GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, and 7th Fleet Command Master Chief Benjamin Howat visited Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes and local Naval Education and Training Command learning sites April 5.
During the tour, they observed firsthand training that provides 24-hour supervision, leadership, and mentorship of accession Sailors.
After kicking off the visit with a discussion with TSC's command leadership, Sawyer and Howat began the day with LifeSkills training, an indoctrination for Sailors arriving from boot camp before they attend any rating-specific courses. The course covers sexual assault intervention, military pay and entitlements, healthy relationships, navigating stress, operations security, banking and financial management service, and responsible alcohol use.
"TSC Great Lakes is excited to show how our staffs and organizations deliver the most combat ready personnel to the fleet," said Mark Meskimen, commanding officer at TSC. "It is very important for the Fleet - our customer - to see the process on how we continue to build on the basic foundation the Recruit Training Command began in boot camp."
At the Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving, they viewed student training in the basics of in-water procedures, aquatic adaptability, and water comfort.
Next, Surface Warfare Officers School Unit (SWOSU) Great Lakes command leadership led a tour of the training facilities for Basic Engineering Common Core (BECC), a 13-day course for engineering principals and theory. It balances Computer-Based Training with hands-on training labs and instructor-led classroom training. They also visited the Quartermaster (QM) "A" School, SICLOS Lab, and Purifier Lab and LPD 17 Maintainer Course where students gain knowledge and skills to maintain engineering control systems in the Fleet.
"We were honored to host Vice Adm. Sawyer's visit to SWOSU Great lakes," said Terrance Patterson, commanding officer at SWOSU Great Lakes. "It was an excellent opportunity for him to directly observe our great instructor's passion, drive and dedication in training today's engineering and quartermaster sea warriors. [The] QM "A" school course has made significant strides in answering the Fleet's call on improving QM training, specifically in voyage management system and we're positioning ourselves now to add celestial navigation training in late 2018. This is an outstanding opportunity to show Vice Adm. Sawyer positive results and that Great Lakes will be providing 7th Fleet with well trained, highly motivated, and extremely dedicated engineers and quartermasters [aboard] his ships."
At Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit (CSCSU) Great Lakes, they viewed the Ship's Self Defense System lab used to simulate underway strike group operations at Operations Specialist "A" School. This was followed by a tour of Gunner's Mate "A" School's Fire Arms Training Simulator, Electronics Technician/Fire Controlman "A" school T1 RADAR partial task trainer, and Boatswain's Mate "A" School.
"It was a pleasure to meet Vice Adm. Sawyer today and have the opportunity to show him first hand some of the improvements we have made in training technology and be able to discuss where we are headed with training," said Cmdr. James Dancer, commanding officer, CSCSU Great Lakes. "More importantly, I was privileged to introduce him to some of the outstanding personnel we have here [who] deliver quality training to accession level Sailors every day."
The visit concluded at the galley for lunch with Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD). CSADD Sailors promote positive choices and develop leadership through organizing local social networks, facilitating discussion, producing visual messages, promoting community involvement and hosting recreational events.
Seventh Fleet, which celebrates its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border, and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South.
Seventh Fleet's area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world's population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 Sailors in the 7th Fleet.
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For more news from Training Support Center, Great Lakes, visit www.navy.mil/local/tscgl/.