STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. (NNS) -- Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (METOC) congratulated one of its members for being the first from the community to receive the new Enlisted Expeditionary Warfare Qualification (EXW) pin.
Chief Aerographer's Mate (SW/AW) Vincent Moore, leading chief petty officer assigned to Naval Special Warfare Support Activity 1, is the first member of the METOC community, the first in his command and one of the first in the Navy to receive the new EXW pin.
The EXW is the Navy's newest warfare qualification and is less than a year old. It offers a warfare qualification for Sailors assigned to expeditionary and special warfare commands.
Although he has already attained both Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist and Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualifications, Moore said he pursued the expeditionary warfare qualification to set an example and pave the way for his Sailors to follow.
"If there was no one to do it, no one would," he said, adding that he wanted to show that "the opportunity is available to any AG who comes to special warfare."
Moore said that his last duty station was with the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) Naval Coastal Warfare Group 1, where he helped write the Personnel Qualifications Standards for the qualification. The qualification is important because it gives Sailors not assigned to ships an opportunity for a warfare qualification - and advancement. It is also significant for Sailors assigned to NECC and Naval Special Warfare (NSW) commands.
"This is an important milestone for Sailors in expeditionary commands (NSW, NECC) because it means they are able to earn a warfare qualification that makes them more competitive with Sailors in the aviation and surface communities," said Cmdr. Tim Gallaudet, former commanding officer of Naval Oceanography Special Warfare Center, Moore's parent command.
The qualification is good news for the Navy Oceanography Operations Command because it helps Sailors make the decision to continue working in the command's Special Warfare Directorate. Sailors are willing to remain in the directorate if they enjoy their work and know that earning the EXW qualification will make them more competitive for advancement.
Master Chief Aerographer's Mate Mark Kalinowski, former Navy Oceanographic Special Warfare Center's command master chief, said the Special Warfare Command also likes to keep the same Sailors because of the time it takes to train a Sailor. Kalinowski said Sailors have to learn how to tailor their forecasts and recommendations, based on the specific needs of special warfare, and without the EXW pin, Sailors leave for a ship tour to get a warfare pin. Consequently, NSW would only have the Sailor for one tour.
Preparing an aerograher's mate for an NSW deployment takes approximately 40 weeks of training. The NSW and METOC communities invest millions of dollars into training AGs. Getting more out of the training by having AGs serve more than one tour in the NSW directorate makes sense.
The qualification will help the Oceanography Program build and keep a group of enlisted Sailors with expertise in special warfare. The directorate is a part of the NMOC strategy to align with Navy operations.
For more news from Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cnmoc/.