BY LT. MICHAEL MARCHESE, SC, USN
NAVY SUPPLY CORPS SCHOOL
Here in Newport, the Navy Supply Corps School (NSCS) is always looking to build upon and improve the learning experiences for our students. Most notably, the addition of hands-on learning opportunities has been a critical component in this endeavor. The Basic Qualification Course (BQC) and Supply Officer Department Head Course (SODHC), instruct Supply Corps officers on the full spectrum of supply-related duties, including supply management, food service, retail operations, and disbursing management. Incorporated within those positions are many other tasks that Supply Corps officers routinely perform throughout the fleet, such as managing hazardous material (HAZMAT), coordinating environmental protection, and supervising contracting efforts, to name a few. Our Corps’ “toolbox” of skills is always expanding, so NSCS took initiative to expand corresponding curriculum and learning experiences.
On June 6, 2017, our latest expansion came in the form of a mock–up HAZMAT office and storeroom. The HAZMAT mock-up provides yet another opportunity for prospective division officers and department heads to hone their skills. Lt. Michael Marchese and Jeff McCra, NSCS Supply Management instructors, stood up the new HAZMAT office and stowage area, encompassing various HAZMAT containers, educational charts, a flammables locker, an eyewash station, a spill kit, and a HAZMAT officer’s workspace.
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NSCS Commanding Officer Capt. Doug Noble and Lt. Michael Marchese cut the celebratory red ribbon in front of a crowd of staff and students.
Using this space, students now have the ability to simulate a number of tasks that they may soon be conducting in the fleet. Students are provided the opportunity to visually inspect the HAZMAT space for cleanliness and organization, paying special attention to material stowage compatibilities. They will verify that the Material Data Sheets on file are accurate and match material on the shelves. Moreover, students will verify that all proper equipment (i.e. signage, personal protective equipment, spill kit, eyewash station) is on hand and properly installed in the space.
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 spaces typically found across supply management, food service, and retail operations (e.g. VIDMARs, galley, and ship’s store). Over time, the number of mock-ups provided has increased with continual demand from BQC and SODHC students asking for more hands-on experiences. While “punching pubs” continues to be a Supply Corps staple, the current generation of Supply Corps officers thirst for more kinesthetic learning opportunities. After reviewing Supply processes in a classroom setting, observing and performing those processes in the mock up greatly enhances their comprehension and retention of the material. The HAZMAT mock–up is the latest expansion of this learning method. As we continue to improve curriculum delivery methodology and techniques, we keep in mind the ultimate goal of getting our BQC graduates “Ready For Sea!”