[April Fools Joke] New VATUSA Training System Announced

Don Desfosse

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[April Fools Joke] New VATUSA Training System Announced
« on: March 31, 2016, 11:01:07 PM »
As many of you remember, one of the goals that I announced when I took over this role a few years ago was to relaunch the VATUSA Academy, enabling a common core of training through the S2 rating for new controllers prior to assignment to an ARTCC, followed by facility-specific training as necessary.  Lather, rinse and repeat when the student was ready to pursue the S3 and then the C1 ratings.  Unfortunately, though, after nearly 3 years of trying to get enough support to get the Academy to a launch point, I announced in December that there was not enough traction in terms of people interested in / able to work the Academy concept, and the project was essentially dead.

Not one to give up, though, I am excited to announce that VATUSA is entering into a training partnership with our good friends to the North, VATCAN.  VATCAN has, for years, had an Academy-like structure, the VATCAN NTU, or National Training Unit.  Effective 01 May 2016, all new students who enroll with VATUSA will take the VATUSA Basic ATC quiz as before, and then upon passing, be transferred to the Winnipeg FIR in VATCAN and enrolled in the NTU.  The NTU course consists of self-study modules which one can accomplish at their own pace.  There, students will complete the Clearance Delivery and Ground courses.  Upon completion of these courses and passing the associated written exam, students will transfer back to VATUSA, receive a quick, online, computer-based differences training module, and upon passing, then be allowed to select an ARTCC and be assigned an Instructor/Mentor at the ARTCC.  After a brief training validation with the Instructor/Mentor and a successful ‘over the shoulder’ session, students will graduate from the NTU with an S2 (Tower) rating.

The benefit here is a much more streamlined, standardized way to get to the S2 rating and get online and control, eh?  Another benefit is that students will be able to select whether they desire their training modules to be delivered in English or French!  We are excited to try this out for a 6 month period, iron out any kinks, and then in December, assuming the Trump Wall either isn't applicable to VATSIM, or isn't too high to climb, replicate the agreement with VATMEX.  That will help with any potential capacity issues, and add Spanish to the list of training languages available.

In appreciation for VATCAN's willingness and ability to train all of VATUSA's controllers on top of their own, VATCAN Director Matt Cianfarani and I have agreed to secede the Anchorage ARTCC to VATCAN's control, because let's face it, Alaska just sorta hangs off the side of Canadia anyway.... And since Alaska hangs off the side of Winnipeg, some of the NTU training will be done there, so it kinda stays in the family anyway.  As part of the agreement, though, VATUSA will pick up the Moncton FIR, as it just kinda hangs off the side of Boston anyway.  This will help dramatically improve the interface between Boston, New York Oceanic and Moncton during major events like Cross the Pond.  These airspace changes will also take effect May 1, after we've all had an opportunity to work out the details.

This announcement has now also been made public in VATCAN (http://forum.vatcan.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2961), so don't be surprised if you see some more Canadians (and moose and bears, eh?) sniffing around ZAN in the next several days/weeks looking to get acclimated to their new territory!

I'm sure, just like every significant change, there will be questions.  For those of you who, in general, get it, please hold off until tonight or tomorrow to assist the others after we've had a good chance to see all the comments, concerns and questions, consolidate them into one organized list, confer with VATCAN, and find a way to best answer them all in the most efficient manner.  For those who don't really get it, by all means, post your questions, comments, and concerns, and after the dust settles a little today (and after I get home from work), we will do our best to address them all.

Just like every change, this one will take some getting used to, patience and cooperation.  We can and will make it work for the betterment of the Division.  Of course, my staff and I will do absolutely everything we can to provide the right advice and guidance to all to make it work for everyone.  As we all know, the only constant in life is change.  So let's embrace this new change as an opportunity to speed the time to network for our controllers, standardize training, and ensure high-quality students!
Don Desfosse
Vice President, Operations, VATSIM (VATGOV2)
Division Director Emeritus, VATUSA

Ryan Parry

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Re: New VATUSA Training System Announced
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2016, 11:31:17 PM »
You know, this is a great idea. You are a fool for not thinking of this before! I look forward to closing things out this April and seeing what comes of the new Canadian training!

Thanks for your efforts Don!
Ryan Parry - 965346
Pilot Central

Brighton McMinn

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Re: New VATUSA Training System Announced
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2016, 01:23:42 AM »
Having shared a cross-training program with our neighbors to the south, both ZFW and ZHU can personally attest to the benefits. This will bring us closer together with our neighbors and greatly improve training standardization across our entire region! Looking forward to this!

Daniel Hawton

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Re: New VATUSA Training System Announced
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2016, 02:05:53 AM »
I, for one, welcome our new maple syrup drinking overlords.

