Move over “Halo” and “Call of Duty” because the Littoral Combat Ship Training Facility is simulation on steroids, and Sailors from the littoral combat ship USS Forth Worth (LCS 3) are getting a big dose of realism by using it during Fleet Synthetic Training (FST) this month.
FST is an advanced simulation that brings carrier strike groups, amphibious readiness groups, ships, and air wings together from across the globe in an integrated battle problem, and allows combat information center watchstanders to interact with battle simulations through consoles onboard their ships.
However, unlike legacy ships where FST takes place only within combat information centers, LCS Sailors at the Littoral Combat Ship Training Facility are able to exercise the full spectrum of integrated operations with their combat watchstanders, bridge teams and engineers.
The difference is the high fidelity LCS Training Facility, which allows LCS to incorporate combat, officer of the deck, and engineering officer of the watch actions into the scenario.
“During training on legacy ships, when the tactical action officer orders a course change to fire the gun or to get into station, a simulation technician inputs the course change and voila, you’re there,” said Lt. Mike Chesnut, Fort Worth’s combat systems officer.
“There are a lot of assumptions that are made because of simulation limitations,” he said. “For LCS, I talk to my bridge team and I have to coordinate tactical maneuvering just like real life.”
Other Fort Worth crew members say they are equally impressed with the capabilities of the Littoral Combat ship Training Facility.
“When we blow something up, the bridge team can actually see the explosions and make battle damage assessments to Combat,” said Lt. Sean Lewis, Fort Worth’s navigator.
Not all Navy ships currently have this ability to synthetically train their bridge, combat and engineering watch teams in integrated scenarios, but the LCS program is paving the way for the future.
The LCS program gives the U.S. Navy increased presence and operational flexibility through its shallow draft, multi-mission capability, and overall affordability compared to other ship types.