GMATS takes MarPro to School


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Maritime Professional Q3 2011 Magazine

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GMATS takes MarPro to School

  2. 2. STCW and BRMHHands On GMATS takes MarPro to School MarPro Editor Joe Keefe edges closer to STCW compliance as GMATS shows off its customized education and training programs for commercial mariners. by Joseph Keefe hen I last signed aboard a seagoing merchant ves- 1980’s – actually began only a couple of years ago. TheW sel as a Deck Officer in the mid-1980’s, the term “Bridge Resource Management” was only justbeing brought into play aboard the world’s merchant fleets. effort, something I dubbed “STCW at 50” has now stretched out into my 52nd year, partly due to scheduling issues with my job and personal affairs. That it has taken this long isCertainly, it had not yet been formally mandated as a training proof of the overwhelming regulatory burden presented byprotocol. On board my oil tanker – operated, interestingly the International Convention on Standards of Training,enough, by a large integrated oil refining and exploration Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (or STCW).company – BRM was not something we discussed over din- Those attempting to achieve these qualifications outside aner in the officer’s saloon. Instead, resource management in formal training program or – as I am doing from scratch –our antiquated, 1940’s-era wheelhouse typically involved know exactly what I’m talking about. With six of these cours-making darn sure that the Master had fresh coffee when he es now under my expanding belt, along with the U.S. Coastcame up. And, as I remember it, a very important task for the Guard mandated (NAVC 04-08) physical examination and aMate on the mid watch was to step down one deck from the drug test, I will submit my credentials in the near future.bridge wing and reset the recalcitrant A/C unit when it shut Before that could occur, however, I needed to complete theoff; usually 3 or 4 times each night at sea. BRM training. As possibly the last mariner and maybe the oldest on the Adopted in 1978 and entering into force in 1984, STCWplanet to enter and utilize a bridge training simulator, my sets qualification standards for officers and watch personneljourney to STCW compliance – something that came along on seagoing merchant ships, the Convention was significant-after my ship was scrapped out from under me in the mid- ly amended in 1995. More recently, the so-called ManilaFull mission Kongsberg Simulator.20 Maritime Professional 3Q 2011
  3. 3. Amendments of last year further ness is better qualified to deliver thatramped up requirements for other per- knowledge than the instructors atsonnel and addressed technology GMATS, using cutting edge technolo-advances and other issues. One of the gy to do it.key requirements of STCW outlinesthe need for Bridge Resource NO SURPRISE: GMATS ONManagement Training (BRM) for YOUR RADARdeck officers. In May, I traveled to Perhaps better known for its serviceKings Point, NY to take the required to military groups and federalcourse, along with 19 other Mates employees, the broader mission andfrom Reinauer Transportation performance of the Global MaritimeCompany. Over the course of three and Transportation School (GMATS)very full days, which included 8 hours has long since eclipsed that important,of advanced simulator training, I was but narrow sector of the maritimebrought up to speed on the many transportation training demographic.advances in technology and naviga- Conveniently located within easytion/management techniques that reach of three major airport hubs andhave occurred over the past three boasting access to state-of-the-artdecades. Arguably, no one in the busi- simulation and training equipment,… navigating New York and Baltimore harbors, docking andundocking and practicing other skills with realistic controls and thelatest in ECDIS equipment in one of the newest simulation arrange-ments available anywhere was a terrific learning experience.Captain George Sandberg instructs BRM students.
  4. 4. STCW and BRMGMATS has not only sometimes included interac-emerged as an industry leader tion with as many as threein delivering high-quality reg- other tow units (operated byulatory training but also in its others in the same exercise)ability to deliver tightly and ships inserted into thefocused, customized pro- mix by the instructors, hegrams. That’s hardly surpris- showed remarkable patienceing, but it is, at the same time, with his “dinosaur” partner.also hard to beat anywhere For my part, navigating Newelse. York and Baltimore harbors, The most visible name in docking and undocking andmaritime education in North practicing other skills with theAmerica is as agile as it is realistic controls and the latestbig. At the heart of the in ECDIS equipment in one ofGMATS mission is its ability the newest simulationto quickly and efficiently arrangements available any- Author’s BRM STCW Certificate, issued by GMATS.develop training programs where was a terrific learningdesigned to meet the specific needs of any organization. experience. For their part, Reinauer Mates told me that one ofExpanding from its formal roots in 1994, the school, co-locat- the most valuable parts of the GMATS BRM experienceed with the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on 82 acres on included the primers on bridge-to-bridge communicationsLong Island Sound, delivers more than 140 professional edu- and the importance of those skills in their daily work.cation and specialized training programs spanning 4 divisions In addition to the BRM curriculum, participants also wereof learning which include Nautical Science and Military presented with the GMATS 8-Hour Advanced SimulationTraining, Marine Engineering, Transportation Logistics and Training certificate. The simulation, led by GMATS ECDISManagement and Research and Special Projects. Last year subject matter expert Christian Hempstead, included integrat-alone, 4,000 students and their sponsoring