PACIFIC OCEANT (Aug. 12, 2011)- Information Systems Technicians aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) are getting a unique opportunity to complete training not normally available at sea.

U.S. Navy Reservists from various U.S. Naval Operations Support Commands are aboard teaching ‘Security Plus’ certifications that all Information Systems Technicians are mandated to complete.

“There are a lot of Information Systems Technicians who haven’t taken that test or haven’t passed it yet and it’s difficult for them to get training while they’re underway,” said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Alex Aguila, one of the U.S. Navy Reservists teaching the course. “Having an actual instructor who’s taken the test, passed it, studied it and is familiar with the material come out to the ship to teach it really helps prepare them for that test.”

The at-sea training allows the command to train more personnel for much less cost. Normally only a few would be able to go on temporary assigned duty to receive the mandatory training; this is an effective and low-cost way to get the crew trained.

“It saves the Navy a lot of money to be able to take reservists who have these skill sets and who really are subject matter experts and bring them out to the ships and train,” said Aguila. “They can get the training right here [aboard George Washington].”

The classes are held in the mornings and evenings to accommodate a larger number of Sailors. The training typically lasts two to two-and-a-half weeks and is tailored to meet the requirements and needs of the commands that request the training for their Sailors.

“Understanding the concepts in the training course and in the test will help them become better Information Systems Technicians, [concepts like] information assurance, network security, computer science concepts. Mastering those helps them in their career,” said Aguila.

George Washington returned to patrolling the waters of the western Pacific on June 12, 2011, departing her forward operating base of Fleet Activities Yokosuka. Onboard are more than 5,500 Sailors from George Washington and Carrier Air Wing 5. George Washington’s mission is to ensure security and stability in the 7th Fleet AOR and to be in position to work with our allies and regional partners to respond to any crisis across the operational spectrum as directed.