CNO Richardson: Navy Training Innovations Should Come From Service and Industry

Adm. John Richardson at National Training and Simulation Association’s annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference

Photo: Event Photography of North American Corporation

ORLANDO, Fla. — The U.S. Navy is looking both within the service and to industry to develop advanced training capabilities and keep up with the pace of innovation, the chief of naval operations said Nov. 30. 

The military is no longer always at the forefront of technology the way it was decades ago to develop the computer or the internet. But it’s not always following private industry either, said Adm. John Richardson at National Training and Simulation Association’s annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference. 

“What is the lead-follow dynamic now when adapting technology?” he asked, answering that it’s more of a combination between government and industry, where an agency like the Naval Research Laboratory would focus on service-specific capabilities, leaving industry to move forward with broader advanced capabilities that could have military applications.

The Navy must continue to invest in the right personnel to develop service-specific capabilities, “where there’s just no appetite outside of the military” to address, Richardson noted.

“In those areas where we are sort of the unique customer, then we’ve got to move forward. We’ve got to have the right people … and in many more areas than we do,” he said. The Navy can then work with industry to adopt broader advanced capabilities, he added.

“We’ve got to become fast followers … and streamline our processes so we can keep up with the pace” of technology advancement, he said. 

Richardson chose to forgo a more traditional keynote speech at the conference, instead soliciting audience feedback for better ways to allow industry to build the capabilities the Navy needs to train its future sailors. 

Performance measurements that can identify and develop individual learning processes will be critical for any future Navy training strategy, he said. 

“That idea of predicting a learning outcome, measuring our actual performance and then feeding back the difference between the prediction and the real performance, and understanding that difference, I think is absolutely essential,” he said. “If we don’t embed that feedback loop into what we’re doing, then we’re not learning.”

The service can then tailor the training environment to match a new sailor’s most effective learning process, he said.

Richardson acknowledged that the Navy could “become a better customer” to industry, and said the service is working to improve processes to better facilitate technology advancements. 

Industry representatives called for changes in the way the service deploys its enterprise networks that could better enable advanced simulations capabilities and better mobility for its trainees. 

Richardson acknowledged that the service needed to improve its network operations. “I agree that our approach to IT needs to kind of leap forward,” Richardson said. “I think we’ve got sort of an archaic view of it. We’re pushing as hard as we can in that area.”


Topics: Navy News, Modeling and Simulation, Training and Simulation

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