Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter visited Naval Station Great Lakes Oct. 10 and met with Sailors and toured Recruit Training Command (RTC) and Training Support Center (TSC).
While touring RTC, Winter remarked about the considerable changes at the Navy’s only boot camp.
“It’s interesting just to talk to the people in charge and to understand the dynamics of the training process,” Winter said. “I’m very pleased with what I’m hearing in terms of the overall adaptation of the training process to the Navy of the 21st century. I am also please with the new recruits we’re getting.”
RTC is nearly finished with a massive recapitalization program that began after the Navy consolidated all enlisted Basic Training from San Diego and Orlando, Fla., to RTC Great Lakes. The program includes 13 state-of-the-art barracks, each with its own galley and computerized classrooms.
The centerpiece of the recap program is Battle Stations 21, a building that will house a 500-foot-long replica of a guided-missile destroyer. Winter toured the facility, which will use modern special effects to create challenging and realistic training scenarios.
After seeing the facility, Winter said the training that will be provided at Battle Stations 21 will test the necessary skills needed in the fleet.
“It’s a proper capstone to a recruit's experience here,” Winter said. “I think (Battle Stations 21) will provide the type of focus for all their training activities, as well as give them an event which will serve them well in their career within the Navy and also mark their transitions to Sailors.”
Battle Stations 21 is scheduled to be operational in summer 2007.
Winter then toured TSC, which graduates more than 16,000 Sailors each year from its six learning sites. He noted how continued sailorization in the curriculum at TSC serves to produce a better prepared Sailor for the fleet.
“As we continue to adapt to the recruits that are coming into the service at this point in time and try to turn those civilians into Sailors for the fleet, we have to continue to adapt and work that transition very aggressively,” Winter said. “I think that what’s happening here right now is achieving that objective.”