Christopher Lajoie

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Re: New VATUSA Training System Announced
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2016, 07:27:40 AM »
This seems like a great move. I am excited to see the well trained students come out of this training program, we will most likely begin implementing a Rosetta Stone series into our continuing education program with out students to prepare accordingly. Thank you for keeping us up to speed as always Don.
Christopher Lajoie
Deputy Air Traffic Manager
VATUSA, Seattle ARTCC
Commited to excellence

Camden Bruno

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Re: New VATUSA Training System Announced
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2016, 08:27:14 AM »
This is too good to be true! Thank you so much for your hard work, DO.
Cam B.
VATSIM Supervisor

Don Desfosse

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Re: New VATUSA Training System Announced
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2016, 09:29:14 AM »
Sure thing.  I'm sorry we couldn't pull this together in time to be a benefit to you for CTP tomorrow, but great things come to those who wait.  Really glad to hear such positive response.
Don Desfosse
Vice President, Operations, VATSIM (VATGOV2)
Division Director Emeritus, VATUSA

Tim Barber

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Re: New VATUSA Training System Announced
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2016, 11:54:52 AM »
Don't forget your touques and toboggans.  Enjoy a double double from Timmies to go along with your poutine.  Remember to add the occasional 'u' to your words, eh neighbour?  And for God's sake, please check your sidearms at the virtual border.

TB

Alex Seeberger

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Re: New VATUSA Training System Announced
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2016, 12:01:16 PM »

Secede the Anchorage ARTCC to VATCAN's control, because let's face it, Alaska just sorta hangs off the side of Canadia anyway.... And since Alaska hangs off the side of Winnipeg, some of the NTU training will be done there, so it kinda stays in the family anyway. 


I'm a little skeptical of the date you made this monumental announcement. You used ZAN as a bargaining chip:) Remember what happened to Russia when they sold Alaska to the US for 2 cents an acre? In the long run, the US made out on that deal. Remember that Don.....lol

Don Desfosse

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Re: New VATUSA Training System Announced
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2016, 12:14:21 PM »
Alex, thank you for your comments.  Although I said I'd wait to consolidate before replying, I think it's important to understand the greater good here.  It is certainly not personal.  I think a lot of the team at ZAN, and didn't mean to imply in my original post that I didn't -- that was purely an oversight.  I should have mentioned that all current ZAN members who would like to remain with VATUSA may certainly do so; there is no requirement for the people to be transferred to VATCAN (although Matt is expecting that the majority will).  And I don't need Alaska's vast resources to make this Division successful, just good people and good training. :)
Don Desfosse
Vice President, Operations, VATSIM (VATGOV2)
Division Director Emeritus, VATUSA

Matthew Cianfarani

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Re: New VATUSA Training System Announced
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2016, 12:22:06 PM »
Alex, thank you for your comments.  Although I said I'd wait to consolidate before replying, I think it's important to understand the greater good here.  It is certainly not personal.  I think a lot of the team at ZAN, and didn't mean to imply in my original post that I didn't -- that was purely an oversight.  I should have mentioned that all current ZAN members who would like to remain with VATUSA may certainly do so; there is no requirement for the people to be transferred to VATCAN (although Matt is expecting that the majority will).  And I don't need Alaska's vast resources to make this Division successful, just good people and good training. :)

Thank you Don,

I can confirm I am expecting the majority of the new CZAN FIR to transfer divisions to VATCAN. We have already begun adding the CZAN areas to our website & Staff rosters.

Those controllers looking for a jump start on our systems, can watch the Canscope tutorials located here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj2Sfqtk0fU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0GrTre9jhU


Kind Regards,

Matt Cianfarani
Director, VATCAN

Tim Barber

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Re: New VATUSA Training System Announced
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2016, 12:33:04 PM »
CZAN... that's pronounced SEE ZED EH? EN


Dhruv Kalra

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Re: New VATUSA Training System Announced
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2016, 12:40:05 PM »
Oh god. We're going to have a rash of new S2s mindlessly responding to everything with "roger".

Guess I'd better start sharpening my skates...
Dhruv Kalra
ZMP ATM | Instructor | Grumpy Old Man

Tim Barber

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Re: New VATUSA Training System Announced
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2016, 12:55:50 PM »
Oh god. We're going to have a rash of new S2s mindlessly responding to everything with "roger".

Guess I'd better start sharpening my skates...

You are practically Canadian as it is DK, with all your time in Minty-apple-is

Wesley Miles

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Re: New VATUSA Training System Announced
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2016, 01:47:35 PM »
Oh god. We're going to have a rash of new S2s mindlessly responding to everything with "roger".

Guess I'd better start sharpening my skates...

You are practically Canadian as it is DK, with all your time in Minty-apple-is

^^ This  :D
Wes Miles
Division General Manager
VATUSA