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28 Navy | Winter 2018 and confidence of all of our officers at every level — from ensign all the way up to our major commanders — before they report to their next ship assignment." Newly commissioned Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) candidates attend the nine-week Basic Division Officer Course (BDOC) in Norfolk, Va., or San Diego, an inoculation in surface warfare that includes leadership, command management, maritime warfare, navigation, seamanship and ship handling. e training includes 10 sessions in the Conning Officer Virtual Environment, or COVE-3, simulator. Robertson said that the focus of the ship-handling training has changed. "Even before the collisions, we recognized that our focus on ship handling was primarily on pier work, to including getting underway, approaching the pier and underway replenishments. We were not doing the open-water interaction with other vessels in congested areas and traffic-separation schemes," Robertson said. "Our students now get about 60 percent of their simulator training on busy waterways, inter- acting with other vessels, talking on the radio and conducting DIVTACS [division tactics] in forma- tion with other naval vessels," he said. "ey come back aer their first division officer tour and go through the five-week Advanced Division Officer course (ADOC), where we add classified maritime warfare information — such as weapons capa- bilities and limitations — and war gaming. We're leveraging the expertise here at the war college, and we're building our own facility because we think our junior officers need to better understand the cause-and-effect relationship of what happens in tactical situations, and the power of maneuver." Naval Academy midshipmen receive seaman- ship and navigation training aboard 108-foot, 227-ton yard patrol cra (YPs). SWOS also has previously used YPs or similar cra for underway training. In light of the recent incidents, some have suggested a return to YP training for junior officers instead of simulators. While YPs are great for building initial confidence on the sea, environ- mental awareness and understanding fundamen- tals in teamwork, Robertson said simulators are more effective and a more efficient use of time. "We don't have to spend the time to get underway and out to the training area," he said. "We can get so much more from the simula- tors when it comes to emergency response, extremist ship handling extraction from danger, interaction with other vessels, communicating A Tragic 2017 Jan. 31 The Yokosuka-based Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam, while anchored in high winds, dragged anchor and ran aground in Tokyo Bay, spilling 1,100 gallons of hydraulic fluid. May 9 The San Diego-based Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Cham- plain collided with fishing vessel Nam Yang 502 off the Republic of Korea June 17 Yokosuka–based Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan. Seven Sailors died. Aug. 21 The Yokosuka-based Arleigh Burke- class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with merchant vessel Alnic MC while preparing to enter the Singapore Strait for transit to Sembawang, Singapore, killing 10 Sailors.

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