Naval Training Development Centres vital to training

NTDC(A) has several virtual reality simulators that are valuable in delivering training. 

NTDC(A) has several virtual reality simulators that are valuable in delivering training. 

Lt(N) Peter Bigelow

Similar to the mythical phoenix, out of the ashes of Canadian Forces Naval Operations School (CFNOS) rose Naval Training Development Centre Atlantic NTDC(A) in 2016.

It was established after CFNOS ceased to exist and Campus Atlantic was stood up. Under the Campus umbrella is NTDC(A) and Naval Fleet School (Atlantic) (NFS(A)). It is mirrored on the West Coast with Naval Training Development Centre Pacific and NFS (Pacific), as well as with the Naval Reserve school becoming the NFS(Q).

This change is outlined in the RCN’s Future Naval Training System Strategy, a document that describes the coordinated approach to the development and support of a future technologically enabled, integrated Naval Training System. The organizations have a strong relationship with each other but remain independent.

So what is NTDC(A) and(P) and what they do?

It is a question that everyone seems to have these days, especially those who see it on their posting message.

Both NTDC(P) and NTDC(A) fall under Naval Personnel Training Group (NPTG), a headquarters located on the Pacific coast.

Technically, despite the A standing for Atlantic, NTDC(A) falls under Maritime Forces Pacific.

The two units essentially focus on one thing: training. Staff develop training in the form of Qualification Standard and Plans and training aids such as videos, virtual reality simulation, and 3D printing.

The military tradition of creating fine, educational videos dates back to classics such as In Through the Out Door and it continues at both NTDC(A) and (P) within their Learning Support Centres (LSC). At each location, there is an entire lab filled with professionals dedicated to making new, high-quality videos and graphics to help demonstrate various lessons. Think of it like building a YouTube tutorial video library.

There are also several virtual reality simulators. No longer is the simulator just for a Naval Warfare Officer to learn how to drive ships; now Boatswains can learn to drive a Rigid Hill inflatable Boat (RHIB) without getting wet. Tools like these not only allow junior members to learn a precarious skill in a safe environment, but adds more opportunity as well. It is one more RHIB that can be used to develop driving skills, except it is not at the mercy of bad weather or mechanical issues.

Finally, the future is here with 3D printing. Inside the confines of S15 at CFB Halifax lies a wide range of technological relics and advancements. Need an engine piece printed out to demonstrate all the components? They can do it. Need some realistic models of ships created to explain ROR scenarios? No problem.

So what does this mean for everyone? It means that now there is an organization, independent from the schools, that focuses on developing and improving training. Constantly modernizing training through creating 3D printed models, VR simulations, and demonstrative videos is all in a day’s work to make sure that training has the best tools to ensure the Royal Canadian Navy generates the superior sailors our navy needs.


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