CSCS Begins Development of TDL Continuum

Story Number: NNS040824-14Release Date: 8/24/2004 8:43:00 PM
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By George Dunn, Center for Surface Combat Systems Public Affairs

DAHLGEN, Va. (NNS) -- The Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) completed a bottom up review of the Navy's Tactical Data Link (TDL) training in July, resulting in the Center being tasked with developing a continuum of learning for data link operators and managers.

The review noted an alignment of training and a single continuum of learning would result in cheaper, more effective training.

TDLs are used for near to real time exchange of information, and provide a tactical picture allowing decision makers to effectively employ weapons systems. The links combine shared information from various resources such as ships, aircraft and land-based activities, which provide an overall display so everyone is working from the same data.

"We started out by reviewing what was already out there," said Lt. Tom Longino, who helped coordinate the preliminary review for CSCS. "What we found was that the various organizations that teach TDLs don't necessarily have a standard course curriculum or the same teaching methods. That means that there is inconsistency in what is being taught, to whom, where, and to what level."

A TDL training continuum will provide the fleet with qualified network managers and operators, who will be able to ensure the timely and accurate passage of critical information through various data paths. When the training continuum is completed, tactical watch standers, both officer and enlisted, will have access to a coherent series of courses that will provide the knowledge and understanding of Multi-Tactical Data Link Networks, and what it takes to support the common tactical and operational pictures. Watch standers will then be able to plan, brief, and monitor all aspects of TDL operational requirements.

"Typically, individual courses are reviewed annually, but as a result of the Revolution in Navy Training, CSCS gained ownership of most of the Navy's classroom TDL training," Longino said. "From the perspective of ownership, we looked at everything from the curricula, instructor guides, PowerPoint slides, different courseware, and tactical training equipment; everything that comprises the different courses at the various commands that teach TDLs. There was a lot that didn't match up."

The development of the data link continuum will occur in four phases, the first being the most extensive. After gathering data from all the existing TDL courses and reviewing personnel performance profiles, training course control documents, training project plans, instructional media materials plans, lesson plans, and trainee guides, CSCS created standardized Personnel Performance Profiles and Course Training Task Lists, as well as a learning objective database to identify the skill sets for operators and managers.

Phase II is to define the continuum, to include determining what courses are required and to coordinate delivery with Naval Personnel Development Command training organizations. Phase III will be an update of the curricula, while Phase IV will be an update of supporting documents such as course catalogues and CANTRAC.

For more information on the Center for Surface Combat Systems' Tactical Data Link Training Continuum, and the Revolution in Navy Training, log onto Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) at

For related news, visit the Naval Personnel Development Command/Task Force EXCEL Navy NewsStand page at

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