GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit (CSCSU) Great Lakes held a graduation for Sailors who completed the Interior Communications Electricians (IC) "A," Feb 16.
Students who passed the class were the first who went through the course following an update in the curriculum and equipment.
"We get constant feedback from the fleet on the effectiveness of our courses and some great recommendations that came from those interactions helped drive the development of this new curriculum," said Lt. Drew Serrecchia, executive officer of CSCSU. "We had the opportunity to revamp old and outdated curriculum with newer and more innovative training and associated training equipment that gets the Sailors more hands-on experience with faults similar to what they will see in the fleet. We've gone from a static display hands-on experience to a dynamic hands-on experience and the feedback we've received from students shows that this use of technology resonates with them."
The modernization of the curriculum places extra focus on performance-based training. Included in the modernization was the course on alarms and central announcing systems. Students are now utilizing equipment identical to what they will encounter regardless what platform ship they are stationed, like the 1MC and Alarm circuits.
"The curriculum we updated was instructor based and interactive multimedia instruction - basically a computer based training coupled with classroom presentations," said Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class Brandon Mitchell, instructor at IC "A" School. "The new curriculum has a trainer/simulator where we input faults. The students start doing their preventative maintenance, they use troubleshooting procedures and also correct and repair procedures."
The ability to change faults over a network, verse physically switching components, allows students to have more time to work with and troubleshoot the equipment so they get a better understanding of what they need to know in the fleet. During IC "A" School, students complete quite a bit of computer based training. They also have Interactive Multimedia Instruction (IMIs) where they run through procedures on a computer.
"Now we are able to take that classroom and computer training and place it in a lab environment where they can use their reference material and tech manuals and put it to use," Mitchell said. "In the alarms pilot and the central announcing systems pilot we are grading the trainees on their ability to understand the technical manuals, we grading them on their ability to perform tech manual procedures and combat systems operational sequencing system (CSOSS)."
CSOSS is a collections of manuals specifically designed for each class of ship. The manuals include step-by-step procedures and supporting material for combat system personnel to use in supporting the operation and maintenance of combat system equipment.
"Students are not just reading from a book and taking a test; they are actually doing the job," said Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Stephen Biggie, instructor at IC "A" School. "Teaching the fundamentals of the equipment, this is how you use the tech manual, this is how you troubleshoot, making a decision on how to start looking at the equipment, understanding how it is supposed to work and what it is doing so you can understand how it is not working based on the information you know and using the tech manuals regardless of what the system is."
The new curriculum is more relevant to what Sailors do out in the fleet. Instead of just having knowledge of tag out, safety, and 3M procedures; spot checks, troubleshooting, corrective and preventative maintenance, students will have hands-on training on those procedures.
"In addition to modernizing the course, the new Alarms and Announcing part-task trainers provide students with hands-on equipment training," said Cmdr. James Dancer, commanding officer of CSCSU. "They are provided with reps and sets in fault isolation that force them to use schematic diagrams and test equipment. During those reps and sets CSOSS, 3M and SSOPP are also reinforced. I see that the students are more engaged and learning skills through instruction and troubleshooting on our trainers are more in aligning with our goal of developing the best technician we can deliver to the fleet. This new curriculum and technology allows us to achieve that goal."
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