TAMPA, Fla. (NNS) -- Gen. Raymond Thomas, commander, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), presented Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School's (NAVSCIATTS) 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award to Polish Rear Adm. Piotr Stocki, commandant, Border Guard Maritime Branch, May 20 at USSOCOM.
The Distinguished Alumni program was established in 2013 in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of NAVSCIATTS. Specifically, this award recognizes the impact and specific accomplishments of former NAVSCIATTS graduates who leverage the collaborative network of global partners to pursue and implement multinational and transregional solutions. This network enables partners to reach across regional lines and facilitate information sharing and has proven beneficial in countering extremism, piracy, and criminal activities.
"This is really an honor for us here at SOCOM," said Thomas. "Rear Adm. Stocki has served with distinction for over 28 years in various key positions with the Polish navy and the Border Guard Maritime Branch. He embodies the NAVSCIATTS motto of 'Stronger Together,' and I look forward an ongoing and ever-strengthening relationship between Poland, the United States, and USSOCOM."
Stocki first came to NAVSCIATTS July 2011 when he participated in the Strategic Level Small Craft Combating Terrorism Course (SLC). In 2012, he returned to NAVSCIATTS as a SLC guest lecturer and guest speaker to share his experiences and emphasize his successful use of NAVSCIATTS' network of global partners.
The SLC course provides international officers a forum to discuss shared challenges, while helping facilitate the formation of networks and transregional synchronization between partners who operate in the same geographic area and face similar problems. This network that reaches across oceans and continents allows for efficient sharing of information between U.S. forces and facilitates efforts with other agencies and international partners.
According to Stocki, the Polish Border Guard Maritime Branch takes measures to neutralize border protection issues through regional cooperative networks, and NAVSCIATTS' SLC was the perfect course to familiarize him with planning, organizing and conducting operations in support of these regional issues.
"I consider this course to be one of my greatest professional training experiences, and a perfect opportunity to establish a dialogue, share experiences and build strategic relationships with other partner nations," said Stocki. "I greatly appreciate the numerous lessons and good practices [I] learned while at NAVSCIATTS, and to receive such an award is such an honor and a privilege."
In addition to recognizing the accomplishments of NAVSCIATTS graduates, the Distinguished Alumni Award also helps serve as a conduit to support the maintenance of strategic relationships within the network of global partners. NAVSCIATTS does not view relationships in terms of weeks, months, or years; nor attempt to build them only after a crisis has been identified. NAVSCIATTS views relationships in terms of decades and nourishes these strategic partnerships through courses of instruction across the tactical, operational, and strategic spectrums to provide viable partners to U.S. leaders to support transregional synchronization.
"Rear Adm. Stocki has been and continues to be an ambassador at large for NAVSCIATTS," said Cmdr. Clay Pendergrass, commanding officer of NAVSCIATTS. "We are drawn together by the common goals of protecting our families, our nations, and our world. I can't thank Rear Adm. Stocki enough for being a key partner nation advocate within the network of global partners."
NAVSCIATTS is U.S. Special Operations Command's 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 19 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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