The cost effectiveness of West Coast Distributed Simulation Training for the Pacific Fleet
Shearon, Blane T.
San Miguel, Joseph G.
Hatch, William D. II.
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Emerging technologies are changing the way the Navy trains its people. The Director of Naval Training (N7) has stated that the Navy needs to incorporate this new technology into training plans. Furthermore, Navy leadership must evaluate different technologies such as multiple ship simulated combat systems training to determine which training methods provide the best value while maintaining high training and readiness standards. This thesis examined whether simulated in port training is a suitable supplement to underway training exercises. The conclusion was that the West Coast Distributed Simulation Network (WCDSN) was an effective Battle Group training tool. Two research approaches were used to arrive at this conclusion. First, post simulated exercise survey results indicate multi-ship training exercises provide valuable training prior to underway fleet exercises. Data from these surveys provide insight into the quality of training received through multi-ship simulated training and suggests courses of action that may improve current training. Next, an evaluation of the estimated cost and savings from simulated in port training was performed. In 2001, six Middle East Force, Amphibious Ready Group, and Battle Groups used the WCDSN to train, prior to underway exercises. The variable, recurring and fixed infrastructure costs incurred while using the network were compared to the fuel, utility, and manpower costs and the range savings realized by reduced underway training. Research findings indicate that an estimated net savings of approximately $9 million was achieved by conducting these six exercises in 2001. The greatest benefits of training using the WCDSN are the manpower benefits realized by keeping sailors in port and the net fuel savings from decreases in underway training.
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