organizations took ed training involving safe navigation and maneuvering ofadvantage of the GMATS menu of course offerings, reflect- multiple towing vessels and barges in various conditions ofing a growing client list that includes numerous government, visibility, wind, current, challenging traffic and emergencymilitary, and commercial entities. situations. Hempstead, widely regarded as North America’s foremost authority on ECDIS training for professionalCUSTOMIZING THE REINAUER EXPERIENCE mariners, tailored the simulation directly to the needs of the In May, and as a perfect example of its nimble learning plat- Reinauer’s professional mariners. Classroom chalk talksform, two customized STCW-compliant Bridge Resource included required topics such as voyage planning, effectiveManagement (BRM) courses were put together by GMATS communications, error trapping, the value of a “shared men-for Reinauer Transportation Company. Using intensive case tal model,” and effective teamwork in action. The full course,study material, award-winning professor (Captain) George BRM plus simulator training, was a powerful learning expe-Sandberg led students through a myriad of lessons involving rience.situational awareness, decision making, leadership, crisis Although Reinauer’s bridge personnel were already com-management, communication, master/pilot relationships, and pliant with all aspects of their licensing requirements, thevoyage planning. Incorporating much more than the required New York-based marine transportation group regularly electsU.S. Coast Guard and STCW mandated content, the course(s) to provide continuing education for their marine personnel.also included extensive use of the latest version of Transas As is usually the case, they chose GMATS in this instance,NaviTrainer 5000 simulators, as well as Transas ECDIS units rotating two groups of 19 mates each through the customizedand the lively interaction of as many as four different student- program.piloted vessels in the same exercise. Significantly, exercise(s) Frank Kuziemski, Fleet Manager for Reinauer, also over-were customized for the type of equipment typically sees training requirements for the 75-vessel operation fromemployed by Reinauer’s Mates and Captains, adding to the his Staten Island offices. He told MarPro, “GMATS’ ability torealism and utility of the learning experience. bring together large groups is important to us. Not everyone I attended the first of those customized courses and, during can do that.”the simulator training, was paired with a young Reinauer As a regular client of GMATS, Kuziemski added that theMate (who clearly drew the short straw when it came time to newly upgraded, state-of-the-art simulator equipment wasselect a partner). As we worked through the exercises which also a key factor in their decision to use GMATS.22 Maritime Professional 3Q 2011
  5. 5. OUTSIDE THE BOX; INSIDEYOUR PRICE RANGE Able to accommodate as many as 24participants in one BRM class, theGMATS BRM training experienceprovides economy of scale for largercompanies, while tailoring courses tothe needs of today’s diverse maritimeprofessionals. Well beyond the fullarray of STCW-compliant and U.S.Coast Guard approved course offer-ings that augment GMATS’ betterknown military training programs, theinnovation continues. Transportationprofessionals can also choose from awide menu of other, industry-relatedGMATS Programs – most eligible forVA Benefits – that include the ODUBusiness Gateway and GMATSPartnership in Engineer TrainingGMATS, the American MilitaryUniversity (AMU) Partnership andthe MATE 500/1600 Gross TonLicense Program with TowingEndorsement. Based solely on the quality of theGMATS Bridge ResourceManagement (BRM) module, it iseasy to imagine GMATS as being my“one-stop” source for future profes-sional training. In May and on theway to STCW compliance, I got takento school by GMATS. Are you next? On the WEB:
  6. 6. H ECDIS TRAINING Mastering Safe Navigation with ECDISHands On by Christian Hempstead he key to mastering safe navigation with ECDIS is aT matter of personal discovery. The navigation part of this idea means continually defining what to look for– what information is needed right now to continue safe nav-igation. The ECDIS part means how to look. At the very leastthis requires nimble selection of and brief glances at infor-mation best suited to the situation at hand. The safe part,however self-evident, should include the critical competen-cies of maintaining adequate under keel clearance and low-risk approach to other vessels at all times. It is a matter of personal experience to appreciate the com-plex variety of navigational situations that will occur on avessel. These elements include the vessel, things external tothe vessel, and what you are doing there in the first place.Variables of the vessel consist of speed, draft, maneuverabil-ity, sensor equipment, and control functions. Externals con-sist of bathymetry, coastline topography, traffic, environmen-tal conditions, chart detail, and chart data quality. Your pur-pose may be a transit, arrival, departure, cargo transfer, pilotarea approach, anchoring, berthing, drifting, holding posi-tion, or pattern navigation. These lists are not exhaustive. Thepoint is that any degree of experience underway reveals thatany combination of elements requires the watch officer maketransitions and adaptations to changes. The discovery aspect of mastering safe ECDIS navigationoccurs on several levels. The crucial fact that no single settingsuits all circumstances demands active monitoring. This isdefined as “highly efficient intervention.” Any navigational GMATS Instructor Christian Hempsteadcontext, from mild to nearly overwhelming, demands the effi-cient shifting of attention sequentially between all access first USCG-approved ECDIS course in 2001. It was based onpoints. The access points are the visual scene, digital and the just published IMO Model Course 1.27. During this samegraphic information displays, source sensors, and auditory period, desktop simulation with high-fidelity