C-ARTS is making news again. As part of the continuing Post-Delivery Test & Training (PDT&T) that runs through mid-2021, another C-ARTS unit has been delivered and is operational at Naval Station Norfolk. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Feb. 7 for the new unit, which is operating in support of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), the newest aircraft carrier design in more than 40 years. Sailors will receive state-of-the-art technical training steps away from their assigned ship. To read more about how C-ARTS is revolutionizing naval training, click this link.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday, Feb. 7, for the latest Carrier-Advanced Reconfigurable Training System (C-ARTS) to be delivered to Naval Station Norfolk. The new system will provide training and support to Sailors stationed on the USS Gerald R. Ford. Incorporating innovative training technology such as virtual reality and 3-D printers, C-ARTS is revolutionizing the way Sailors train for duty. Having training so readily available allows Sailors to remain current on knowledge requirements with little to no gap between completing training and putting it to use aboard ship.
Cape Henry Associates began 2019 with the exciting opportunity to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the award-winning Carrier-Advanced Reconfigurable Training System (C-ARTS) at its semi-permanent home at Naval Station Norfolk. We say semi-permanent because, while it will have a “home base,” C-ARTS is designed to bring training to the Sailor at whatever point of service it is needed. We also saw the delivery of the first C-ARTS units to the Navy and are busy overseeing the building of more units that will begin serving the Navy in 2020.
In addition to all the positive reviews and success of C-ARTS, CHA was awarded some new contracts in 2019 that we are busy working on and for which we are looking forward to delivering state-of-the-art services. In June we were awarded a 12-month contract focused on Ready Relevant Learning (RRL) content that will help the Navy continue its overhaul of training and manpower. RRL is the future of the Navy’s training programs and will ensure our Sailors stay at the top of their game.
July awarded us a Seaport e-task order. This five-year contract will see CHA supporting the Navy’s in-service aircraft carriers with Manpower, Personnel, and Training (MPT) products and services.
2019 brought CHA recognition on the #1 Best Companies list produced by TalentDesk. CHA actually took the #1 honors in three of their categories: Best Company for Business Jobs, Best Company for Tech Jobs, and Best Company for Computer Science Jobs.
CHA is deeply committed to serving our clients by providing the best products and services available. In 2019 we continued to produce and deliver products at a stellar 99.5% on-time delivery rate. We are proud to be the go-to company for MPT products and services and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
We are also proud to be a veteran-owned business and 58 percent of our employees are veterans. Most military members want to continue a career of service after their active duty time has come to an end. CHA is honored to provide a place for veterans to do that.
So, as we wave good-bye to 2019, CHA welcomes the challenges and excitement of 2020. We believe our resolve is unshakeable, so we don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, our promise is one of continued dedication to our nation through the development of top-notch products and services that will see our Armed Forces continue to be the best in the world.
We are looking forward to making 2020 the most successful year yet.
The annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) was recently held in Orlando, Fla. I/ITSEC is the world’s largest modeling, simulation, and training event. CHA’s very own chief revenue officer, Chuck Wythe, attended and served as session chair for three best-paper presentations. These papers covered three categories and a wide range of information.
The first, “Reinforcement Learning for Automated Textual Reasoning” by David Noevers and Joseph Regian, explores the underlying language model of Google’s Biodirectional Transformers for Language Understanding (BERT) to determine if a universal template can be designed. During testing, results leant new understanding to the three major concepts underscoring deep learning.
The second, “Enhancing Learning Outcomes through Adaptive Remediation with GIFT” by Randall Spain, Jonathan Rowe, et. al., explores the applications of machine learning through research with the Generalized Intelligent Framework for Tutoring (GIFT), an open source framework designed to create, deploy, and evaluate adaptive training systems.
The final session focused on “Simulating Augmented Reality Spatial Accuracy Requirements for Target Acquisition Tasks” by John Graybeal, Rachel Nguyen, and Todd Du Bosq. Their research studies spatial accuracy in augmented reality (AR) as it pertains to improving human performance. The ultimate goal is to support product development of highly accurate, task-specific, sensor-specific AR.
