Submarine Training -- The Good And The Bad
I've always been a big believer in the importance of training and drills for submariners. While I wasn't a big fan of the types of drills you had to run to prepare for ORSE (for various reasons that can't be discussed in a public forum), I figured that any chance to practice or discuss pretty much any aspect of submarining was time well spent. And while I publicly parroted the official Submarine Force line that "if it wasn't monitored, it didn't happen", I figured small group walkthroughs of some evolution were one of the best ways to hone our proficiency.
That being said, check out this video of a "firefighting drill" shot on USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708):
On the Ustafish, we'd go through cycles when we were out when we'd randomly announce on the 1MC for something like the AOW and ETOW to rig a firehose somewhere, and we'd have the off-going supervisors monitor the evolution. I was a big fan of little walkthroughs like that, but after watching this video now I'm not so sure. Does it really look like there's much useful training or exercising of damage control equipment going on? Was the fire in the supposed to be in the laptop computer of the guy who kept working right through the training going on two feet from him? (I'm not picking on the MSP here -- I'm sure every boat does essentially the same thing.)
The bigger question is: Is there such a thing as "bad" training? (Assume the information being put out isn't faulty.) What percentage of the lectures, drills, and walkthroughs you did on the boats completely lacked any training value for anyone? Are the administrative demands of the training program taking away from doing actual useful practice? The comments are open...