NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — The Naval Air System Command (NAVAIR) University’s School of Modeling and Simulation (M&S) began its first class after a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center (SMHEC) in California, Maryland, July 21.
M&S is a growing field that enables NAVAIR to create realistic models of highly complex, interactive and reactive environments used for training, testing, analysis and experimentation. It has enabled the DoD to drastically reduce the cost and risk associated with new platforms.
“Today we’re doing something different,” said Amy Markowich, dean of the School of Modeling and Simulation (M&S) and the Department of the Navy’s M&S executive. “Before, you had to convince people to use M&S. Now everyone understands that we need to use it, but they don’t know the best practices. We no longer just look at one system. We look at the system-of-systems to create an integrated warfighting capability that simulates the battlespace of the future. This school is the first step to getting the Navy’s workforce thinking this way.”
The school currently offers a four-course certificate program that will deliver an essential understanding of M&S methodologies, as well as best practices for the use of advanced M&S technologies — critical components for maintaining a workforce that supports the needs of NAVAIR and the DoD.
NAVAIR was one of the first DoD organizations to embrace M&S, according to John Sokolowski, executive director of Old Dominion University’s (ODU) Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center, and one of the teachers in the curriculum. He has seen the discipline grow from use in military and defense applications to medical, manufacturing industries and beyond.
Twenty NAVAIR employees are currently enrolled in the School of M&S, which is offered in partnership with ODU and the Naval Innovative Science and Engineering Section 219 program, with classes held at SMHEC.
“This program will better educate me in techniques that will increase productivity, but will also help me gain more knowledge of something I’m passionate about,” said Christian Riddle, a student in the program and a Manned Flight Simulator lab architect at NAVAIR. “In order to be a mentor in the workplace and perform my job to the best of my ability, I can’t pass up the opportunities that NAVAIR is creating for us.”
The first class began directly after the ceremony. Once they’ve completed the certificate program, students have the option to apply credits earned toward a Master of Engineering degree in M&S at ODU.
For more information, contact NAWCAD Public Affairs at 301-757-2211.