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NAWCTSD's research mission is to plan and perform a full range of directed research and development (R&D) in support of naval training systems for all warfare areas and platforms, to maintain an expanding technology base, and to transition research results to the fleet. R&D program emphasis is on fleet and training command requirements, rapid transition of products, industry/university coordination, coordination with other services, and improved quality and cost effectiveness of products. Needs for naval service training systems are generated by new weapon system developments, by modifications to existing weapon systems, and by fleet requirements for new training systems and capabilities to satisfy specific training tasks. Thus, the R&D program is balanced among improvements in highly specialized areas of simulation, training methods, training technology, and providing direct technical support to the training systems acquisition effort to reduce risk and cost.
The majority of the work undertaken constitutes the Technology Base Program and includes exploratory development (6.2), where innovative technologies and methodologies are developed, and advanced development (6.3), where proof-of-concept is established. Additional efforts include cooperative/collaborative research with other government agencies, non-profit institutions, and commercial firms. Research funds are received from the Office of the Chief of Naval Research, Naval Air Systems Command, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Naval Air Warfare Center, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Federal Aviation Administration.
NAWCTSD has a long history of technology transfer to both the public and private sectors. NAWCTSD is involved with the local school system, NASA Kennedy Space Center, and the Federal Aviation Administration to share information and expertise. There are currently five Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA). CRADAs provide for the transfer of technology developed in federal government laboratories to the private sector. By sharing Navy training research, the public will benefit in having improved education and training. The Navy also receives valuable information in the exchange of information and resources.
Front-end analysis (FEA), also referred to as Training Systems Requirements Analysis, is a structured process we use to examine training requirements and identify alternative approaches to training job tasks. Using the process, we identify job tasks to be performed, analyze the skills and knowledge needed to perform them, assess the technologies available for training the skills and knowledge, perform a media analysis to recommend the best mix of delivery media and provide cost and lead-time comparisons for the feasible alternatives.
The purpose of the analysis is to provide the customer with enough information to meet training needs within budgetary and other constraints. The analysis offers a recommendation, but also includes a number of options, each with a different training potential and cost estimate. This allows the program sponsor to make sound training decisions based on relevant and thoroughly analyzed data.
Early planning permits us to provide a full range of options, to include embedded training, and to even consider the impact operational equipment designs will have on training-- increasing or decreasing the training problem. Generally, to keep costs at a lower level, built-in or embedded training capability must be designed into the operational hardware during the initial phase of development. Therefore, it is important to consider training needs early in the design of any new weapon system. The FEA documentation forms the basis for the life cycle investment strategy and subsequent system evaluation.
FEA can be applied not only to new systems, but also to existing systems which are being upgraded and modified. In fact, whenever there is a training problem, a change in mission/doctrine, a change to the weapon system, a need to integrate newer technology into the classroom, or to move training from the classroom, a front end analysis should be conducted to determine whether, and the extent to which, the training needs to be modified.
Training options can vary widely, from computer based training, to electronic performance support systems (EPSS), to complex, high-fidelity simulators, to traditional stand-up lectures and classroom aids, etc. The FEA documentation provides the justification supporting the development/procurement of your selected training system.
NAWCTSD has an applied human resources research group that delivers analyses and technologies to decision makers who are shaping the Navy of the future.