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CHIPS Articles: SPAWAR Helps Fleet Go Virtual

SPAWAR Helps Fleet Go Virtual
By Krishna M. Jackson, SPAWAR Public Affairs - February 17, 2015
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Instructors from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command's (SPAWAR) Reserve Program provided the first of its kind virtualization training to Sailors, in preparation for receiving the latest information technology system known as the Consolidated Afloat Network Enterprise System (CANES).

Sailors from USS Pinckney (DDG 91), USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Decatur (DDG 73) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) graduated with a certificate in data center virtualization as a VMware vSphere Certified Associate. The certification helps provide the skills necessary to manage the virtual environment of CANES once it is installed.

"My experience in the VMware course was a bit overwhelming the first day. There was a lot of unfamiliar material and I felt like it would be difficult to master in time for the certification exam by the end of the week. The training by the instructors, however, was thoroughly planned out and extremely informative," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Ryan Berckmoes, from USS Pinckney (DDG 91). "I had improved from an 18/50 on the pre-test we took on Monday to a 41/50 on the post-test on Thursday. When we took the certification exam on Friday, I tied for the highest score on the exam. I could not believe how much I had improved."

VMware is a company that specializes in "virtual machine" software that enables a user to access networked operating systems from a single or multiple stations. The Navy is moving towards a cloud centric format due to its ability to reduce the cyber footprint and increase security.

"Ships have limited space for servers and virtualizing the cyber environment makes sense. We need to train the fleet on how to use software like VMware. This is an historic event as this is the very first Navy-wide virtualization training anywhere," said Cmdr. Eric A. Stoeckel, customer advocate, Naval Air Systems Command Systems, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Keyport, Washington.

The SPAWAR Reserve Program provides free cyber security training across the globe. The training teams are made up of reservists who are attached to the SPAWAR Reserve Program at multiple sites across the country. The program provides unique military and technical capabilities in support of SPAWAR's mission, contingency response and resolution of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, issues that impact current and future fleet readiness.

"With the growing dependence on virtualization, the fleet really needed additional hands-on experience with this technology. The SPAWAR Reserves, in collaboration with SPAWAR's Tactical Networks Program Office (PMW 160) and the Fleet Readiness Directorate (FRD), developed this five-day training event to provide that hands-on training. Navy COOL provides vouchers for the students to then take their knowledge and get the VCA certification," said Dennis Stewart, CANES training manager at SPAWAR. "This is a great example of multiple entities working together to provide the fleet with the tools to help them manage and operate their networks more effectively."

In a message released to the fleet, the Navy emphasized the importance and availability of VMware training for ships that have received or will soon receive CANES. It states that emerging virtualization technology and the reliance on virtualization within Navy networks has necessitated a need for VMware training. The FRD, Reserves and SPAWAR PMW 160 have developed a VMware curriculum that will be offered at various times and locations beginning in the second quarter of fiscal year 2015.

"The course was excellent and I've already recommended it to a friend of mine who is an IT on another ship," said Berkmoes. "I'm very impressed that they were able to teach us so much in so little a time and with 100 percent success rate."

Commands that will receive a CANES upgrade in the near future should contact Dennis Stewart at dennis.b.stewart1@navy.mil to learn more or schedule training.

As the Navy's Information Dominance systems command, SPAWAR designs, develops and deploys advanced communications and information capabilities for the warfighter. With nearly 10,000 acquisition professionals located around the world and close to the fleet, the organization is at the forefront of research, engineering and support services that provide vital decision superiority for the warfighter.

For more news on the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, visit http://www.public.navy.mil/spawar/Pages/default.aspx.

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