Naval simulator gives Southern students edge
BATON ROUGE- Southern University Naval ROTC students won't have to leave the bluff next time they want to practice battle maneuvers or port navigation, thanks to the Mariner Skills simulator.
The $90,000 simulator was purchased by the Navy to help train future sailors on nearly any ship in the fleet in almost any situation.
"It's a real life experience, you know you can get up from that desk and walk away from it, but for the young men and women who are going into a real life experience, it's understanding what mistakes mean," said Dr. James Llorens, Southern University Chancellor.
The simulator will allow students to get a jump start on their training, while providing a gaming-style medium they're already familiar with.
"The Navy really takes advantage of those skills and those talents and it really engages this generation in the training they're going to be conducting, for them, my students, they're having a great time in here everyday and they're learning at an exponential rate from my past classes that had to learn things from a book," said Lt. Erik Gardener, a NROTC instructor at Southern.
"It really does give you a leg up on pretty much anything you'll ever do in the fleet," said Thomas Foster, a Midshipman 2nd class in the program.
Southern is one of a few schools to get the new system. They'll test the simulator before it goes nationwide.