By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Margie Rodriguez, Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Public Affairs
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (March 27, 2015) – Naval Special Warfare Group TWO (NSWG-2) commenced the first cycle for its Enlisted Expeditionary Warfare Specialist (EXW) qualification program Feb. 3, on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.
The program is intended to usher in the opportunity for Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Sailors to achieve the EXW qualification.
“We fought for the ability to administer this program because we do have deployable billets,” said Chief Electronics Technician Andre Hernandez. “We needed to give everyone the same chance to get qualified because this is about furthering people’s careers.”
The program is intended to improve the competitiveness of advancement and the likelihood of retention within the NSW community.
“What the NSWG-2 EXW program does is it gives Sailors a basis of fundamentals, basic understanding and insight to how NSW works and operates, and what that will do is provide the Sailor with a more rounded experience to build upon and be able to competently achieve their missions whether in-rate or out-of-rate down range,” said Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Scotty Parker, a NSWG-2 EXW Facilitator. “It gives traditional Sailors coming from the blue water fleet a different set of skills to be successful when carrying out expeditionary operations on the ground.”
The prerequisite qualifications for the program are 2nd Class Swimmer qualification, an up-to-date CPR qualification, a 3.0 or higher on the service member’s last observed evaluation, completion of the SeaBee Combat Handbooks One and Two, and the Sailor must be within current BCA standards and have passed their last PFA. The Sailor must enroll with the EXW Coordinator and fill out a page 13 acknowledging their enrollment in the program.
“The NSWG-2 EXW program has been extremely helpful because the skills and lessons it teaches you are practical and applied. We actually go out and perform practical evolutions,” said Yeoman 2nd Class Gary Sharper.
The program requires completion of general expeditionary and unit-specific Personnel Qualification Standard (PQS), to include weapon qualifications and maintenance, marksmanship, land navigation, field communications and expertise in setting up expeditionary camps.
Sailors enrolled in the program have one year to complete the EXW qualification, and it will be mandatory for Sailors E-5 and above.
“When I got my pin it meant alot to me, because it was something I performed and achieved. I had a lot fun going through the program and the pin symbolizes the hard work put into achieving it,” said Parker.
The design of the pin encompasses the essence of enlisted expeditionary Sailors, presenting the bow and superstructure of a patrol boat superimposed upon a crossed cutlass and M-16 rifle. The background is the traditional waves of the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist pin.
“The EXW pin is different from all other devices because the scope of operations is so broad and our platform is very unique,” said Hernandez. “Our mission is not as cut and dry as others and is always changing. This forces you to be more dynamic.”
NSWG-2 currently holds classes twice a week, at 1300 Tuesdays and Thursdays. NSW Logistical Support Unit TWO (LOGSU-2) currently holds classes three days a week, at 1000 Tuesday through Thursday in the Combat Service Support Detachment (CSSD) tent. For more information on the LOGSU-2 EXW Schedule contact Chief Builder Joseph Bushre, the LOGSU-2 EXW Coordinator, or Steel Worker 2nd Class John Smith, LOGSU-2 Assistant EXW Coordinator.