Dahlgren, Va. (NNS) -- The Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) and its learning site, AEGIS Training and Readiness Center (ATRC), celebrated 30 years of training, which included a Ribbon Cutting ceremony for their new wing, onboard Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, Va. Oct. 21.
To start the ceremony, Capt. Pete Galluch, ATRC's commanding officer, discussed ATRC's past and welcomed distinguished guests, including Secretary John C. Harvey, Jr., a retired Adm. and Virginia's Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, retired Vice Adm. James Doyle, Jr., Mrs. Anna Mae Meyer, the wife of retired Rear Adm. Wayne Meyer, and prior commanding officers, retired captains; Willard Siepel, Sheldon Margolis, Ted Hontz, and Rick Easton.
"Ground breaking for the AEGIS Training Center took place in 1983," Galluch said. "It was formally established as a training command in Nov. 1984 and opened for training in Oct. 1985 with the first class of 14 students graduating Dec. 18, 1985 from the AEGIS Computer Fundamentals course."
Capt. Bill McKinley, CSCS' commanding officer, then introduced the keynote speaker, retired Rear Adm. George Huchting.
"Today, I have the honor and privilege to introduce an essential leader and mentor in the AEGIS community," McKinley said.
Huchting discussed the importance of international AEGIS partnerships and history of the schoolhouse. He then spoke directly to ATRC instructors in the audience.
"How you prepare your Sailor students and how you use your experience to take another turn on the war fighting effectiveness is key to the real value of those national treasurers - the AEGIS fleet - standing tall to whatever challenge they face - Not taking a hit, and if they do, fighting through and coming home safe," Huchting said. "Your job is to ensure that the next 34 thousand Sailors who come through these doors can do just that!
He then addressed the students.
"34 thousand Sailors have walked in your moccasins - they have taken your ship and its AEGIS system to sea - truly, they have gone in harm's way," Huchting explained. "Their feedback has enabled the courses here at ATRC to constantly evolve. The very best can come back here as instructors to pass on to you the lesson learned...you must demand the very best from your instructors - your mentors - and ATRC. You must learn from the mistakes of the past. You must open your mind to new ideas - ideas of others and the new ideas you generate! Your families expect it of you! Your Battle Group and our Navy urgently need it from you! Your country, our Constitution and our way of life are in fact dependent on you."
After his powerful speech, Huchting, McKinley, Galluch, and ATRC's student of the month, Fire Controlman 3rd Class Andrew Brunetta, cut the ribbon officially opening the new addition to the Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer AEGIS Education Center designed to meet the ever increasing demand for advanced technical and tactical training.
After the ceremony, guests were able to observe the past, present, and future of AEGIS training as they toured the schoolhouse and its new wing.
"History should be learned from," Huchting said. "The future is uncertain- so - here we are in the present where we know what we have to work with. Today we are here - in the present - to open another very important asset for the fleet and our country. The capability we cut the ribbon on today is a piece of 'certainty' - something you have in hand to use to ensure you can fight and win."
For information on the Center for Surface Combat System, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/cscs/
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