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NEWPORT, R.I. - Thirty-five students comprising the 76th Naval Staff College (NSC) class kicked off their studies Jan. 15, beginning a six-month study period at the U.S. Naval War College.
 
"I'm looking forward to seeing them develop as a class and, I'm looking forward to learning from them based on their experiences and perspective," said NSC director Capt. Robert Winneg.
 
Orientation ran from January 8 through 14, and the students represent 34 countries. Following orientation, students played a game of "crab soccer" and enjoyed an official welcoming ceremony in NWC's Spruance Hall lobby.
 
NEWPORT, R.I. (Jan. 14, 2010)  The Naval War College's 76th Naval Staff College class stands in Spruance Hall Auditorium during a welcoming reception, January 14. The majority of the students arrived on Jan. 7, and spent the first couple of days in orientation and began class on Jan. 15. (Photo by Tyler Will, NWC Public Affairs)Winneg said the class is curious and eager to learn, and anticipates the same level of effort and success he has seen with previous Staff College classes.
 
"Since 1972, 1,876 officers from over 125 nations have graduated from the Naval Staff College," Winneg said. "Their record of accomplishment since leaving Newport has been impressive. I'm confident that the officers that make up this seventy-sixth class will be equally successful when they return to their home countries."
 
Besides crab soccer, students have also been engaged in team-building exercises and ice breakers, to build friendships NWC's international programs are so well known for.
 
"It's good, it's been very good, because we get to know each other," said Lt. Cmdr. Mohamad Nordin, of Malaysia about orientation. "We learned a lot of things, U.S. [government] structure, history."
 
While English is not his first language, his largest concern is the course workload.
 
Winneg said students are eager for their families to arrive, and are getting used to driving in Rhode Island.
 
NSC is one of two resident programs offered at the Naval War College for international officers. NSC offers two courses. One is a full year course for mid-grade officers who are integrated with their U.S. counterparts. NSC conducts this second short course lasting six months, designed for navies who cannot spare an officer for a full year. It is a modified version of the one year course, including participation in a Field Studies Program that illustrates how the United States functions in all respects.

by Tyler Will, Naval War College Public Affairs