X33 C/D Lead General Foreman Stacy Mann participates in a confined space virtual reality training.

Using Virtual Reality to Train Employees

Published September 21, 2021

Newport News Shipbuilding’s In-Service Aircraft Carrier Trade Production Team is offering a virtual reality training for confined space safety, led by X11/X18 General Foreman Bill Bassett and his team.

Bassett discovered the virtual reality training through his Trade Business Office and immediately saw the benefit of implementing the program on the waterfront, where it would be more convenient for deckplate mechanics. The confined space virtual reality training began in May and is coordinated by trainers Bruce Marshall and Lyndsey Hall.

From vice presidents to deckplate mechanics, the team has conducted over 600 virtual reality trainings – averaging 150 participants per month. Virtual reality compliments the classroom training required for the qualification. The virtual reality training takes approximately 10 minutes and is held in a simulated confined space in the Production Trades Building (Bldg. 4911) near Dry Dock 10 and Outfitting Berth 1.

Recently, Bassett and his team presented the training to Capt. Andrew P. Johnson, commanding officer of Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, Newport News, who expressed enthusiasm after the presentation. Johnson even challenged the team to look for other virtual reality training opportunities that could benefit the In-Service Aircraft Carrier Program.

“The goal is to work to get all of our mechanics, foremen and general foremen on USS George Washington (CVN 73) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) to participate in this VR training. We will begin to explore other areas of VR training like a training to help with fire prevention, for instance,” Bassett said.