US Navy opens new submarine bridge trainer

The U.S. Navy opened a new submarine bridge trainer (SBT) at the Trident Training Facility (TRITRAFAC) in Bangor with a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 5.

Rear Adm. John Tammen, commander, Submarine Group 9, Capt. John Fancher, commanding officer of TRITRAFAC Bangor, and Rear Adm. Moises DelToro, commander, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, cut the ribbon to officially open the new trainer.

The SBT gives submarine bridge team members the ability to navigate, pilot and moor the boat to and from a pier, while interacting with a complex visual and auditory environment, with all of the relevant ship sensors and systems.

“Our job here at Trident Training Facility Bangor is to provide premiere world-class training to the submarines stationed in the Pacific Northwest,” said Fancher. “What you see here today is a new incredible facility that blows me away. I am so excited about the capability this new trainer brings to the submarine force and the increased ability that they will have to maintain their proficiency and safely navigate out of port.”

In this near life-size mockup of a generic submarine sail, Sailors are surrounded by a 360-degree horizontal and 70-degree vertical dynamic environment that includes 18 channels of visual imagery and 16 channels of 3D sound. A dual attack center has also been completed that will provide ship systems and periscopes required for surfaced events.

Construction for the SBT began October 2015, with the actual trainer installation beginning October 2016. Construction for the trainer was completed May 26, 2017. The total cost for the new trainer, including the development of trainer and building construction, cost $7 million.

Four Submarine Bridge Trainers have been approved for construction throughout the fleet. The first trainer is located at the Naval Submarine School (NAVSUBSCOL) located in Groton, Connecticut, and was ready for training in August 2012. The second trainer was built in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and was ready for training in October 2013. Trident Training Facility Bangor was the third site, and the fourth site will be King’s Bay, Georgia in 2020.

TRITRAFAC Bangor plans to have the Blue and Gold crews assigned to the guided-missile submarines USS Ohio (SSGN 726) and USS Michigan (SSGN 727) certified through the SBT this year. The 16 SSBN crews will certify in the SBT based on the needs of Commander, Submarine Squadron 17 and Commander, Submarine Squadron 19 along with various SSBN upgrade plans.

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