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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

Fleet Forces Commander Visits Center for Surface Combat Systems

by Kimberly Lansdale
14 October 2020

Seeking to observe new, advanced training initiatives and engage with Sailors and civilians, the U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC) commander visited the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) and their learning site, AEGIS Training and Readiness Center (ATRC), co-located onboard Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, Oct. 8. 

Adm. Christopher W. Grady, commander, USFFC, traveled to Dahlgren focused on the readiness of our combat-ready Navy forces. 

“Readiness is our first and most fundamental responsibility,” Grady said.  “Our Sailors need be confident and competent to fight and win against any adversary and to achieve this, high-end training is key.  With initiatives such as Ready Relevant Learning [RRL], we are setting Sailors up for success by providing the right training at the right time in the right way so they can better handle the technical challenges they will face to sustain our readiness in combat environments.”

CSCS oversees a training domain that consists of 14 learning sites / detachments located throughout the continental United States, Hawaii, Japan, and Spain.  ATRC, one of CSCS’ largest schoolhouses, trains both Officers and Enlisted to maintain, operate and tactically employ the AEGIS Combat System. 

During his visit, Grady met with both Capt. Dave Stoner, CSCS commanding officer, and Capt. Russ Sanchez, ATRC commanding officer. 

“The fleet is our customer and so to host Admiral Grady is an honor,” Stoner said.  “His feedback and insights allow CSCS to continue to deliver the surface warfighters needed to fight and win tonight.”   

Grady toured multiple labs and classrooms, including the Reconfigurable Combat Information Center Trainer (RCT). 

“The RCT provides watchstanders a state-of-the-art training lab to detect, control and engage simulated modern threats in challenging environments,” Stoner explained.  “It allows our students to master the weapons systems with which they will fight the ship and in turn, creates combat ready crews.”

During the tour, Grady was able to engage with Sailors and civilians. 

“What you do each and every day is crucial to our readiness,” he said.  “Your dedication and drive make our forces stronger going forward.  I am confident that our Navy, in this era of great power competition and in times of war, is ready to fight and win.”

Grady also observed CSCS’ newest Surface Training Advanced Virtual Environment (STAVE) solution, the Virtual Maintenance Task Trainer for Aegis Baseline 9 and forward maintenance.

“Our STAVE solutions are already improving combat readiness by providing better-trained, more proficient Sailors to the fleet,” Stoner said. 

By engaging with leadership, touring the schoolhouse and interacting with Sailors and civilians, Grady was able see firsthand CSCS’ impact on combat readiness.

“The fleet derives its combat power from what I call the ‘foundry,’” Grady said.  “The ‘foundry’ entails the whole-of-nation effort required to generate combat readiness.  It includes the high-end training ecosystem – things like RRL and STAVE.  Clearly, the team here understands the importance of readiness and is preparing our warfighters for the fight.”

CSCS is a global organization of professional military and civilian educators and support personnel focused on training the Surface Navy to fight and win. CSCS trains over 36,000 U.S. and Allied Sailors a year to operate, maintain and employ weapons, sensors, communications, combat systems and deck equipment of surface warships to build Combat Ready Ships with Battle Minded Crews.

For information on the Center for Surface Combat Systems, visit:  

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