Tuesday, June 16, 2009

LCS: a parade of false horizons

Theory, meet reality.

In theory's corner - Train to Qualify:
Commander, Naval Surface Forces, is overseeing the development of a revolutionary training process for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) called Train to Qualify (T2Q) that will enable LCS’s hybrid Sailors to be fully trained before reporting to the ship.
Once a Sailor has been chosen to fill the LCS billet, their individual training track will then be made up for them and train them on the skills they are lacking. This will be completed by a combination of online, classroom and simulator training since they will be required to step aboard LCS ready to stand watch.

Every qualification will be performance-based, with set standards for timeliness, accuracy and quality applied to every critical task.

“The standard has to be very high for Sailors coming off of shore duty, so the ships have confidence that what they get is really a person that has received a qualification level of that fully supports taking the watch upon reporting aboard,” said Renshaw.
Yes, anytime you hear "revolutionary" - be worried.

In fact's corner - Navy IG:
The Navy’s heavy reliance on computer-based training is producing sailors who aren’t ready for their jobs at ships and squadrons, don’t grasp basic Navy concepts and could endanger the long-term health of the service, according to an internal report obtained by Navy Times.
Building on failure? Why this is a shock to anyone is, well, a shock to me. You simply cannot substitute underway training. SIM and CBT are nice secondary tools in some areas - but are weak cheese at best when it comes to actually doing it 24/7 at sea.

My money is on the prospect that once again the revolution failed where the evolution would have created process improvement.

Personally - I think part of our problem is in our inability to be honest with ourselves and be satisfied with simple, evolutionary, process improvement - a problem that comes from how we write FITREPS .... but that is a subject for a different day.

Hat tip Scott B.

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