SWOS Virtual Simulator Honors WWII Medal of Honor Recipient

Story Number: NNS130524-17Release Date: 5/24/2013 1:24:00 PM
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By Lt. Forrest Griggs, Surface Warfare Officers School Command

NEWPORT, R.I (NNS) -- Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) held a dedication ceremony May 23 for the opening of its newest virtual simulator for shiphandling training in Newport, RI.

The USS Evans Full Mission Bridge-2 (FMB-2) was officially named in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Cdr. Ernest E. Evans. Evans graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1931 and later commanded the destroyers USS Alden (DD 211) and the USS Johnston (DD 557).

SWOS Commanding officer, Capt. Richard A. Brown, spoke about Evan's character and the significance of this dedication.

"Naming the Full Mission Bridge after Cdr. Evans is a fitting tribute to a great surface warrior and commanding officer during World War II," said Brown.

During the Battle off Samar, Evans' newly commissioned Fletcher-class destroyer USS Johnston, was part of task unit 77.4.3 known as Taffy 3. This group ultimately forced a superior Japanese battle group to abort its original mission to attack the landing force at Leyte. Evans was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman for his actions on Oct 25, 1944. Evans, who was seriously wounded during the engagement, diverted the powerful blasts of hostile guns from the carriers under his protection, and subsequently launched torpedo attacks against the Japanese.

Johnston was ultimately sunk by the enemy ships. It was later declared that Evans lost his life in this action.

The guest speaker for the dedication, VADM Tom Copeman, commander, Naval Surface Forces Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, spoke about the importance of the Navy's newest virtual simulator.

"We better know how to fight our ships", said Copeman. "One of the first steps of learning how to fight a ship is knowing how to drive a ship. Surface warfare officers have to know how to drive a ship aggressively and know what the capabilities and limitations are of that ship. That's what the Full Mission Bridge is about."

The new simulator, located in Memorial hall at Surface Warfare Officer School, will be used to train Surface Warfare Officers on the fundamentals of ship handling and surface warfare tactics.

FMB-2 is built with visual screens shaped into an inverted dome combined with a ship's bridge. This is different from the first Full Mission Bridge (FMB -1), which has a cylindrical shaped screen. FMB-2 enables a "look-down" capability which provides better fidelity during simulated pier landings, and close-in maneuvering tactics such as underway replenishment.

"FMB-2 allows us to customize the simulator for both the class of ship and the respective homeports of the students," said Capt. (ret.) Bud Weeks, director of Navigation, Seamanship, and Ship handling at SWOS.

Additionally, FMB-2 will soon be integrated with FMB-1 and Conning Officer Virtual Environment (COVE) simulators through the use of updated software, enabling a coordinated, multi-ship environment that provide students realistic tactical exercises.

SWOS is headquartered in Newport, R.I. and oversees nine learning sites, which provide more than 1,000 courses a year to 67,000 Sailors fleet wide.

SWOS uses a hybrid of learning techniques comprised of instructor-led classes, hands-on labs, simulation and computer-based training. Courses include specialized training supporting all enlisted engineering ratings, and Surface Warfare Officers at every level. Building and sustaining maritime partnerships, the command also provides training to many international students.

For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnet/.

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