Naval trainer brings AR/VR, hands-on training right to the waterfrontNews
March 26, 2019
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. The U.S. Navy is currently using the the Carrier-Advanced Reconfigurable Training System (C-ARTS) system -- a customized mobile training facility -- to deliver traditional classroom training, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and "mixed-reality" training to sailors and soldiers at pierside.
At present the system is in use by sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) to increase their knowledge and understanding of vital equipment and systems for the first-in-class carrier; the Gerald R. Ford is undergoing its post-shakedown availability at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding.
"The Ford class is built with some of the most technically advanced systems ever installed and requires a robust training program to support them," said Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, program executive officer for aircraft carriers. "Our team realized early on the need to quickly bring exceptional training to our Ford sailors, but also in a way that would be aligned to the Navy's 'Sailor 2025' training concepts."
According to information from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), the first 11 Gerald R. Ford sailors to use C-ARTS trained as fiber-optic cable-repair technicians. As Ford is the first carrier in the fleet outfitted with over five miles of fiber, the C-ARTS course gave the sailors the opportunity to gain new skill sets on this advanced shipboard technology. Follow-on C-ARTS training groups have learned about high-voltage electrical safety and air-conditioning maintenance; another 72 crew members are scheduled to attend six C-ARTS courses by the end of March 2019.
Electrician's Mate 2nd Class (AW/SW) Logan Baron, who was among the first group trained on the mobile system, said of the training: "C-ARTS is definitely a great way for sailors to learn; it's convenient that it's located close to the ship and it helps better us for the ship. When we go back to the ship, I know that we will be more knowledgeable about fiber optics and can help better the ship by working to fix any problems that might occur."
While two C-ARTS trainers are currently located dockside at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding while CVN 78 undergoes a post-shakedown maintenance availability, by summer 2019 the trainers are scheduled to be moved to a semi-permanent CARTS training site located 1,200 feet from the ship's pier at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.