DIAMONDHEAD, Miss. (NNS) -- Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School (NAVSCIATTS) graduated 95 international students from 14 partner nations, July 23, at the Diamondhead Country Club.
The class included students from 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 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 Unmanned Aerial System Operations and Planning Course.
Cmdr. Clay M. Pendergrass, commanding officer, NAVSCIATTS, said the graduating students represent the best of their countries, he congratulated them for their hard work and professionalism.
"Your graduation from each of the courses of instruction will certainly bring better security and stability to your countries and the world," the commander said. "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."
Capt. Rene Merino, the head of the Salvadoran Navy, and one of the graduation ceremony's guest speakers, emphasized the importance of maintaining ties and good relations with foreign nation partners.
"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 the captain. "The best gift a sailor can have is the friendships made with navies all over the world. 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 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 www.navy.mil/local/navsciatts/