GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Surface Warfare Officers School Unit (SWOSU) Great Lakes hosted 11 interns from the Republic of Korea (ROK) Parliament July 21.
The visit was part of an annual cultural exchange between college student interns from the ROK Parliament and the United States Congress.
"I think it is important to share what we do as a country with anyone that wants to come, because the investment that we made in training can be an example to other countries," said Lt. Cmdr. Preston Marshall, executive officer of SWOSU. "We have had German officers, and the Brazilian and Korean Chief of Naval Operations tour our facility. Having other Sailors from other navies that we are going to operate with at some point or already have, able to see what we do from the ground level up with our Sailors gives them the appreciation for who we are when we come to the table for joint exercises."
As part of the SWOSU tour, interns visited the training facilities of Basic Engineering Common Core (BECC). BECC balances Computer Based Training (CBT) with hands-on training labs, instructor-led classroom training with realistic simulations creating an Integrated Learning Environment (ILE). They also visited the Engineman 'C' School virtual task trainer and the LPD 17 Maintainer Course.
"It was very nice seeing how Sailors and the American Navy train," said Horyun Sung. "In Korea it is mandatory that all Korean men serve in the military for two years, and I will need to serve in the military next year so it was a good experience to see how the military is. Of course it will be different between the two militaries, but it gives me a feel of how the military operates."
Through the efforts of the U.S. Congress, State Department and Meridian International Center, exchanges between American students and interns, and those from foreign countries have taken place for more than 50 years.
"I proudly support this cultural exchange which fosters important friendships and gives Korean and American students the opportunity to learn about history, politics and economics," said U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, who has been a congressional sponsor of the exchange program since 2003. "The visit to Naval Station Great Lakes is an essential part of the exchange, giving Korean students unique insight into our country's great military while showcasing beautiful Lake Michigan."
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