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Navy Seeing Better Trained Ensigns After Surface Warfare Reforms, Say Sailors

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ABOARD GUIDED-MISSILE DESTROYER USS HALSEY OFF THE COAST OF CALIFORNIA – When Cmdr. Amanda Browning joined the Navy, she learned how to drive and operate a ship from a set of CD-ROMs on a computer aboard Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG-53). Twenty years ago, new surface warfare officers learned on the job after a cost-saving decision to trim upfront training, and the results were far from consistent.

Following the 2017 fatal collisions in the Western Pacific that killed 17 sailors, the Navy reversed course and invested billions of dollars in virtual shore trainers on both coasts and made time for new SWOs to get a feel for a 9,000-ton warship in the safety of a trainer.

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