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Newport, R.I. – Thirty four naval officers from nations around the globe reported to Newport Jan. 13, to begin a five and one-half month graduate-level curriculum at the Naval War College, as members of the Naval Staff College Class 74.

The Naval Staff College (NSC), one of six academic colleges within the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., is designed for intermediate-grade international naval officers who have completed eight to 15 years of military service.

The curriculum emphasizes naval planning and decision-making, with particular attention to broadening each officer's understanding of the importance and role of sea power in international affairs. The curriculum also reflects the dynamic changes in technology and society as it relates to maintaining peace while being prepared for conflict.

"Our goal is to provide the finest professional military education in the world and give our graduates a greater appreciation of American society, values, and institutions," said NSC Director Capt. Robert Winneg.

The course is taught in English and includes four major areas of study consisting of strategy and war, operational law, joint military operations, and national security decision making. Supplementing the NSC core curriculum, students attend an elective of their choice with U.S. and international students.

After spending a week in Newport, Lt. Cdr. Bilal Sana of the Pakistan Navy said, "It is amazing to see people from diverse ethnic groups living in great harmony." He looks forward to having "friends in every corner of the world" once he graduates.

An important component of the NSC curriculum is the Field Studies Program, which consists of a variety of visits to organizations and landmarks throughout the United States. These visits provide students with a balanced understanding of US society, institutions, and culture by exposing them to the United States governmental structure; judicial, economic, and political party systems; press and other communications media; urban issues; agriculture; and educational institutions. This program also affords students the opportunity to meet and discuss issues with distinguished leaders from both military and civilian segments of American society.

Since its founding in 1972, the Naval Staff College has graduated 1,796 students from 124 nations. NSC Class 74 represents a milestone with the arrival of Navy Lt. Cdr. Marino Acton of Suriname, the 125th nation to send a student to NSC.

Acton hopes his time spent at NSC will help add to the professionalism of his Navy's officer corps. Initially surprised by Newport's cold weather, he said, "I am more concerned about doing well in my studies."

Graduates from the Naval War College's international programs receive a diploma.

One of the Naval War College's four missions is to strengthen maritime security cooperation, by bringing together senior and intermediate level naval officers from other countries to develop leaders for high command in their navies. The desired effect is to build more robust and productive international maritime relationships, to improve the ability to operate effectively with partner nations, and to improve maritime security cooperation.

by Naval War College Public Affairs