BY CWO3 MICHAEL CARTER
As the newest generation of Supply Corps officers’ appetite for experiential learning has increased, so has Navy Supply Corps School’s (NSCS) development of hands-on training opportunities. Since its transition to Naval Station Newport in 2011, NSCS has conducted extensive hands-on training by use of full-scale models known as mock-ups. Initial mock-ups included basic spaces typically found across retail and food service operations, (e.g. galley, mess decks, and ship’s store). Over time the number of mock-ups provided has increased with demand from Basic Qualification Course (BQC) students. On Sept. 16, NSCS added another element to its game plan in preparing its students for afloat operations.
On a cool fall morning in Newport, NSCS Commanding Officer Capt. Doug Noble cut the ribbon on a new dry goods storeroom mock-up, providing yet another opportunity for prospective division
officers to employ a tactile approach to learning our craft. CWO3 Michael Carter and his team of food service instructors stood up the new storeroom, encompassing 50 food identification codes (FICs) of dry goods. Each can, bag, and box of stores can be temporarily labeled with FIC and date to reinforce authenticity of the experience for students. Using this dry goods storeroom, BQC students have the ability to simulate first-in-first-out stowage, spot inventory counts, and breakouts/break-backs.
The full breadth of hands-on learning opportunities provided by NSCS includes multiple spaces for both retail operations and food service divisions. Retail operations spaces have been mocked-up to include a full ship’s store, barber’s station, soda storeroom, laundry equipment, and two vending outlets. The addition of the food service dry goods storeroom expanded on the galley equipment, beverage line, presentation silver, and mess decks already in use during the food service curriculum. While the finite size of the Wheeler Center limits the number of spaces NSCS can model, the staff continues to refine facets of the mock-ups to increase the realism of the experience.
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NSCS Commanding Officer Capt. Doug Noble, Food Service Instructors Mr. Lester Griffith and CWO3 Michael Carter.
Phased plans to refine the new dry goods storeroom include the addition of deck grating and an increase in the number of line items available for use. Moreover, in the near future, NSCS plans to integrate the Financial Audit Compliance Enhancement Tool (FACET) system into the food service dry store room mock-up to train students on the relationship between Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness compliance and food service.
The original use of mock-ups was in direct response to student feedback and continues to drive change at NSCS. Having conducted exit interviews with each student of the BQC, Noble noted, “The students overwhelmingly want more hands-on practical exercises.” The addition of space mock-ups provides a means of reinforcing traditional curriculum developed by NSCS’ Immediate Superior in Command, Center for Service Support (CSS). With CSS’ extraordinary support and partnership, NSCS is able to supplement knowledge-based curriculum with more experiential training opportunities that young officers respond to best.
While “punching pubs” has always been a Supply Corps skillset, the next generation of Supply Corps officers find the ability to observe and perform those processes after reviewing them in a classroom setting greatly enhances their comprehension and retention of the subject material. NSCS has long been on the front lines of providing support to the Fleet, continuing to improve curriculum delivery methodology and techniques with the ultimate goal of getting its graduates “Ready for Sea!”