NAFA CNATT instructors lead the way in far east education
Clocking in at a total of eight instructors at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (CNATT) Detachment, Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi, they’re tasked with a heavy responsibility, training every Sailor within the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.
Instructors at CNATT travel from NAF Atsugi to NAF Misawa in the north to Naval Base Guam in the south, responsible for training Sailors in the newest and most pertinent aviation rules, guidelines, and skills.
“I chose to come here, I love teaching and I know that when a student leaves my class, they’re going to do great things for themselves and the Navy,” said CNATT instructor Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class John Damm. “When we come to teach, we’re expected to be the SME’s [subject matter experts], and even after teaching for two years I still have people who challenge me to think about the same material in a different way, I love that.”
For the instructors of CNATT, before being selected for instructor status, they must take and pass a rigorous course covering information regarding Aviation Maintenance Administration and Management Training (AMAMT) to micro-miniature electronics repairs (2M).
“I love getting to teach the AMAMT class,” said Instructor Logistics Specialist 1st Class Christopher McGuire. “Even though the material can be dry and something confusing to navigate through, when my students are done with their three week course, they’re some of the best prepared to deal with the logistical needs of their commands in the Far East; and I know that’s all because of the work that I’m able to do.”
According to Damm, CNATT Atsugi runs an average of two classes at a time, lasting from three weeks to two and a half months. That also means that they’re able to train roughly 200 Sailors and Marines each fiscal quarter, which immediately impacts their effectiveness and workplace value and knowledge.
“The value of a training facility like this out here in Japan, means that we’re saving the Navy money and Sailors time,” said Damm. “It could take someone the better part of a week getting to Pensacola, Florida to then goes through a five week training course, and then another week of travel to get back out here; with CNATT already being stationed in the 7th Fleet, we’re taking a huge part of that issue away.”
“Even though I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, I know we’re saving money and exponentially increasing productivity,” said McGuire.
“At the end of the day, it’s important for me that the Navy benefits, but that our Sailors are walking away with skills and knowledge that will make them stronger and more competitive, for advancement and for work outside the Navy.”