By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Diana Quinlan,
Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Detachment Hawaii
PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- U.S. Senator from Hawaii Mazie Keiko Hirono, a member of the Democratic Party, visited Fleet Integrated Synthetic Test and Training Facility (FIST2FAC) at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Detachment Pacific on Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, March 20.
As a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, one of Hirono's missions is seeking to further explore the areas of research and development within the realm of national defense as well as to learn more about the collaboration to support needs specific to the local area of responsibility.
"I serve on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee," said Hirono. "I often visit centers and facilities so that I can better understand and be supportive of all of the people that are here and the work that they do."
Hirono toured the training facilities to learn about daily procedures at the command, education that is provided to service members in operations at sea, and observed training as well as meeting the civilian and military personnel who operate the facilities and attend the training.
Lt. j.g. Beth Reed, anti-submarine warfare officer stationed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) was one of the Sailors who had a chance to meet and speak Hirono upon completion of her training tour.
"I think it is great that the Senator is coming by and meeting with personnel in uniform, it's a good civilian-military interaction," said Reed. "We can show her a little bit about cutting-edge technology that is being developed in her state of Hawaii."
Reed also spoke about the services and training provided by FIST2FAC to service members stationed on the island.
"It is a state of the art facility; it's hard to simulate what you actually do at sea but they have done a very good job simulating the command and control climate aboard an actual ship," said Reed. "It is a great tool for training and for keeping skills fresh while ships are in port."
Senator Hirono was introduced to the current and future goals of the training facilities and its activities. The FIST2FAC staff also provided demonstrations of several simulation stations of Navy destroyer such as the bridge, bridge wing, combat information center, small caliber weapon stations and others.
"This is the first time that I have visited this center," said Hirono. "I will make sure that this center is a very important part of our naval warfare, and that it will stay in Hawaii and continue to maintain jobs and be a part of national security."
Hirono is slated to visit other facilities in Hawaii including the University of Hawaii Applied Research Laboratory and the Maui High Performance Computing Center.
According to the U.S. Defense Department Science Blog, FIST2FAC provides an affordable, adaptive way to train. It combines a hassle-free setup, software and gaming technology to help naval forces develop strategies for a variety of missions and operations. "FIST2FAC allows Sailors to 'train like they fight' by presenting realistic forces in a visual, tactical and operational environment," said Glenn White, Office of Naval Research's integration and transition manager for the project.
"This is the future of training for the Navy," said Dr. Terry Allard, head of ONR's Warfighter Performance Department. "With simulation, you can explore endless possibilities without the expense and logistical challenges of putting hundreds of ships at sea and aircraft in the sky." FIST2FAC allows sailors to interact with artificially intelligent forces in countless settings and train for multiple missions simultaneously. The system can replicate simple and complex situations involving aircraft carriers, helicopters, lethal and nonlethal weapons, and more.