The Naval Nuclear Power Training Command is designed for more than 3,600 students and 480 staff members. Its mission is to prepare Naval nuclear operators for prototype training and eventually service in the fleet, according to the command website.

The program is split into two groups of students, Nuclear Field "A" School and Nuclear Power School.

Nuclear Power School is widely acknowledged as having the most demanding academic program in the U.S. military. It trains officers and enlisted students in the science and engineering fundamental to the design, operation and maintenance of naval nuclear propulsion plants.

"Academics proceed at a rapid pace with high academic standards enforced in all subjects. Students typically spend 40-to-45 hours per week in the classroom with an additional 10-to-35 hours per week of study outside of lecture hours," the website states.

Topics include mathematics, nuclear physics, health physics, reactor principles, materials science and metallurgy, electrical power theory and generating equipment thermodynamics, chemistry and nuclear reactor technology, the site states.

Nuclear Field "A" School provides training for nuclear machinist's mates, electrician's mates and electronic technicians.

Capt. Jon R. Fahs is the commanding officer. From 2009 to 2011, Fahs served as the officer-in-charge of the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board at the United States Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va. He conducted more than 50 Operational Reactor Safeguard Exams on various aircraft carriers, submarines and nuclear prototypes.

Fahs has been honored with the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

The school moved from Orlando, Fla., to the Charleston area in 1999. Improved sailor quality of life and training effectiveness were cited as benefits of the new location.

Prentiss Findlay