The Navy has developed the U.S. Navy Afloat Environmental Compliance Training Series to help ensure Navy-wide compliance with environmental requirements, and to help personnel gain a better understanding of their personal roles and responsibilities. The series contains four interactive modules. Navy personnel are required to complete all modules identified in their career path training plan.
Navy personnel may access the training on Navy e-Learning (https://learning.nel.navy.mil/) and are able to download the training videos from the Protective Measures Assessment Protocol website (https://eims3.sscno.nmci.navy.mil/PMAP/). General information about the training modules is provided below.
Introduction to the U.S. Navy Afloat Environmental Compliance Training Series
The introductory module provides information on environmental laws, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act, and responsibilities relevant to Navy training and testing activities. The material is put into context of why environmental compliance is important to the Navy, from the most junior Sailor to Commanding Officers.
U.S. Navy Marine Species Awareness Training (MSAT)
Navy Watch personnel undertake extensive training in accordance with the U.S. Navy Lookout Training Handbook or civilian equivalent, including on-the-job instruction and a formal Personal Qualification Standard program or civilian equivalent, to certify that they have demonstrated all necessary skills (such as detection and reporting of floating or partially submerged objects). A primary duty of watch personnel is to detect and report all objects and disturbances sighted in the water that may be indicative of a threat to the ship and its crew, such as debris, a periscope, surfaced submarine, or surface disturbance. Per safety requirements, watch personnel also report any marine mammals sighted that have the potential to be in the direct path of the ship as a standard collision avoidance procedure. Lookouts perform similar duties to watch personnel, but have duties that satisfy both safety of navigation and mitigation requirements. Lookouts have multiple observation objectives, which include but are not limited to detecting the presence of biological resources and recreational or fishing boats, observing mitigation zones, and monitoring for vessel and personnel safety concerns.
All bridge watch personnel, Commanding Officers, Executive Officers, maritime patrol aircraft aircrews, anti‐submarine warfare helicopter crews, civilian equivalents, and Lookouts must successfully complete the Marine Species Awareness Training (MSAT) prior to standing watch or serving as a Lookout and at least once annually thereafter.
MSAT provides information on sighting cues, visual observation tools and techniques, and sighting notification procedures. The MSAT module contained within the U.S. Navy Environmental Compliance Training Series is version 4.0, which is an update to the current MSAT version 3.1. The updated training is designed to improve the effectiveness of visual observations for marine resources, including marine mammals and sea turtles.
MSAT 4.0 is available for viewing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKo3r1yVBBA
MSAT helps Sailors achieve Navy Personnel Qualification Standards for Lookouts, summarized below:
Understand the Navy's responsibilities for environmental protection;
Be aware of existing laws and regulations for the protection of marine species;
Have a basic knowledge of protected species and their general distribution, anatomy, and behavior; and
Comprehend and adhere to reporting requirements for interactions with marine species.
Protective Measures Assessment Protocol (PMAP) Training
The third module is the U.S. Navy Protective Measures Assessment Protocol Training. Protective Measures Assessment Protocol is a decision support and situational awareness software tool that the Navy uses to facilitate compliance with worldwide mitigation measures during the conduct of training and testing activities at sea. The module provides instruction for generating and reviewing Protective Measures Assessment Protocol reports.
Sonar Positional Reporting System (SPORTS) and Marine Mammal Incident Reporting Training
The fourth module is the U.S. Navy Sonar Positional Reporting System and Marine Mammal Incident Reporting Training. The Navy developed the Sonar Positional Reporting System as its official record of underwater sound sources (e.g., active sonar) used under its Marine Mammal Protection Act permits. Marine mammal incidents include vessel strikes and animal strandings. The module provides instruction on the reporting requirements and procedures for both the Sonar Positional Reporting System and marine mammal incident reporting.
For more information on the U.S. Navy Afloat Environmental Compliance Training Series, please contact:
MSAT (Technical and General Support) and PMAP (General Support)
Mr. Greg Thompson
United States Fleet Forces Command
PMAP (Technical Support)
SPORTS and Marine Mammal Incident Reporting (Technical and General Support)
Mr. Jene Nissen
United States Fleet Forces Command