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Following deadly 2017 collisions, Navy revamps surface training

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NEWPORT, R.I. - The Navy has revamped training for junior officers following two deadly collisions in 2017 involving U.S. Navy ships.

The revamped Junior Officer of the Deck course is taught at the Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport, Rhode Island.

The training purposefully puts students in situations to increase their stress levels and teach them how to get out of difficult ship-maneuvering scenarios.

The virtual reality training modules teach officers to safely navigate using radar, how to use standard bridge command, and master rules of the road. The technology allow them to stop, evaluate mistakes, and then redo scenarios safely.

Revamping the training became a priority for the Navy after two deadly collisions in 2017.

The USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) collided with the ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan on June 17, 2017.

The USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) collided with the merchant vessel Alnic MC on August 21, 2017.

A total of 17 Sailors died during the two collisions.

“Since the mishaps of 2017 and the follow-on Comprehensive Review, which really forced us to look introspectively at our community and dive deep into the details, we discovered quite a few areas that we needed to address,” said Capt. Scott Robertson, commanding officer of the Surface Warfare Officer School in a statement. “There's been a tremendous amount of work here at SWOS. We've made modifications to almost every one of our courses' curricula.”

You can read more about the revamped training here.

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