Royal Australian Navy Graduates Surface Combat Systems Training Command

Story Number: NNS140916-26Release Date: 9/16/2014 7:32:00 PM
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By Operations Specialist 1st Class Janelle Stanley, Center for Surface Combat Systems Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit Dam Neck (CSCSU Dam Neck) held a special graduation for the AN/SPQ-9B course onboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana Dam Neck Annex, Sept. 5.

The diverse class of 11 students consisted of four U.S. Navy Sailors, three Royal Australian Navy (RAN) sailors, two Australian engineers, one technical representative from Norfolk Ship Support Activity (NSSA) and one Coast Guard member.

The course was comprised of classroom and laboratory work covering the AN/SPQ-9B, a two-dimensional anti-ship missile defense radar, which will eventually be installed on RAN's new Hobart class of Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs).

"This was the first AN/SPQ-9B class comprised of foreign military and the first time Dam Neck taught members of the Royal Australian Navy," said Lt. Antonio Jones, CSCSU Dam Neck weapons department head.

Commander Matthew Carroll, RAN, who is currently serving at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dam Neck, attended the graduation and discussed the special partnership between RAN and the U.S. Navy.

"It is good to see Australian and U.S. students working together, sharing ideas, and learning from each other as we introduce this new capability to the Royal Australian Navy," Carroll said.

At the ceremony, Fire Controlman 1st Class Mary Spell, lead instructor, congratulated the students on their accomplishments.

"It was an honor teaching such a diverse group of students," said Spell. "During the five weeks of instruction, you came together as a team and put all your efforts into this rigorous course of instruction. Well done on your hard work and successes."

As the leader in surface combat systems training, the Center for Surface Combat Systems headquarters' staff oversees 14 learning sites, including CSCS Unit Dam Neck, and provides almost 70,000 hours of curriculum for close to 700 courses a year to more than 40,000 Sailors. CSCS Unit Dam Neck provides many different curriculums, and is a primary training facility for several Navy combat systems ratings.

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