New Course for Anti-Submarine Warfare Officers
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Paula Ludwick,
SAN DIEGO – The new Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer (ASWO) class geared toward providing a basic skills knowledge level is scheduled to graduate 14 new division officers Aug. 15.

In cooperation with SURFOR, the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) and the Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center (FASWTC) developed the curriculum to improve Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) proficiency to increase warfighting readiness in this vital mission area throughout the fleet. A team of 10 subject matter experts spent eight weeks writing the curriculum that has been non-existent since early 2007, when the previous ASWO course was cancelled and no longer made a requirement. The team also received input from the Surface Warfare Officer School to ensure better training for the future division officers.

“Our Sailors are the most important asset that Naval Surface Forces have,” said Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, Commander, SURFOR. “This course is designed to give them the tools necessary to run their prospective shipboard divisions, maintain required equipment and lead sailors at sea during tactical situations.”

The pilot course offers ASWOs technical knowledge and administrative skills relevant to the job they perform on board their respective ships. Beginning in 2009, the two-week course will also be offered in Norfolk, Va., allowing a total of 60 personnel per year to attend the course.

SURFOR, in its vision of its strategic plan, updated the Surface Force Training Manual to make it a requirement for every ship with ASW capabilities including guided-missile cruisers, guided-missile frigates and guided-missile destroyers.

“This course is designed to provide the necessary knowledge for a junior officer to be an ASWO as we man, train and equip our forces in pursuit of improved warfighting readiness,” Curtis said. “As the course evolves, we will take a look at the results and feedback from course graduates, and redefine the instruction as needed.”

While attending the course, ASWOs will train on various ASW topics, including the responsibilities of an ASWO, training requirements, divisional manning, sonar capabilities, submarines and other related topics. The class ends with a team training event in which the students are put in a tactical scenario and are graded upon how they perform.

“We are increasing our proficiency to ensure the Maritime Strategy is carried out throughout the world,” Curtis said. “Our junior officers must possess the skills that ready the Navy for the future of warfighting readiness while ensuring tactical excellence now.”

SURFOR is dedicated to supporting the warfighter by using collaborative practices that ensure combatant commanders can focus on tactical excellence. The Surface Warfare Enterprise facilitates the work of SURFOR groups, including ASWOs, by streamlining requirements and processes and aligning multiple organizations to improve warfighting readiness using the best of maintenance, modernization, logistics, manning and training.
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