Each year I/ITSEC showcases impressive presentations and offers significant networking opportunities, and CHA is already looking forward to the next one.
With the exponential growth in altered reality technology we’ve experienced over that last few years, is it any wonder the number of conferences focused on altered reality has also increased? The altered reality platform has grown beyond its commercial success in the gaming industry and expanded to include many relevant applications across a broad spectrum of industries from education to health care to defense. No matter your interests, it’s virtually (pun intended) guaranteed there’s an altered reality conference or convention with you in mind.
The VR/AR Association (VRARA) hosts many conferences around the country, as various chapters put on events. Check their website to see if there will be one near you any time soon.
VRX 2019 will take place Dec. 12 – 13 in San Francisco, Calif. Touted as the “world’s premier immersive technology conference and expo,” more than 30 case studies will be presented showcasing how some of the world’s largest brand names are transforming their businesses with altered reality.
The Spie.AR/VR/MR 3rd annual conference will be Feb. 2 – 4, 2020, also in San Francisco. There will be must-see presentations and demonstrations from some of the biggest names in consumer electronics. In addition, up-and-coming companies will be showcasing their contributions to the XR (cross reality) world.
If you just can’t wait until next year or don’t want to travel to the West Coast, consider checking out the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando, Fla., Dec. 2 – 6. I/ITSEC is the “world’s largest modeling, simulation, and training event” with several opportunities that are hard to pass up for anyone with an interest in the XR world. From peer-reviewed paper presentations to tutorials and professional workshops, I/ITSEC has something for just about anyone. Given its affiliation with the National Defense Industrial Association, I/ITSEC has a unique emphasis on how altered reality can enhance defense and security. If you need an added incentive, Cape Henry Associates will be in attendance again this year. Connect with us on LinkedIn before the event and we’ll arrange a time to meet you there.
Welcome to a special edition of “Who in the World of CHA?” As you know, in November we celebrate Veterans Day and honor all those who have served our nation in one of our extraordinary military branches. You may also know CHA was founded by and is largely comprised of veterans. So this month we ‘d like to take a little time to highlight one of our veterans who has been both a proud member of the United States Navy and a dedicated CHA employee for 10 years…and is one of the many reasons we have been able to accomplish all that we have.
Gretchen, Gretch, or just G, is our program manager for Manpower, Personnel, and Training Analysis and is celebrating her 10-year CHA anniversary this month. She joined the United States Navy right out of high school and spent 25½ years serving our country with distinction, retiring in 2009 as a Master Chief Petty Officer. Gretchen felt the need to do something meaningful with her life from an early age and military service is almost a family tradition, given how many generations of her family have served. Why Navy? It also goes back to that family tradition: most members of her family have been proud Navy Sailors. While a tiny piece of her may have been eager to leave home and experience the world, naval service was her passion and her calling. And she loved every minute of it, especially serving alongside all her fellow Sailors. If you ask her, she’ll tell you it was hands down one of the best decisions she’s ever made and that she’d do it all over again. Service before self runs strong in her veins.
If you do the math, you’ll realize that Gretchen started her CHA career shortly after retiring her naval uniform. We asked her which qualities or skills she gained through military service helped her most in transitioning to the civilian workforce. “I think military service really gives one a unique sense of self and how one fits in as a functional and integral part of something bigger,” she said. The attention to detail, teamwork, work ethic, loyalty, and can-do attitude necessary to be successful in the military transfer over to the civilian world as well. The ability to focus and turn in a quality product is just as essential. Gretchen has taken the skills she learned in the Navy, along with that can-do attitude, and given her all at CHA. We’re lucky to benefit from all she’s learned along the way.
