A flight deck crash and salvage team from the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) completed refresher training at Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) April 20.
During their week at the training center, team members received hands-on training in fighting flight deck fires, proper crash and salvage procedures, and safely lifting and moving damaged aircraft using a crane. Wasp’s crash and salvage team came to NATTC, on board Naval Air Station Pensacola, for the specialized training to bring new members up to speed and to refresh veteran members’ skills.
“We are required to renew this training when 40 percent of the ship’s team has changed out since the last visit,” said Chief Aviation Boatswain Mate (Handling) Cory Schwisow, Wasp’s Crash and Salvage Team leading chief petty officer. “The hands-on nature of the training we received this week is extremely important. There is only so much the Sailors on my team can learn from reading a book. Coming to NATTC and seeing how a pressurized fire hose reacts is invaluable.”
Schwisow is also certain that coming to NATTC is an important step in team building.
“Almost half of the team is fresh from “A” School. This training will start to build the brotherhood/sisterhood that they’ll need to rely on each other and save lives in a flight deck emergency,” he said.
For Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Corey Williams, Wasp’s Crash and Salvage Team assistant leading petty officer, the training provides the opportunity to witness and understand how important their equipment is and the opportunity to operate their gear extensively.
“Because so many new people arrived while we were in the shipyard, they haven’t had the chance to really use our equipment or realize how important our job is,” Williams said. “Coming to NATTC and being able to fight live fires instead of simulated fires gives the new team members a sense of urgency and makes sure everyone is operating on the same page.”
Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Geoffrey Wyatt, NATTC’s Shipboard Crash and Salvage Course leading chief petty officer, thinks this level of training can only be provided if the best Sailors from the fleet return to NATTC as instructors.
“To maintain and improve upon this kind of high quality, ever-changing and realistic high risk training, I need the best Sailors from the fleet to come back to NATTC as instructors to continue sharing their knowledge and experience,” he said.
Since its commissioning in 1942, NATTC has been committed to delivering training and increasing readiness within the Naval Aviation Enterprise. NATTC graduates approximately 15,000 Navy and Marine students annually. The majority of the student population is made up of enlisted personnel attending “A” schools, where they are learning the skills and knowledge required to perform as apprentice level technicians in the fleet. The center also provides airman apprenticeship training, personal financial management, and shipboard aircraft firefighting training. Advanced schools provide higher level technical knowledge for senior petty officers, and technical training for officers in aviation fuels, carrier air traffic control center operations, amphibious air traffic control center operations, aircraft launch and recovery equipment, and shipboard aircraft fire fighting.
Additionally, NATTC supports the fleet by providing team training to ships personnel during their pre-deployment work-ups, to ensure that shipboard personnel have the proficiency required to take their ship on deployment, after a prolonged period in port.
Naval Today Staff, April 23, 2013