GREAT LAKES (NNS) — Foreign Officers from the Naval War College toured Recruit Training Command and attended a boot camp graduation March 17.
Forty-eight foreign military officers, sponsored by the Naval War College, visited different Navy commands to gain experience in how the Navy trains and uses its facilities.
“It was an extremely important visit for the Naval Command College (NCC). Our group is made up of senior military officers from almost 50 different countries, so many of them aren’t aware of the scope and size of RTC’s training,” said Cmdr. Keith “Harry” Reams, deputy director, NCC. “The chance to visit RTC and see the professionalism of trainers as well as the Sailors being trained was invaluable.”
The visitors were afforded the opportunity to observe recruit training and various facilities. It also provided the officers interaction with senior leadership and recruits in training at RTC to help build rapport, understanding and relationships to similarities in training.
The foreign officers began their tour with Battle Stations-21 aboard USS Trayer (BST-21), a 210-foot Arleigh Burke-class destroyer simulator, the largest in the Navy.
Battle Stations-21 is the capstone event that culminates eight weeks of boot camp training. Each recruit must complete 17 scenarios during a 12-hour, overnight period. The scenarios encompass all training learned during boot camp from firefighting to preventing and stopping flooding in a ship compartment. There are also casualty evacuations, watch standing, loading and unloading supplies and line handling.
“The capping ceremony was extremely moving. Seeing the future backbone of the Navy get that ‘team’ recognition and accomplishment of a common goal was great,” said Reams. “It was an honor to be a part of that event.”
The guests also did a tour outside various training facilities, to include Freedom Hall the command’s state-of-the-art, 187,000 square-foot physical training facility; USS Missouri Small Arms Marksmanship Trainer (SAMT), where recruits learn to handle and fire the Navy’s standard issue M9 Berretta pistol; and visited USS Reuben James, a recruit’s barracks and galley.
While at the USS Reuben James, the group had the opportunity to dine with recruits.
“Another great opportunity was to sit and have breakfast with the trainees. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more – our students or the young recruits!” said Reams.
After seeing the facilities and speaking with recruits, who are only midway through training, Cmdr. William “Bill” Waters, a principal warfare officer from the Royal Australian Navy, was impressed by RTC’s professional dedication and commitment.
“It was a really exceptional experience to speak to recruits in training who will soon become Sailors serving in the fleet and to give them insight on the powerful relationships built between foreign navies,” said Waters. “The scale and size of the training facilities at RTC are quite impressive. The ability to train thousands of recruits in this capacity – with training brought to the recruits in their barracks and supporting facilities – demonstrates the state-of-the-art entry training facility for boot camp at RTC.”
The attaches included officers from Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, United Kingdom and the United States.
“I’m a big fan of collaborative learning. Any time we are able to leverage the power of pooled experience, we collectively advance so much more effectively and efficiently than if we were trying to identify best practices while isolated within our own organizations,” said Lt. Cmdr. Amanda Dzananovic, student control director. “The Naval War College is a nexus for collaborative learning, and it’s an honor to get to be a part of their learning process from the steps of RTC.”
Boot camp is approximately eight weeks and all enlistees into the U.S. Navy begin their careers at the command. Training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms, firefighting and shipboard damage control along with lessons in Navy heritage and core values, teamwork and discipline. About 30,000 to 40,000 recruits graduate annually from RTC and begin their Navy careers.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Recruit Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/rtc/.