Basic Engineering Common Core (BECC) at Surface Warfare Engineering School Command (SWESC) Great Lakes is preparing sailors with the basic skills needed to function in a shipboard engineering environment.
Future engineers begin with 15-days Engineering Professional Apprenticeship Career Track (E-PACT) course. Following the course, undesignated Fireman will transfer to the fleet. Most will continue into a 14-day Basic Engineering Common Core Advanced (BECC Adv.) course where they will learn engineering principals and theory.
“The E-PACT and BECC Advanced courses were born from the need to streamline training for all apprentice surface engineers,” said SWESC Great Lakes Commanding Officer Cmdr. Shawn Gibson. “They leverage many of the pillars associated with High Velocity Learning by targeting that knowledge and those skills necessary for our newest engineers to succeed during their first tour aboard a naval vessel.”
E-PACT provides instruction for basic knowledge and skills necessary to perform maintenance and combat casualties onboard ships. BECC Adv. provides complex training that better prepares students prior to their ‘A’ School.
SWESC Great Lakes’ utilizes interactive courseware training, instructor-led training, and hands-on application. Each type of training is meant to build upon each other. Students work through course modules to complete the training. They also utilize the “crawl, walk, run” methodology of training.
On average, sailors will receive approximately 30 percent interactive courseware training, 20 percent instructor-led, and 50 percent hands-on training.
Interactive courseware training combines text information with computer simulation scenarios that take students through tasks that are either performed regularly on a ship or requires performing virtual damage control tasks. To enforce the interactive courseware training, students receive hands-on training on engineering systems, basic tools and maintenance, and damage control to include the Damage Control Wet Trainer.
Beginning modules focus on safety including classes familiarizing students with heat stress program, basic first aid, and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. Continuing on, they learn how to tag-out equipment and utilize Engineering Operational Sequencing System (EOSS) and Planned Maintenance System (PMS) to align systems and conduct maintenance.
Labs are held where students spend time learning damage control systems and maintenance on watertight closures, dewatering procedures, hose handling, patching and plugging and damage investigation. Students also receive hands-on training on tools, flange shield, valve repair, bearings, couplings, steering gears, AC/R, conveyors, potable water system and distilling units, hydraulics, anchor windlass, HP/LP air, oil water separator, pumps, educator operation, heat exchangers, gears, main shafting, auxiliary machinery cooling water, piping, tubes, and fittings.
A series of increasingly complex laboratories culminates in using everything they have learned to perform the final task of performing maintenance on a running lube oil purifier and duplex strainer to include tag-out, correct use of personal protective equipment while following a MRC.
“Through a combination of experienced Instructors, the infusion of advanced training technologies, the opportunity to practice skills through high fidelity simulation, and finally hands-on experience and evaluation, we ground the next generation of naval engineers in Sound Shipboard Operating Principles,” Gibson said. “Every Sailor that graduates BECC leaves with a solid understanding of the requirement for verbatim procedural compliance, a questioning attitude, and the integrity to speak up when things don’t look right.”