Since we are commemorating Veterans Day this month, we asked Gretchen to reflect on what it means to her to be a veteran and what it means to have a day set aside to honor those who have served. Gretchen sees her military service as a privilege. “I got to be a part of something great and was able to do more in a relatively short period of time than most will do in their lifetime,” she said. She was privileged to serve with and work with some outstanding people in her naval career who saw their service in the same light. She and those with whom she served were allowed to wear the cloth of their nation and make a difference. Freedom isn’t free, Gretchen insisted, so taking a moment to honor those who sacrifice for that freedom is important.
There is a sense of camaraderie in the military. You are more than colleagues; you truly do become family. It is a unique experience that you cannot get in a civilian setting. You learn that it’s not about you, but about something bigger than you. And you are working alongside others who come to that same realization. As cliché as it sounds, military service makes you a better citizen and gives you a vast family structure that will support you for a lifetime. Gretchen has many special memories of her naval career, all centered around those she now calls family. Memories as simple as drinking coffee with her watch team, the friends she made in boot camp, hours spent training and preparing for every possibility, and even watching “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” on the flight deck during a transit through the straits of Messina. As she says, “My favorite memory is all those wonderful faces and all those wonderful people. They made everything worthwhile.”
It’s a sentiment she’s carried with her into her time at CHA. When asked about her favorite thing about CHA is she responded – characteristically – with, “The people here make the job worthwhile.” Lest you think Gretchen is a serious person, we must disclose that her favorite CHA memory is of dressing up as Pac-Man and running through the halls of CHA on Halloween. Or maybe it’s the time she dressed up as the Wicked Witch of the West and ran through the halls with her monkey. Running through the halls is kind of her thing. Though Halloween has recently passed, next time you’re in our office try to catch up with Gretchen in the hallways and ask what she dressed up as this year. Or talk to her about how she’s continued her life of service by joining a company where she can continue to make a difference and support our Sailors in their service. Either way, you’re guaranteed to have a great conversation just so long as you can run and talk!
And for all those who have served our country through military service, we at CHA salute you.
This summer TalentDesk, an online job board that offers extensive resources for job seekers, released its 2019 Best Companies to Work For list. Cape Henry Associates (CHA) was ranked number one in three categories: Best Companies for Business Jobs, Best Companies for Tech Jobs, and Best Companies for Computer Science Jobs. All award categories are for Virginia Beach, Va.
TalentDesk’s ranking considered employee satisfaction, work-life balance, compensation and benefits, and career opportunities. CHA is thrilled to be recognized for our dedication to being the best place to work.
For more information about the rankings, check out TalentDesk’s press release here.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – July 30, 2019 – Just over a year after being named the first-ever recipient of the MS&T Outstanding Innovative Product Award, Cape Henry Associates (CHA) will be featured in an upcoming campaign leading up to MS&T’s announcement of the 2019 award winners this fall.
Military Simulation and Training Magazine (MS&T) recognized CHA for its proprietary Lighthouse High Velocity Learning Environment (HVLE) technology stack, a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) technology purpose built to advance the capabilities of training systems and requirement analyses. It powers the Carrier-Advanced Reconfigurable Training System (C-ARTS), a mobile, scalable, reconfigurable training system that is part of the Navy’s Sailor 2025 Ready Relevant Learning (RRL) initiative. CHA’s chief revenue officer, Chuck Wythe, says that Lighthouse HVLE as utilized within the C-ARTS system “bridges the gap between brick-and-mortar schoolhouses –
the old style of training – and the Fleet by providing the opportunity for ready, relevant training that is brought to the Sailor rather than the Sailor having to go to it.”
In the last year CHA, with Huntington Ingalls Industries and other partners, has delivered two C-ARTS trainers to the Navy, and they are in use providing state-of the- art training to Sailors right at their home port. A third unit is in final fitting out, and a fourth is currently under construction.
In addition to the C-ARTS program, Lighthouse is currently being used in a DoD artificial intelligence project and continues to be adapted for even more uses. “Lighthouse HVLE is the most advanced, empirical data-driven training technology agnostic, reconfigurable, mobile learning solution available,” says Wythe. “The success Lighthouse has already achieved and the numerous ways it will be implemented in the
coming year are proof.”
