Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Navy Lessons Learned

We in the Navy have one of the most comprehesive "lessons learned" databases in the Department of Defense.  And, in reviewing those lessons learned, I believe there are few lessons that we have actually learned.  Our knowledge management processes are woefully inadequate to actually putting our lessons learned to good use.  We relearn lessons every day.  Sometimes at great expense.

Navy Warfare Development Command

Learn more HERE.


Mark Campbell said...

I'm a former Navy Nuc submariner. I believe that Naval Reactors has an absolutely great lessons learned system. The system when I was in - 1988-1994...was the Naval Reactors Technical Bulletins; and I would be surprised if it has changed at all.

In my opinion, what makes it successful is that commanding officers are held responsible [and more importantly accountable] for their crews knowledge related to [especially recent] lessons learned. This is done during the periodic reactor safeguard exam by oral questioning the crew. By oral questioning, the exam board member can pull the string to see if the knowledge is superficial or the lesson was truly learned; i.e. does the crew member know the underlying root causes, understand the implications of what had happened, and how they would apply it in practical situations.

BTW, I greatly enjoy your blog.

Anonymous said...

Trying to "Learn more" and the link for NWDC doesn't work. Where can I get additional info? Thanks.

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

For some reason the NWDC site is not responding on any level.

Anonymous said...

Mark Campell,

Having been associated with FBM Submarines from the training of personnel, to the upkeep while tenderside, to making deterrent patrols of which I made 7, and during 6 of these patrols I was COB. This experience was from 1963 to 1977. I am a Weapons type, not a Nuc, but the entire crew of the submarine I was on, and nearly all weapons types that I was associated with during those years would tell me that Nucs controlled the boat and nothing could change that. It was required in those days that the Captain, Executive Officer and the Navigator all be Nuclear Power Engineers, and with Admiral Rickover’s power over them they certainly did everything that he required. What documentation they lived by other than the SORM I do not know. But they certainly controlled anything and everything on the Boat that they possibly could.

I had some differences of opinion with administrative staff and would make my differences known when they arose. During one time period the Engineering Dept. had 2 Sailors in excess of the billeting requirements and the forward end of the Boat, as we referred to it, was two billets short. With some persuasion I convinced the Executive Officer that those two Sailors were overbillet and since we were short billeted on the forward end of the boat that these two individuals should be turned over to me for the Seaman Gang while inport and Control Watchstanders underway. I took advantage of my command authority evidently and the Executive Officer told me that if the Engineer and Bull Nuc agreed that these 2 Sailors would be mine to supervise and control. I will bypass what I went through with the Engineer and the Bull Nuc, but I did gain control over these two Sailors for at least two patrols and they were some of the best Helmsman and Planesman watchstanders that we had.

It was not my intent but I found the personnel on the forward end of the Boat really appreciated this as just 2 more watchstanders in control kept a number of individuals from having to stand 6 on and 6 off for many days underway.

Very Respectfully,