Naval Small Craft Instruction and Techinal Training School
Story by Glenn Sircy
DIAMONDHEAD, Miss. — Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School (NAVSCIATTS) graduated 95 international students from 14 partner nations the evening of July 23, 2015 at the Diamondhead Country Club.
Lieutenant Christian Velarde, from Peru, was the class leader of the 95 students from 14 partner nations that included Cape Verde, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and Uzbekistan.
The students graduated from nine separate NAVSCIATTS’ courses of instruction that encompassed the Instructor Development Course, International Tactical Communications Course, International Patrol Craft Officer Coastal Course, Patrol Craft Officer Riverine Course, International Small Arms Maintenance Course, Diesel Systems Overhaul and Maintenance Course, Technical Welding and Applied Repairs Course, Outboard Motor and Maintenance Overhaul Course and UAS Operations and Planning Course.
Cmdr. Clay M. Pendergrass, commanding officer, NAVSCIATTS, shared that the graduating students represent the best of their countries, and he congratulated them for their hard work and professionalism. Pendergrass also added, “Your graduation from each of the courses of instruction will certainly bring better security and stability to your countries and the world. However, that is not the most valuable thing you will bring back to your countries. The most important reason you came here was to interact, communicate, understand and earn the trust and respect of each other so that we can all build, shape and maintain stronger strategic relationships.”
The two guest speakers for the ceremony were Rear Adm. Marvin Corrales, Chief of the Nicaraguan Navy, and Capt. Rene Merino, Head of the Salvadoran Navy.
“With this type of training, the knowledge gained is not the only important thing, but also to share your own experiences with your peers and more importantly, the friendships that you created during this course,” said Capt. Merino. “I would like to stop on this aspect and emphasize the importance of this. The best gift a sailor can have is the friendships made with navies all over the world. When you leave this country, keep in contact with your peers and instructors. In my experience this has always been very useful. I recently received support from former foreign partners with whom I shared a classroom 29 years ago in a country other than mine.”
NAVSCIATTS is a Department of the Navy schoolhouse operating under the United States Special Operations Command. NAVSCIATTS trains and educates Partner Nation Security Forces (PNSF) on a wide range of topics including small craft strategy, operations, communications, weapons, maintenance and instructor development.
Since 1963, nearly 11,000 students from 113 partner nations have graduated from NAVSCIATTS. Courses are offered in English and Spanish or in other languages through the use of translators.
For more news from Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/navsciatts/.