Supporting Our Sailors From a Distance

Resolving Problems At Sea, From Short

It is 0700 and a Navy destroyer, underway in the Persian Gulf, has a problem with its primary radar system. The radar technician has run all the appropriate equipment tests, but is still unable to pinpoint the fault. Political unrest means that tensions are high in the area and the ship may be called into action at any time. The radar problem needs to be resolved, and quickly.

The technician calls upon experts at Navy shore commands for support. On the other side of the world, engineers use a Navy Distance Support Web Portal to research all the engineering and historical information needed to understand the problem. They are able to connect to the ship's system and remotely run system tests.

Within minutes they have monitored the system's performance, analyzed test results, and isolated the faulty component. The part is replaced from onboard spare parts or spares from another ship in the battle group. The ship is once again mission-ready, without ever having left its designated battle arena.

Like Having a Team of Experts On Board 24-7, Anywhere in the World

Requirements of homeland defense, national security, and the war on terrorism mean that a ship's mission is more critical than ever. When equipment fails there is little time to wait for engineers or technicians to fly to the deployed ship to help resolve the problem.

By brining leading-edge Distance Support technology to our Sailors at sea, 24 hours a day, the engineers, logisticians, and technicians of NSWC Port Hueneme are working to help our ships return to operational readiness without leaving their positions.

NSWC Port Hueneme is experimenting with new distance support processes such as

  • Condition-based maintenance instead of scheduled maintenance,
  • Predictive parts replacement instead of replacement upon failure,
  • Remote troubleshooting instead of feet-on-deck technical assistance, and
  • Real-time access to knowledge bases.

Condition and Environment Sensing and Reporting System (CAESAR)

Operational Readiness Test System Tech Assist Remote Support (ORTSTARS)

AN/SPS 48E Radar Remote Built in Test (48E Remote BIT)

Through our innovative engineering and emerging technologies, we are redefining the way systems are operated and supported. Some of our distance support initiatives are already in practice while others are still being refined and developed. The Center has a leading role in the development and operation of the Navy's Distance Support Program.


 Distance Support Program Overview

Distance Support uses state-of-the-art information technology to link ships at sea with technical centers ashore in real time. The program allows Sailors to focus on their primary missions by reducing shipboard workloads, increasing readiness, improving feedback and reducing requirements.

In 1997, led by the staff of NSWC Port Hueneme, the Sailor-to-Engineer program developed a website to provide the shipboard Sailor access to the latest in maintenance procedures, technical documentation, and drawings.

The next year, NSWC Philadelphia was added to provide hull, mechanical, and electrical systems content. Later, NSWC Crane's "Tele-tools" were added to ensure rapid and collaborative response to the shipboard issues.

The Sailor-to-Engineer program has been a primary content provider to the navy's Distance Support portal since 1999. The Navy's Distance Support program is operational today - open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to support the Sailor by finding the right resource to meet any requirement. It is one way that we prepare today for the naval requirements tomorrow.

Distance Support Portal

Distance Support Program Anchor Desk (Navy 3-1-1)