PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Bill Moran visited Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) to discuss developments with Ready, Relevant Learning (RRL), June 20.
RRL is a pillar of the Navy's Sailor 2025 initiative, with an overarching goal to provide Sailors the right training at the right time and in the right way. The new training model will eliminate the current practice of front-loading training at the very beginning of a Sailor's career by providing incremental training, or Block Learning, across a career-long learning continuum that delivers the training closer to when a Sailor is expected to perform the specific work.
"This isn't clicking through slides. With Ready Relevant Learning, our Sailors will learn the things they need to know in smaller, but effective and more frequent doses, and ultimately they will get that training right on the waterfront," Moran said. "We are already seeing success with this approach in our LCS training facilities and in some of our submarine training systems. Additionally, with modern training applications, training will be tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of each Sailor rather than having to repeat things they do well, while getting less time on things where they need practice."
Almost 5,400 fleet Sailors have completed Block 0, which is initial technical training, and now the first phase of their learning continuum. The first batch of Block Learning was delivered by Naval Technical Training Center in Meridian, Mississippi, to new-accession logistics specialists in April 2017. Almost 250 Sailors are within six months of their Block 1 window, where they will gain the next level of skillsets to prepare them for the next stage of their careers, at a point where they will actually use those skills.
"To most of these Sailors, this process has been relatively transparent," said Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, NETC commander. "They've completed the training that they've been assigned up to now and reported to their first operational unit with the mission-essential skills needed to succeed in their first two years aboard. What we have ongoing now is close coordination between their unit training officers and our training support centers to keep these Sailors on track to get the next block of training when they need it, anywhere from 12 to 24 months from their initial report date."
Moran leads the RRL Integration Board, a senior leader forum for the commanders involved in various RRL aspects, such as strategic direction, overseeing implementation, and resourcing requirements. U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) Command, as the RRL executive agent, and the type commanders are responsible for developing training requirements. Naval Air Systems Command and Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division acquire the courses and the modernized software and hardware systems, and NETC delivers the training.
Cozad's team provided Moran with an overview of NETC's role in delivering converted training content and modern training systems to the fleet. Although there are examples of modernized training systems in use throughout the fleet today, that long-term strategy delivers training systems closer to the waterfront and flightlines in fleet concentration areas.
"Block Learning is a transition phase that supports a continuum of career-long learning," said Cozad. "This takes us to the next phase of what we are calling 'modern delivery,' which captures all the aspects of training, whether it's the content itself or the software or hardware component, and delivers that training with the latest, easier to access, on-demand content with the best resources and tools when and where our Sailors need it."
The long-term goal of RRL is to have the ability to reach back to training content and resources through a robust learning management system, while incorporating modern technology-based solutions along with more traditional delivery methods, such as instructor-led and laboratory training.
During the discussion, the operations specialist (OS) rating served as an example for accelerated delivery of RRL. The OS rating has no career training continuum beyond "A" School and was entirely dependent on the brick-and-mortar schoolhouse.
"Up to now, training for the OS rating has been primarily through instructor-facilitated PowerPoint slides, along with some hands-on radar simulated training with the Part Task Trainer, and some computer-based simulation," said Lt. Cmdr. Roger Phelps, a member of the NETC RRL team. "What we're going to see in the very near future is the addition of interactive courseware, demonstration videos, and step-by step guides, along with newly established refresher training courses with virtual simulation that will span across the OS career continuum. The ultimate goal is to have improved training and a robust electronic resource library available to them anytime, anywhere."
Even the personnel qualification standards for each rating will be modernized through RRL, moving away from the current paper-based system. Mobile, modernized content will incorporate science of learning techniques that enhance Sailor readiness.
"Key to all of this is technology and looking for the next generation of training systems while thinking outside of the box," said Cozad. "Technology advancements will help transform training away from a heavy emphasis on memorizing, describing or listing and toward more performance-based training with application, repetition and practice."
The NETC team also discussed with Moran how the latest modernized training systems are being used today in some of NETC's learning centers. Technology, such as the Multipurpose Reconfigurable Training System 3D® (MRTS 3D®), Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Immersive Virtual Ship Environment (IVSE), and Virtual Interactive Shipboard Instructional Tour 3D (VISIT 3D), is giving students the opportunity to increase the number of training "reps and sets" a Sailor can perform before actually interacting with physical equipment or systems.
Sailor 2025 is comprised of nearly 45 initiatives to improve and modernize personnel management and training systems to more effectively recruit, develop, manage, reward and retain the force of tomorrow. It is focused on empowering Sailors; updating policies, procedures and operating systems; and providing the right training at the right time in the right way to ensure Sailors are ready for the fleet. Sailor 2025 is organized into three main lines of effort, specifically Personnel System Modernization, Ready Relevant Learning and Career Readiness.
Multipurpose Reconfigurable Training System 3D®, MRTS 3D®, and the MRTS 3D logo are registered trademarks of the U.S. Navy. Virtual Interactive Shipboard Instructional Tour 3D and VISIT 3D are trademarks of the U.S. Navy.
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