NEWPORT, R.I. -- The International Surface Warfare Department Head Operations Specialty 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 15-week course prepares mid-grade international surface warfare officers with previous sea experience to execute both operations and combat systems department head duties.
The goal of this course is to broaden students’ skills in warfare and to build relationships. Students learn the basic knowledge of seamanship, navigation and damage control, but the focus of the course is warfare and warfare planning.
"These future operations department heads will be fighting their ships from the combat information center as tactical action officers,” said Lt. Benjamin Grayson, a Department Head Operations Specialty course instructor. “We need to ensure that they are ready for this constant, tactical-minded watch station.”
Lt. Tunggul Adya Dewangga, a member of the Indonesian navy and student in the course, believes there are also benefits to training with students from all over the world
"We can exchange knowledge, cultures and perspectives," said Dewangga. "One thing that is certain is that we will make new friends."
Grayson agreed, saying strengthening international bonds is vital to building strong, joint forces.
"I think the more those different nations of the world can work together, the less conflict we'll have, and that's the goal," said Grayson. "If we should ever need to work together, having these bonds will help us have an easier time integrating with each other."
Dewangga added that he enjoys the course and looks forward to taking what he has learned home with him.
"This course opens up a new viewpoint for me," said Dewangga. "It has shown me how I can improve my performance at work in the future."
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, manages international training and education.
Other international courses offered at SWOS include International Combat Information Center Watch Officer, Joint Maritime Tactical Development, and International Surface Warfare Division Officer.
SWOS is part of Surface Warfare Schools Command (SWSC), which oversees nine learning sites worldwide. SWSC’s 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.