Air Traffic Controllers from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) completed proficiency training at Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Feb. 28.
During the two weeks they were at NATTC, crew members worked as a team to prepare for their upcoming deployment.
“We’re coming out of an extended maintenance period in the shipyard and training in NATTC’s simulators allows our qualified controllers to maintain their currency requirements in accordance with Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS),” said Lt. Paul Greenough, Roosevelt’s Carrier Control Approach Watch Officer. “Between now and our upcoming deployment, ten of our controllers will transfer, so coming here gives their replacements the experience they will need.”
For Chief Air Traffic Controller Brian Kerns, Roosevelt’s Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC) supervisor, a valuable part of the training at NATTC was the team building.
“Running through the various scenarios here helps all of our controllers work together as a team,” said Kerns. “The experience gained in the simulator can be used by the new controllers to earn their interim qualifications, so underway they can earn their final qualifications.”
NATTC instructors led the air traffic control watch teams through complex scenarios, specifically designed for their ship, in the Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC) simulators at NATTC’s Air Traffic Control schoolhouse. The simulator scenarios are designed to challenge the teams and build up their skill levels so they will be ready for the situations they will encounter on deployment.
According to NATTC Instructor Chief Air Traffic Controller Blake Hoyt, CATCC training scenarios are designed to be more complex than situations normally encountered underway, and they come from the fleet experiences of the NATTC instructors.
“Here in the schoolhouse we employ our instructors and their experiences in a way that will most benefit our students,” said Hoyt. “Our instructors pull from their experiences in the fleet to make the scenarios as challenging as possible for the ship’s teams.”
Since its commissioning in 1942, NATTC has been committed to training technical experts for 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 learn the skills and knowledge required to perform as technicians at the apprentice level.
NATTC Advanced schools provide higher level technical knowledge for senior petty officers and specialty schools offer specific skills not particular to any one rating, such as airman apprentice training, maintenance, personal financial management and shipboard aircraft firefighting.
NATTC also conducts 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.
Press Release, March 4, 2014, 2014; Image: Navy