Warning Decision Training Branch
|Jurisdiction||Federal government of the United States|
|Agency executive||Ed Mahoney, Branch Chief|
The Warning Decision Training Branch (or WDTB) is one of three training organizations in the NWS Training Division which also includes the Forecast Decision Training Branch and the NWS Training Center. WDTB develops and delivers training on the integrated elements of the warning process within a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Weather Service (NWS) forecast office. WDTB instructors develop and deliver a variety of in-residence, teletraining, and on-line asynchronous training content to meet this mission. Our goal is to increase expertise among NOAA/NWS personnel so that they can better serve the public during warning operations. 
NEXRAD Training Unit
With the nationwide implementation of the NEXRAD program, NWS management formed a unique training group designed to create and teach a course dedicated to the understanding and application of the WSR-88D radar. In the summer of 1989, this training group, called the Operations Training Facility (OTF) was staffed with six meteorologist instructors and a secretary (referred to as the NEXRAD Training Unit, or NTU). This facility was originally part of the NWS Forecast Office in Norman, OK and administered by the Southern Region of the NWS.
Operations Training Branch
In 1991, reorganization of the NWS led to the transfer of administration of NTU staff to the rapidly growing Operational Support Facility (OSF). After the transfer, the NTU/OTF became known as the Operations Training Branch (OTB), which is now known as the Radar Operations Center (ROC). Over the years, the training evolved and matured and eventually the course went from a five-week course taught by staff from UNISYS to an eighteen-day course taught exclusively by OTB instructors. Enrollment increased to the point that OTB staff were teaching three simultaneous classes with 24 students each including students from both NWS and Department of Defense (DoD). By 1993, there were 27 NWS and DoD instructors at OTB. In 1997, the last residence WSR-88D OPS Course was taught. During the seven years of residence classes, 2,525 students completed the OPS course. In 1998, the OTB was awarded the DoC Bronze Medal for the development and delivery of the WSR-88D OPS Course. The course had been recognized by NWS employees as an example of training done right in the NWS Modernization. Budgetary restrictions led OTB staff to start using a new training technique: Teletraining. By utilizing teletraining, and later other distance learning techniques and a one week workshop, the old OPS course evolved into the Distance Learning Operations Course (DLOC).
Warning Decision Training Branch
In the fall of 2000, the NWS again transferred administrative control of the Operations Training Branch. This reorganization resulted in a new name, the Warning Decision Training Branch, and a new home in the Continuous Learning Division of the Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services (OCWWS). As part of this second reorganization, DLOC and other training developed by WDTB transitioned from being "radar-centric" to "warning issuance-centric". In the summer of 2006, WDTB moved into its new home at the National Weather Center (NWC) on the University of Oklahoma (OU) south research campus.
1998: Department of Commerce (DoC) Bronze Medal for the development and delivery of the WSR-88D OPS Course
2003: DoC Gold Medal for the development of the Weather Event Simulator (WES)
2003: DoC Bronze Medal for the rapid, innovative actions in collecting, archiving, and analyzing weather data to assist the Shuttle Columbia accident investigation
2005: DoC Bronze Medal for developing an innovative method to provide situational awareness and severe weather training directly to all NWS operational forecasters in order to improve warning services and reduce costs.