REPTX Distance Support Validates Technology to Assist Sailors at Sea and Others in Military
The U.S. Navy recently led a three-day exercise at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) in California. The Repair Technology Exercise (REPTX) Distance Support aimed to assess technologies that can provide better distance support to forward operational units and involved collaboration during various scenarios between Department of Defense (DOD) stakeholders and industry partners from March 21 to 23 across three locations. Some of the virtual communication technology tested at the exercise could help a Sailor repair their ship’s engine at sea or troubleshoot a faulty electrical circuit breaker.
The Whole Concept of Defining the Need
NAVSEA 05T Program Manager Omar Ramos with REPTX Distance Support for the Naval Expeditionary Sustainment and Repair (NESAR) team, explained that REPTX Distance Support isn’t geared to only the mission needs of UNREP. NESAR is part of NAVSEA 05T. Rather, he said, the virtual communication technologies validated at REPTX Distance Support could be used in all “complex repair operations” across the Department of Defense.
Cutting-Edge Technologies in the Exercise
Nine industry partners from larger REPTX events were invited to the recent exercise to showcase their remote technology assist tools. During the activities, UNREP personnel created a variety of scenarios involving SMEs being shore side, allowing them to interact and troubleshoot simulated repairs on the ship or test site. Additionally, the technologies could reduce the need for a technician to travel to the fleet asset and could significantly reduce how long it takes to troubleshoot and repair problems from several days or weeks to minutes. It gives warfighters everything they need to perform their jobs.
The distance support activities at REPTX were important because the technologies, if fielded, could significantly decrease turnaround times, boost readiness, and cut costs to fix ships at sea.
The U.S. Navy’s Self Defense Test Ship was the site of last summer’s inaugural REPTX event that attracted 68 organizations to test their products’ ability to tackle real-world fleet expeditionary maintenance challenges.
Distance Support a Top Priority
NSWC PHD Commanding Officer Capt. Tony Holmes has made distance support technology a top priority for the command. He believes warfighters should be given everything required to perform their jobs, and if they need help, the priority should be to help them.
The event provided a bridge for the “valley of death,” a term coined for the implementation and transition gaps that exist between technology capability and fleet user. The technologies tested at REPTX could be used in all “complex repair operations” across the Department of Defense.
The Navy-led exercise at NSWC PHD in California successfully validated ready-to-field virtual remote technologies that could significantly enhance how a land-based subject matter expert (SME) supports a warfighter at sea. The technologies tested could bring significant changes to the way repairs are carried out on ships at sea and could potentially reduce turnaround times, boost readiness, and cut costs. The tests were critical in bridging the gaps between technology implementation and fleet user.