Cape Henry Associates (CHA) has been awarded a task order under Seaport-e. This five-year contract inclusive of options will see CHA supporting the Navy’s in-service aircraft carriers with Manpower, Personnel, and Training (MP&T) products and services. CHA’s Chuck Wythe had this to say upon learning the news: “Yes! Long live the Cape!” As always, CHA remains committed to supporting our armed services with the latest technology and cutting-edge products.
Sometimes the stars align and you get a chance to sit down and chat with some truly fantastic people; happily, that’s pretty much every day here at CHA. Recently, we were able to talk with CHA’s vice president, Charlie Arrants, who graciously answered questions ranging from “What was CHA like back in the day?” to the reader-favorite, “Tell me something fun about yourself.” What came across more than anything is how much fun our vice president is having here at CHA.
“I love what I do,” were almost the first words out of Charlie’s mouth when we spoke, followed closely by, “It has been one of the most enjoyable, memorable experiences of my life.” Charlie first met CHA’s founder, Bill Allen, back in 2004 around the time CHA began. Shortly after, in 2006, Charlie joined CHA, the fifth employee to be hired. He has never looked back. He’s been through all the highs and lows that go along with growing a company from five employees to more than 150 employees. Along the way, he’s helped steer CHA from a company focused strictly on basic Navy training to one that is now paving the way in developing and utilizing state-of-the-art technology to serve many of our military’s training and manpower needs.
When asked what his favorite thing about CHA is, he quickly answered, “the people.” Seventy percent of CHA’s employees are former military. This gives the entire CHA team a unique insight into what its major military clients need and how to best meet those needs. According to Charlie, CHA’s greatest strength lies in hiring employees that are both reliable and “will give you more.” He went on to say, “We work for a higher calling. I know that sounds clichéd, but for many of us it is the reason we come to work.” At this point in his life, he doesn’t need to work. He could easily retire tomorrow, he says, but then he “wouldn’t have the joy of coming to work.” The fact that he goes to work with people who feel that same professional satisfaction is a big reason CHA has enjoyed the success it has.
C-ARTS ranks high on Charlie’s list of recent or ongoing CHA projects. With the Navy’s Sailor 2025 initiative, it’s clear the future of military training requirements lies less in traditional “brick and mortar” settings, and more in getting military members the training they need when they need and where they need it. That CHA, under the guidance of specific government leadership, was able to build and deliver the “most modern training facility ever made available to the carrier warfighter,” is something he is understandably extremely proud of accomplishing. Of course, being a ship manpower guy at heart, Charlie is also pleased with the work CHA does in that area as well. Manpower is, in his estimation, “the most expensive and most important component of any ship or system and the related life cycle costs.” While he’s seen multiple attempts over his 40+ years of experience, he’s very proud of how hard CHA is working on improving the base manpower for the existing crew members.
In five years he sees CHA “doing what we do best:” supporting the warfighter of today and tomorrow. Ten years from now is slightly trickier to predict as it depends on the needs of the nation, but Charlie is confident CHA will be there leading the way. When asked what project or idea he’d like to see CHA tackle he immediately answered, “Really, just providing the most advanced training we can deliver.” Precisely what CHA is already doing so successfully. “Great companies are known by how they react to change, not staying static, looking ahead of the curve. I hope CHA can continue down that path.”
Of course, we had to ask our venerable VP for some fun facts we could share. He told us he’s from the tiny town of Cleveland, Tennessee, outside of Chattanooga, but his accent kind of gives that away. So we pressed for more. He offered that he has been involved in three start-up companies, with CHA being the most successful one. OK…better, but we were looking for more. He told us he’s married to a wonderful lady, a veterinarian. Very cool – and possibly one of the coolest non-CHA jobs around – but we’re greedy. Finally, he provided us with this gem: he calls his 98-year-old mother every day. She was an English teacher, Charlie told us, and she still yells at him every time he uses words in the wrong way. Now that was worth the wait!