great Lakes, visit www.navy.mil/local/tscgl/.