LEMOORE, Calif. Instructors at Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Lemoore are exploring and learning different approaches to traditional training by rapidly developing and delivering "BURST" courses at the point of need.
A mobile BURST course is one that can then be quickly created and brought to naval aviation technicians where they are, providing them with an in-depth, agile technical training solution for that specific maintenance degrader for a specific aircraft. Instructors call the training "BURST" courses to describe the fast response time to enhance and refresh knowledge and skills when and where needed.
The goal is to tackle specific critical aviation aircraft maintenance degraders that are identified by analyzing current trends for what is affecting mission capability and operational readiness in the fleet.
"This methodology of training at the point of need for our Sailors is something that we have not done before, but it has the potential to pay huge dividends to our fleet in the future," said Cmdr. Ronnie Harper, CNATTU Lemoore commanding officer. "With our ability to focus training on certain systems and troubleshooting of those systems, it allows us to spend a week on theory of operation and on aircraft troubleshooting and associated best practices."
A BURST course complements how training is delivered to Sailors as part of the Navy's Sailor 2025 Ready, Relevant Learning (RRL) initiative. RRL seeks to achieve more performance-based training as part of a career-long learning continuum that delivers the training closer to when a Sailor is expected to perform specific work.
The first BURST course pilot took place at Naval Air Station Lemoore Feb. 11-15, focusing on the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet strike fighter aircraft ALR-67 and APG-79 Radio Detection and Ranging (RADAR) systems. Local aviation electronics technicians (AT), pay grades E-3 to E-6 with varying levels of F/A-18 aviation maintenance experience, attended the five-day course. The mobile training team used lectures and discussions, followed by live demonstrations on an aircraft from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154.
A CNATTU Lemoore team of Master Training Specialists repurposed applicable CNATTU course curriculums and taught the BURST course with the support of Naval Air Systems Command Fleet Support Team and Naval Air Technical Data and Engineering Service Command technical representatives. The technical representatives also contributed products and played a critical role in helping take the training to the Master Technician level. In this instance, the course also directly supports improving Super Hornet readiness as part of a number of ongoing initiatives with this particular aircraft frame.
"The final product that came together hit exactly where I think we needed to ensure the students would be able to use this knowledge in real time at their squadrons to make them more effective technicians," said Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class Joshua Norris, one of the CNATTU instructors.
"The CNATTU instructors and civilian tech reps have managed to streamline the course material into an easy to understand and follow curriculum," said Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Alan Nahale from VFA-2. "The hands-on experience in conjunction with the lectures makes this course outstanding."
Nahale thought that the students will take the knowledge from the course back to their work centers, adding more value to their squadrons.
"This course will increase the ability to troubleshoot common and the not-so-common gripes associated with these systems that our pilots depend on to get back home safely," said Nahale.
CNATTU Lemoore is working with the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (CNATT) and Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), to determine the next system of opportunity and develop policy to export the BURST course process.
"The entire NETC organization is fully engaged with making this training worth every second and making sure it is sustainable throughout multiple sites and different type/model/series aircraft," said Harper. "We are incredibly excited to be a part of this initiative and the benefits it brings the fleet. We are extremely confident that this effort will make our fleet stronger, more agile, and better able to respond to any required tasking in the future."
For Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kristie Melven, a student from VFA-122, the BURST training is one of the better ideas she has seen come down the pipeline, especially with the hands-on interactions with a real aircraft.
"I think this is beneficial for anyone that has been in the fleet for a while and needs a refresher or who have come from older system variations," said Melven. "A lot of Sailors go through school early on without knowing exactly how to apply the troubleshooting skills taught. I feel this training is an excellent tool for those looking to advance their troubleshooting skills and to be caught up on the latest advances to take back to their respective commands - especially those running work centers and who are hands-on and can in turn train their junior Sailors and replacements. As technology advances, we need to advance as well."
CNATTU Lemoore is part of CNATT, headquartered at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida and focuses on training specific to the F/A-18 Hornet platform.
CNATT develops, delivers and supports aviation technical training at 27 sites located throughout the continental United States and Japan. CNATT is a training center under Naval Education and Training Command, and is a technical training agent for the Naval Aviation Enterprise, an organization designed to advance and sustain naval aviation warfighting capabilities at an affordable cost.
For more on CNATT, visit https://www.public.navy.mil/netc/centers/cnatt/Default.aspx.