PAE: U.S. Navy, Naval Underwater Warfare Center (AUTEC)
Training at Atlantic Test Range Sharpens Warfare Prowess
While many organizations outsource non-core competencies, few engagements address missions as broad this: improve a small city’s quality of life while training naval warfighters and supporting weapons testing. As one of the Department of Defense’s 20 major range and test facility bases, the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) presents those challenges.
An Ocean Gem for Warfare Training
At the Tongue of the Ocean (TOTO) — a basin of deep water, 100 nautical miles long, 15 miles wide, and up to 6,000 feet deep — the U.S. Navy built AUTEC, a major tracking range and weapons testing facility. (The NASA photo on the right shows Andros Island and TOTO, which is the dark blue area east of Andros. Light blue areas are shallow ocean.)
Surrounded by shallows or land, TOTO is protected, making it ideal for training Navy personnel and for testing, evaluating, and certifying undersea and air-launched weapons.
The range covers 500 square nautical miles with a deep-water portion that can track up to 63 in-water objects, including vessels and weapons, simultaneously. As the only deep-water tracking range on the East coast, AUTEC
is critical to warfighter training.
In February 2005, the Navy awarded PAE a three-year $762-million base contract (with four three-year options) to support training, testing and evaluation, as well as maintenance and support of all facilities, systems and a 600-person high-tech workforce 170 miles off the
United States coast.
Challenges Cover the Waterfront
Operating and maintaining AUTEC has all the complexity of managing an entire city whose primary focus is highly technical tracking of combatants as they seek to improve the Navy’s undersea warfare capabilities.
To ensure that courses stay up-to-date and readily available, PAE’s AUTEC team is moving to Applied Assurance — a Web-based database system for training. The benefit is the reduced effort to maintain job training and certifications.
Working with the Navy, PAE identifies specific training requirements for each functional position on the AUTEC base and enables users to log on to Applied Assurance to view and schedule future training.
For military-related instruction and subsequent test and evaluation (T&E), AUTEC’s users determine their training needs and the type of exercises they will experience at the range. For example, one range user may send out a helicopter squadron to train on prosecuting targets.
Another might send a submarine into TOTO for the Submarine Commander’s Course. Others might send surface vessels to participate in a miniwar, or multiple missile cruisers for training on how to prosecute a single submarine.
Training: From Routine to Readiness
Given the scope of AUTEC’s maintenance and operations, training, and T&E challenges, the diversity of instructional content and course levels vary dramatically.
PAE develops and teaches courses that range from safety training, such as Fall Protection and Asbestos Awareness, to general operations, such as Lift Operator and Fuel Truck Driver Certification. This sort of training exploits live classroom approaches with PAE and guest instructors, as well as computer-based, Web-based, and integrated training methods.
PAE also supports Navy-developed training for technical proficiency, such as joint special warfare and the execution of MK-48 and aircraft-launched torpedo exercises.
While uniformed Navy personnel typically lead the warfighters in those types of courses, PAE personnel set up and execute training scenarios by preparing targets; programming weapons for their intended path; launching them, tracking equipment and trainee performance in real-time; and supplying the systems, analytical data and scoring analysis to determine the weapon effectiveness and evaluate trainee skill.
Recognition and Reward
Operating under the PAE Applied Technology Division’s ISO 9001 certification, PAE personnel currently track 127 training courses and are converting 105 labor-intensive, one-on-one legacy courses to Web-based training — an overall increase in number of courses of 20 percent.
As of June 2007, the PAE AUTEC team had continuously achieved a 90+ percent award fee score, a merit-based measurement of program success.
Eastern Range, FL
Southern California Offshore Range, CA
Patuxent "Pax" River, MD
● Atlantic Undersea Test Eval Center, FL
Kodiak Launch Complex, AK
Ballistic Missile Range Safety Technology, FL
Air Force Satellite Control Network, Multiple Loc.