SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Medical staff and other base residents will no longer have to leave the front gate to complete education certifications, base officials said Wednesday.

A new computer-based system will allow anyone — servicemembers and civilians — to complete education certification testing at Sasebo Naval Base’s Community Education Center.

The certification system could be up and running as early as Friday and could help many residents save time and money by eliminating travel, said Brian Hurdlow, the base chief information officer.

“You are looking at saving the Navy annually thousands of dollars,” he said.

Until now, servicemembers such as medical staff had to travel to Iwakuni, Yokosuka or even South Korea to complete education certifications, Hurdlow said.

The new service, offered through the civilian vendor Pearson Vue, allows those same servicemembers to stay in Sasebo and complete needed training in a wide spectrum of fields.

That could save the military $20,000 to $25,000 in annual travel expenses for shore medical staff and ship-based hospital corpsmen alone, according to Hurdlow.

Senior Field Engineer Mike Gavin was scheduled to meet with the testing system vendor this week and prepare for a launch on Friday if final preparations went smoothly.

Since November, Gavin has put in hundreds of hours outside his usual responsibilities to get the certification system working, Hurdlow said.

A bank of existing computers at the education center will be used for the testing. The Navy College will manage the certification program.

Anyone interested in certification can contact Navy College director David Freeman at DSN 252-3511. To see certification options, go to

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