(Via Ho’okele News)
Story and photo by David Tomiyama
Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Public Affairs
Employees from Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard code 740 lifting and handling department are refurbishing a former advanced SEAL delivery system (ASDS) and turning it into a multi-trade, mockup trainer that the entire waterfront can use. It is the first of its kind, corporately, of any shipyard.
“The confined space of the mini-sub simulates the experience on a boat,” said Jerry Mershon, code 700 continuous training and development (CTD) program analyst.
“This trainer provides deckplate workers with the opportunity to put into practice their knowledge, skills and abilities outside of a classroom environment,” Mershon said.
The former ASDS boat now rests on keel blocks in the open air of building 1671. Code 740 and shop 99 personnel have already performed hands-on training using the multi-trade mockup.
“There are so many different ideas for use of this trainer moving forward that it doesn’t have an end state,” said Kamuela Unga, code 740 CTD leader. “The multi-trade trainer mockup’s interface has the potential to be flexible with any and all training.”
Once fully equipped, the multi-trade mockup will train shipyard workers in Los Angeles-class(LACL) and Virginia-class (VACL) maintenance operations. The boat has two inner chambers. One side will have mockups for LACL work, and VACL mockups will be in the other chamber.
Electronic equipment, including a closed circuit TV system with 42-inch monitors, will be installed in a nearby converted field office connex box to enable subject matter experts (SMEs) and trainees to watch the training being performed live via cameras installed onboard the vessel. The SMEs can provide advice and answer questions via hand radios.
“We can record the training to allow the trainees to view a playback of their performance,” Mershon said. “We will have the opportunity, with further analysis, to learn from the positive and negative points of each training session, and capture best work practices for other workers to see ‘how it’s done best.’”
Presently, the only access is through an opening on the bottom of the boat. A permanent steel tower platform, which will feature swing gates and a 1.5 ton air hoist on a trolley system to assist with lifting and handling needs, is currently being constructed by code 920 personnel. The tower platform will afford topside access of the ASDS and elevated training exercises.
The outside of the trainer will be used for familiarization training for temporary services, containments and staging. The future state includes coolant discharge joint fit ups and hull valve work in addition to the training which will be conducted on the inside of the boat.
The former ASDS vehicle 1 caught fire Nov. 9, 2008 and was damaged beyond repair. It was stored at Pearl City Peninsula until late spring of last year when it was moved to shop 31 while a plan for utilizing it was developed.
Last October, Unga noticed the dormant ASDS wasting away behind shop 31. Needing a hands-on facility for code 740 that falls in line with the Naval Sea Systems Command CTD program initiative, he pitched turning the mini-sub into a training platform. Unga and code 740 Superintendent Q. Peralto proposed keeping the mini-sub intact to shipyard leadership so that all codes and shops could benefit from a single, realistic training platform that the entire waterfront workforce could use.
Once approved, the Lifting and Handling and transportation services led the charge to turn the ASDS into the multi-trade, mockup trainer.
“The idea is for everybody on the waterfront — apprentices, ship’s force, all the codes and shops — to perform hands-on training here on this multi-trade mock up trainer,” said Unga.
“We always hear ‘why are we practicing on the boat,’ which for several reasons is a bad way to do business. With this mockup trainer, we can get people out of the classroom and away from their books and have hands-on practice in a confined space that mimics submarine conditions.”