PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity (NETSAFA) held the 26th International Military Student Officer (IMSO) workshop Feb. 9-11.
The event provides a venue for Navy International Programs, NETSAFA and other key participants to address the topics relative to this year's focus; "Forging enduring maritime partnerships one student at a time."
"You all are at the tip of the spear when it comes to interaction with these students," said NETSAFA Commanding Officer Capt. Doug Heady. "As an IMSO you play a major role through the outstanding support you offer our allied nations students in their training to positively impact our network of partners."
The workshop was held on behalf of the Navy International Programs Office (NIPO), in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard Directorate of International Affairs and Foreign Affairs and the Marine Corps Security Cooperation Group. Over 180 IMSOs, service members and civilians, were in attendance.
The keynote speaker, Rear Adm. Todd Squire, director for International Engagement, stressed the importance of the workshop and how it relates to the Navy's current strategy.
"On the individual level, you contribute to the international student's experience and you become the face of the United States," said Squire. "While you are training these students you also help build partnerships that will help us win."
Rear Adm. Squire also presented six letters of commendation to the winners of the 2015 IMSO of the Year award. Their names and IMSO service locations follow:
The Navy recipients were: Lt. Cory Zebian from Surface Warfare Officer School Newport, Rhode Island, IMSO small command; Aviation Technician Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy E. Smith from Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit Jacksonville, Florida, IMSO medium command; William K. Durmick from Training Support Center San Diego, California, IMSO large command.
The Marine Corps recipient was Courtney A. Johnson from the School of Infantry West Training Command, Training and Education Command Camp Pendleton. The Coast Guard recipients were Maritime Enforcement Chief Petty Officer Marshall B. Riff from Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Academy Charleston, South Carolina and Tim Clements from Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown, Virginia.
The IMSOs of the year are recognized for their sustained superior performance in IMSO knowledge, dedication and innovation. To qualify for consideration, a nominee must be an IMSO or assistant IMSO with a minimum of one year in the position.
"This is a great opportunity to network with other IMSO's," said Dave Babcock, workshop chairman, NETSAFA. "You can learn a tremendous amount from others who had problems in a wide range of areas including our international military students."
NETSAFA is the U.S. Navy's agent for international education and training and coordinates training support to international governments and organizations. As a field activity of NETC, the command serves as a focal point for all security assistance training program issues, coordination and advice within the U.S. Navy.
For more information about NETSAFA, visit www.netsafa.navy.mil.
For more information on the Naval Education and Training Command, visit www.netc.navy.mil and www.navy.mil/local/cnet/.