By Lt. Jonathan Bacon, Naval Air Technical Training Center Public Affairs
PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC), on board Naval Air Station Pensacola hosted international naval officers from 23 nations Dec. 9.
The international officers are students from the Navy Staff College at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and they visited NATTC to observe how the U.S. Navy conducts initial-entry apprenticeship training.
Capt. Mark Turner, director of the Navy Staff College, accompanied the group to Pensacola.
"I brought international officers from 23 different countries to gain an understanding on a large scale of how the Navy trains and maintains a professional enlisted force, and could think of no better place to bring them than NATTC," said Turner. "It has been clear from the moment we entered that NATTC is training Sailors the right way from the first moment they arrive."
During their tour of NATTC the group learned about the process through which the training courses are developed and updated as well as observing Sailors and Marines training to become Aviation Electronics Technicians, Aviation Support Equipment Specialists, Aviation Ordnancemen, Aviation Machinist's Mates, and Aviation Structural Mechanics. John Semaan, NATTC's international military student officer accompanied the group and pointed out that hosting groups such as this is important to maintaining good relations with our allies.
"These visits are great for many reasons," Semaan said. "They allow us to build better relationships with our partners as well as putting faces to names. They also allow us to demonstrate to our allies that we remain on the cutting-edge in each field because of our ability to take a high school graduate, "sailorize" them and have them well-trained and to the fleet in a relatively short period of time. Additionally, they see that we are able to do this over-and-over with great continuity and success with our staff of highly trained and experienced mid-and-upper-grade enlisted personnel and officers."
For more than 70 years, NATTC has been delivering training and increasing readiness within the Naval Aviation Enterprise. NATTC graduates approximately 15,000 Navy, Marine and international students annually. The majority of the student body is comprised of enlisted personnel attending "A" schools, where they gain the knowledge and skills required to perform in the fleet as technicians at the apprentice level.
Advanced schools provide higher-level technical knowledge for senior petty officers, and specialty schools offer specific skills not particular to any one rating, such as airman apprentice training, maintenance, personal financial management and shipboard aircraft firefighting. NATTC also conducts technical training for officers in aviation fuels, carrier air traffic control center operations, aircraft launch and recovery equipment, shipboard aircraft fire fighting and amphibious air traffic control center operations.