JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J —
The Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training unit at Lakehurst is responsible for hosting an Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment school for sailors.
The courses offered through the ALRE help students gain and improve their general knowledge of launching aircraft.
“These classes are essential to the mission because they allow our personnel to be informed and understand updates in the fleet,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Luis Martinez, CNATT instructor. “Sometimes members are away from the career field for a long period of time so we provide them with the best training that we can to help them succeed when they come back to sea duty.”
The Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment school offers seven different classes, two of which train officers while the remaining five help train the enlisted.
“Our enlisted students already have the skills they need, however these courses focus on the proficiency of those skills,” said Martinez. “It helps them remember the details of their job. For the officers, this course helps them understand the bigger picture of launching aircraft.”
Not only does the ALRE school offer on the books training, but it uses an 11F12 Catapult Launch Trainer System to give aircraft launching officers a virtual experience of launching aircraft from the bow and waist catapults under different weather conditions.
“The 11F12 is a simulator used to virtually launch aircraft,” said Martinez. “It’s a great tool, especially for pilots. The flight deck is a very dangerous environment once all the aircraft are around. Pilots need to understand where to stand on the flight deck and the proper hand signals to give. The simulator provides them with basic knowledge to utilize when they board the ship. Additionally the simulator saves time and money because we have the opportunity to reduce the lessons in the classroom and get them hands-on training with the simulator.”
Approximately 250 students have completed courses at ALRE school since the beginning of 2020.
“I’ve learned a lot from this course, especially with the operations,” said U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Sadiyah Henderson, an ALRE school attendee. “Going back into the fleet would be difficult without a refresher. We went through the basics of launching aircraft and the advanced side of things. For me, going back to the fleet as senior personnel, I need to know and understand updates in my career field so I can train my junior personnel. My unit expects me to be ready and be successful at my job. This course helps me do that.”