The sonar screen displayed images of the sea floor as a dozen participants from U.S. and partner nations looked on.
Every year, Black Laser Learning Inc. (BLL) conducts a comprehensive side scan sonar course as part of a six-month training program given by the U.S. Navy for U.S. and foreign navy hydrographers. The program, called International Hydrographic Management and Engineering Program (IHMEP), certifies participants through practical training and various marine science and associated curricula.
Navy hydrographers collect hydrographic data to create navy charts, a service essential to the safe passage of ships wherever the navy carry out their military operations and exercises. Obtaining these skills is also critical because errors in charts can lead to groundings or accidental impact with submerged obstructions.
The 2015 BLL training sessions took place at the U.S. naval facility in Gulfport, Mississippi. Lead instructor Vince Capone took 12 navy personnel through three days of in-depth instruction on how to use various types of side scan sonar equipment.
The first two days were spent in the classroom where Capone gave interactive presentations, along with some hands-on equipment handling, followed by one field collection day on the water where participants learned how to operate side scan sonars in different applications. The final exam required personnel to process data collected during the field outing.
“Thanks to Mr. Capone’s deep knowledge and industry experience, I know I can apply what I’ve learned to future work,” said LCDR Branislav Gloginja of the Montenegro Navy. “He has a great teaching style and answered every question.”
This is the sixth year Black Laser Learning has provided this specialized training to the U.S. Navy. “It was an honor and privilege to once again train our naval officers and those of partner nations,” said Capone. “Hopefully the sonar skills learned in the class will provide a sound foundation for future survey operations. I always enjoy working with the folks in the IHMEP program. The great staff and motivated students energize my efforts.”
About Black Laser Learning: Black Laser Learning is a marine technology training company specializing in distilling complex technological subject matter into easy-to-understand training segments presented live, by DVD or computer-based interactive training formats. Our clients include the U.S. Navy and Marine Law Enforcement organizations.