The International Surface Warfare Division Officer (DIVO) course is one of four international courses offered by the Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) at Naval Station Newport, with the latest group of students set to graduate June 19.
The 16-week DIVO course enables international junior officers to execute with confidence the duties and responsibilities of a DIVO in the fleet. Other international courses offered at SWOS include International Combat Information Center Watch Officer, Joint Maritime Tactical Development, and International Surface Warfare Department Head Operations Specialty.
According to Lt. Lisa Swanson, a DIVO course instructor, the class prepares students for all aspects of maritime warfare.
“We cover a different topic each week,” said Swanson. “They get a chance to expand their view on different aspects of warfare such as air warfare, surface warfare, electronic warfare and undersea warfare.”
Swanson believes that combining partner navies in one classroom builds relationships that carry on long after course completion.
“It’s helpful to be in an international class because if everything turns the way we want, then at some point, we will all be in top ranks of our respective navies,” said Lt. j.g. Mareo Gongora of the Mexican navy and DIVO course student. “So maybe if we know each other, or had a good experience with someone from the same country from this course, then we already have a good relationship.”
Swanson agreed, saying she feels this course can help to build a sense of naval comradery.
“When they leave here, I want each student to take with them the interpersonal relationships they’ve made and understand that this goes beyond just being from different countries,” said Swanson. “It’s about the future and sharing the maritime domain to operate together effectively.”
Gongora added that being in a class with sailors from other nations is important for the continuation of learning and growing of all navies.
“I think it’s important to learn how things are done in other countries,” said Gongora. “You are able to learn that maybe what you’re doing isn’t wrong but it can be done better, and we should always be working towards being better.”
International training and education is managed by the Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity, serving as a focal point for all security assistance training program issues, coordination and advice within the U.S. Navy.
SWOS headquarters is located in Newport and oversees nine learning sites worldwide. Its mission is to ready sea bound Sailors to serve on surface combatants as officers, enlisted engineers, and enlisted navigation professionals to fulfill the Navy’s mission to maintain global maritime superiority.
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