Naval Air Warfare Center Training Services Division (NAWCTSD) deputy director of underseas programs, Kirk Roudabush, began The Central Florida Tech Grove’s February Juice Bar by sharing NAWCTSD’s new vision statement, “Accelerate warfighter readiness through training solutions.” According to Roudabush, NAWCTSD is placing a big emphasis on meeting and beating delivery dates, so the country does not fall behind its enemies. Their ultimate goal is to “get real and get better” with new applications of the Multipurpose Reconfigurable Training System (MRTS) 3D.

MRTS 3D started out in the undersea community supporting submarine training, from the torpedo room procedure to diesel engines maintenance. The program has since expanded to include applications for 19 systems as well as multiple subsystems.

Roudabush emphasized that the MRTS 3D training simulations can be developed relatively quickly and at a fraction of the cost.

“In the military, we need to get away from the thought that we have to have these big tactical simulators, when something like this can be just as effective,” he said. The MRTS solution enables the distribution of training to a large group of students, ensuring a widespread availability of training.

The presentation highlighted the recent updates and additional functionalities to the MRTS 3D. For example, within the MRTS 3D for the Boeing E-6B, students can now see the flow of the hydraulics system and the current of the electrical system. The addition of animation allows students, including those without a technical background, to see and understand what is going on within the replicated system. Instead of seeing a static image, the students see the movements and changes as they go through the simulations.

Mark Reemsnyder, MRTS 3D chief engineer stated, “Our general rule is, make the gesture work as close to real life manipulation as you can.”

Recently, NAWCTSD successfully implemented an eight station MRTS 3D system directly on the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier in San Diego, California. Having the system directly on the ship reduces the overall time and cost required for training sailors by eliminating the requirement for travel to a training facility. Onboard instructors guide them through just as they would for any other training. In this instance, MRTS 3D uses laptops, along with the instructor’s operation station, to enhance portability and distribution. NAWCTSD’s goal is to have the MRTS 3D system deployed on all aircraft carriers in the United States Navy by the end of 2024.

Looking to the future, NAWCTSD has many goals and desires to expand with more applications and technological advances. Roudabush discussed virtual reality (VR) developments to make the training more immersive. Currently this project is a proof of concept with a small business under a limited purpose cooperative research and development agreement (LP CRADA).

Throughout the presentation, Roudabush emphasized that NAWCTSD’s goals for the MRTS 3D are to provide access to excellent training as fast as possible to keep sailors safe from their enemies. “It’s not about me, it’s about getting the training to the sailors,” said Roudabush. “And I don’t care who does it as long as we get the training to the sailors in time, so we can bend the curve and stay ahead of our enemies. That’s one thing we do have the ability to do with our software.”

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