Inside USD

NROTC Christens New Electronic Classroom

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) at USD is just the fourth unit in the country to receive a new electronic classroom that includes a maritime simulation system.  Members of the university and Navy communities celebrated the opening of the classroom Friday, Oct. 3.


The $206,000 project includes 20 new computer stations that the NROTC unit needs to effectively teach a battalion of more than 300 midshipman.


“This classroom will allow us to teach our future naval officers basic navigation skills, contact management and ship-handling fundamentals,” said NROTC Capt. Mark Woolley. “Our goal is to produce the highest-caliber naval officers and these facilities will allow us to do just that.”


Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, students and instructors demonstrated the capabilities of the new system that include teaching basic ship handling skills, preparing a ship to come alongside another vessel in preparation for at-sea refueling, and emergency drills such as the recovery of a man overboard.


Ensign George McColgan, who graduated from USD in electrical engineering last spring and is scheduled to report to nuclear power school in a few weeks, said the system has “the exact software” that he will be using in his new career. It provides “excellent preparation,” he said.


The system is a huge improvement for learning navigation science and replaces the plotting on paper that was often done in the past, said Midshipman Tommy Coffey, an NROTC student in international security from San Diego State University. The system provides a “comprehensive approach” to learning all aspects of ship science, instead of learning each skill individually. “It really helps to put a visual aspect on it,” he said.


The new facility was a joint venture worked out between the Navy and USD.  The Navy provided $155,000 for computer workstations and software. USD provided $51,000 for new furniture and redesigned the classroom for the new computer stations.


Woolley thanked the Naval Air Warfare Center and NSTC Training Systems for supporting the renovation. He  said USD President Mary E. Lyons was “committed to doing” whatever was necessary to make sure the unit at USD got the new classroom and also thanked administrators in USD’s office of the Provost and the departments of Facilities, Information Technology Services, and Telecommunications who were instrumental in the project.


The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Unit is hosted by the University of San Diego and San Diego State University. Primary administration of and support for the NROTC Unit is provided by the University of San Diego. Cross-town agreements exist with the University of California San Diego, California State University San Marcos, and Point Loma Nazarene University. Students enrolled in these institutions are authorized to participate in the NROTC program at the University of San Diego, and may attend Naval Science classes there or San Diego State University.


For more information on NROTC, go to

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