Brazilian Officer Brings Multi-National Experience to USS Mitscher

Story Number: NNS080928-14Release Date: 9/28/2008 8:43:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph R. Wax, Destroyer Squadron 24 Public Affairs

USS MITSCHER, At Sea (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) is underway this September preparing for the multi-national exercise Joint Warrior, which is scheduled to take place off the coast of Scotland early next month.

The Joint Warrior course will be Mitscher's deployment certification for its upcoming multi-national deployment with the British Royal Navy. However, Sailors aboard Mitscher are already getting experience working in a multi-national environment because of the presence of the ship's assistant operations officer, Brazilian Navy Lt. Ewerton Calfa.

"He has allowed us to get a better understanding of other nations and how they operate," said Lt.j.g. Dustin Cunningham, Mitscher's communications officer. "Seeing how he does business provides us a glimpse and better insight into what other navies are doing."

Calfa was assigned to USS Mitscher through a personnel exchange program (PEP) with the Brazilian Navy, which according to Calfa, has been in place since 1978. Calfa said his experience with the U.S. Navy will benefit him both personally and professionally. He said he also hopes to give something back to his American shipmates.

"I'm really happy to be here and exchange knowledge," said Calfa. "I'm hopeful I can pass something new to the crew."

Calfa doesn't just bring knowledge of foreign navies to Mitscher. Being from a different country makes it possible for him to approach situations from a diverse viewpoint.

"He brings the unique perspective of a multi-national officer and also the perspective of someone who didn't grow up in our environment, someone who didn't grow up with our social paradigms and our service paradigms of the way we do business," said USS Mitscher Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Daniel Uhls.

While Calfa brings a unique perspective to Mitscher, he stressed that multi-national partners aren't as different as one might think.

"The experience of being here on an American ship is pretty cool," Calfa said. "You can see we do a lot of things the same. The language is different, but everything else is pretty similar."

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