STENNIS, Miss. (NNS) -- Fifteen officers from 13 partner nations kicked off Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School's 14th iteration of its Strategic Level Small Craft Combating Terrorism Course (SLC), April 7.
The officers are representing their countries of Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, Poland, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Uganda.
The SLC course allows international officers a forum to discuss shared challenges, while helping facilitate the formation of networks and trans-regional synchronization between partners who operate in the same geographic area and face similar problems. This network that reaches across oceans and continents allows for an efficient sharing of information between U.S. forces and facilitates efforts with other agencies and international partners.
At times, the interaction of students in the SLC course has proven beneficial in countering extremism, piracy and criminal activities. For example, during one SLC course, an officer from Europe was talking about a port security issue and an officer from South America responded that ships from that same port were entering his country. That SLC exchange marked the start of a multi-national anti-smuggling effort. Many SLC alumni also remain in contact with the NAVSCIATTS staff regarding professional matters such as technology development and training opportunities.
"With this course, we have now expanded the SLC network of global partners to approximately 200 officers from 53 countries, and your participation in this course will certainly bring better security and stability to your countries and the world," said Cmdr. Clay Pendergrass, commanding officer of NAVSCIATTS. "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 four-week, in-resident SLC course consists of seminar-style instruction giving the international officers the opportunity to examine the interplay between military and unit organizational culture and the effectiveness of counter-terrorism policy as it plays out at the operational and strategic levels across a range of different maritime-focused units. The various methods, experiences and collaborative exercises the officers will become familiar with in the course are supported and facilitated by experts from the U.S. Department of State, retired U.S. flag and general officers and the academic community.
The experts will share their unique counterterrorism experiences and knowledge with the officers, and then collaboratively work case studies focused on counterterrorism strategies and methods for combating terrorism in their own countries.
The case studies will encompass: an analysis of a national security strategy and national policy; an analysis of how terrorism and terrorist groups threaten national security; end-states or conditions that were achieved due to the success of the counterterrorism strategy; ways through which the desired states are achieved; and means or capabilities, people, and resources by which ways are facilitated.
The SLC course was designed to expand senior officers' and/or civilian equivalent leaders' joint interagency education on the strategic theory of standing up, leading and operating a dynamic unit, to include operational campaign designs focused on counterterrorism, maritime domain control, counter-narcotics and human trafficking.
The course of instruction also includes maritime security doctrine; operational command and control; training and readiness; organizational leadership; material craft and equipment suitability; logistics; maintenance sustainability; professional military education; and maritime facilities and infrastructure.
During the third week of the course, the senior officers will travel to Washington and Tampa, Florida to visit and meet with key leaders of various military and interagency staffs. They will learn about and discuss the interagency coordination and command and control while conducting operations each organization routinely encounters.
"The opportunity to be here to learn from and interact with other senior officers from around the world is amazing," said Capt. Radoslaw Tokarski, commanding officer of Ploand's Formoza. "The professional knowledge and methods that will be shared by NAVSCIATTS' visiting experts will be vital in helping us focus on and better understand strategic level counterterrorism objectives for our own countries."
NAVSCIATTS is U.S. Special Operations Commands' International Center specializing in mobile and in-resident training across the tactical, operational and strategic spectrums strengthening partner nation capabilities and capacity.
NAVSCIATTS currently offers 20 courses with an average of nearly 1,000 personnel graduating from in-resident and mobile training events annually. Since 1963, nearly 11,000 students from 108 partner nations have graduated from NAVSCIATTS. Courses are offered in English and Spanish or in other languages through the use of translators.
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