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Full Mission Bridge Simulator

The Coast Guard’s Full Mission Bridge Training Simulator consists of 2 shipboard large cutter bridge mock-ups with typical helm, radar, and chart plotting equipment, as well as 360 degree graphics displays to simulate typical surroundings for underway watch-standing duties and tasking. The SIM equipment includes Radar Emulators that resemble Sperry Bridge Master "E" types, Vega ECS (Electronic Chart System), Virtual Binoculars and Alidades, VHF radios, generic helm controls, and other items commonly found throughout the Coast Guard's fleet. The scenarios can be set up for 30 different locations in the US and abroad, utilizing 30 different Navy/USCG virtual ship possibilities. The 6 available USCG high-fidelity training platforms are: 

  • 410' NSC (National Security Cutter, Bertholf Class)
  • 378' WHEC (High Endurance Cutter, Hamilton Class)
  • 110' WMEC (Medium Endurance Cutter)
  • 87' WPB (Patrol Boat)
  • 47' MLB (Motor Life Boat)
  • 25' RBS (Response Boat-Small)

View the Bridge Simulator Video
View the Bridge Simulator Video


Currently, the SIM is utilized by BM"A" students for 4 days during week 7 of training, to reinforce the following skill sets:

  • Basic Ship Piloting and Handling
  • Navigation ‘Rules of the Road’
  • Aids to Navigation (AtoN) recognition and utilization
  • Electronic and paper chart plotting: Time, Speed, Distance
  • Plotting Visual, Radar and GPS fixes to triangulate ship's exact position at all times
  • Radio Communications between Sector Control, other ship traffic
  • Leadership and Team Coordination Fundamentals

Additionally, they can train on the following:

  • Anchoring, Docking and Towing
  • Search and Rescue Operations and Coordination

The training  scenarios are tailored to meet enabling and terminal objectives of the BM"A" curriculum, generally progressing from fair winds and following seas to storms and night time/reduced visibility with extensive ship traffic reflecting real-world stressors and situations. Student feedback is positive and enthusiastic, with some even experiencing mild 'seasickness' due to the intense, realistic visuals, yet all requesting more time in the SIM.

Full Mission Bridge Simulator Full Mission Bridge Simulator

Future Plans

  There is also development underway for a Senior Bridge Management Course for E6/E7's as a refresher for those headed back to large cutters after tours aboard small boat stations, or to acclimate and familiarize for the Cutter Ops first-timer. While similar in nature to the BM"A" curriculum, it will emphasize more complex scenarios, recreating conditions reported in mishaps for evaluation and 'lessons learned'. International Maritime Officer Candidate school has also expressed interest in training in the SIM as well. These training classes are expected to be in-place by the end of this year.

Last Modified 1/12/2016