visuals, own-systems. Efficient shifting of attention is especially necessary ship control, and integration with type-approved ECDIS andin solo watchstanding. Becoming captivated by any one of radar was just becoming commercially accessible.the access points inhibits or even shuts down the process of In quick succession, I discovered the enormous potential toactive monitoring. Such captivation is likely to be at the heart develop skills-based training in solo navigation with thisof any failed critical competency. This is another way of form of simulation. At no risk to safety, a trainee could havedescribing the familiar admonition to avoid over reliance on the opportunity for the first time to integrate all aspects ofany one piece of equipment. solo navigation - visual piloting, paper and electronic chart Many of these issues came to mind while sailing deep sea plotting, radar/ARPA and traffic management. The potentialas senior deck officer responsible for my ships navigation for interactive ownships in non-visual simulation had been insystems. My years of learning to navigate with chart plotters use for a number of years. The advent of the $500 VGA cardand eventually ECDIS began in the early 1990s. In the was at the heart of the solo visual training revolution. Butabsence of useful manuals or instruction, I knew that learning there was no real precedent in courseware or instruction forto navigate safely with ECDIS would come at the prolonged this approach.risk of unsafe navigation. In part, this prompted me to come Within a year of moving to the U.S. Merchant Marineashore in 2000 to develop and teach ECDIS navigation. Academy in 2004, I took the opportunity to begin replacingPacific Maritime Institute supported my effort to create the the aging windowless radar/ARPA simulation lab. The steps24 Maritime Professional 3Q 2011
  7. 7. STCW and BRMState-of-the-art Transas simulation and ECDIS equipment competency-based training in the maritime field, namely STCW. Although STCW-95 came into force between 1997 and 2002, its preceding years of work just missed the revolu- tion in navigation and visual training, as did the initial ECDIS Model Course. But in 2007, work to revise and update STCW was begun. Professor Dennis Compton, a colleague at USMMA, was aware of our advances in ECDIS navigation training. Professor Compton also represented the Maritime Administration and the federally regulated maritime acade- mies on the STW subcommittee (STW), and represented USMMA at MERPAC. Answering a request by him and Mayte Medina, USCG, head of the U.S. delegation to STW, I proposed ECDIS training requirements to MERPAC. I had derived these directly from the progress I was making with my ECDIS course at USMMA. After a period of peer review and refinement, this inclusion of ECDIS in the STCW Code and Guidance revisions was finalized in 2009, and adopted in the 2010 Manila Amendments. Early in 2009, I was asked again by Professor Compton and Mayte Medina to propose a revised and updated ECDIS Model Course 1.27. The process of peer review, revision and final IMO validation proceeded through 2010. In May 2011,were modest at first, but by early 2007, solo navigation sim- the STW sub-committee added the revised draft model courseulation at USMMA consisted of two labs each with 16 inter- to its 2012 voting agenda as item 43/3/1. As a result, flagactive ownships, where each ownship was essentially an states should be able to formally recognize the revised MCECDIS-equipped full mission workstation within its own 1.27 as the training requirement begins to come into force.cubicle with a large screen visual channel. In addition, two The broad implementation will require industry support forsupporting classroom labs had been created using the same adherence to assessment criteria for ECDIS navigation com-simulation and ECDIS systems. By the Spring term of 2007, petencies, consistently prepared ECDIS trainers, and guid-I was able to offer a USCG-certified ECDIS course at ance for flag states and ship operators. In their recently pro-USMMA, the first at any US academy. That course re- posed implementation of STCW, as amended, the USCG willsequenced the required content, emphasized the navigational require all deck watch officers assigned to ECDIS-equippedcontext, and added guidance on scenarios and competency vessels of any size to “provide evidence of meeting the stan-assessments. Although not my intention at the time, this dard of competence” in ECDIS, among other skills, and willbecame the template for proposed revisions to STCW and to note the absence of such evidence on the STCW certificate. IModel Course 1.27. anticipate that the USCG will issue a policy circular indicat- The fundamental goal of the new ECDIS navigation train- ing MC 1.27 (2010 edition) as the reference standard for taking place at USMMA was, and still is, to create a fair mariners.and graded assessment of solo watch keeping and decision-making skills centered on the effective use of ECDIS. Whatmakes this possible is a considerable amount of underwaypractice. While teaching academy midshipmen, I became The Authorvery aware of the effectiveness of what I refer to as "socialnavigation" – the compelling experience of the unexpected as CDR Christian Hempstead (USMS) is an Associatestudents navigate around each other. I found that this effi- Professor at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kingsciency of learning requires a simulation-equipped classroom Point, NY. He is also a licensed Master Mariner. Hempsteadfor familiarization phases. But it is in the semi-isolated con- has been at the forefront of ECDIS training and the develop- ment of STCW training standards for many years. The infor-fines of interactive solo navigation that the real integrated mation in this article does not necessarily represent the viewlearning takes place. of the Maritime Administration or of the U.S. Dept of The coincidence of navigation, display, and personal simu- Transportation.lation technologies were out of synch with the evolution of26 Maritime Professional 3Q 2011