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    NAVSCIATTS Graduates Largest Class in School History

    NAVSCIATTS Graduates Largest Class in School History

    Photo By Angela Fry | 170626-N-TI567-056 STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- International students perform...... read more read more



    Story by Angela Fry 

    Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School

    STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School, located at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, recently graduated its largest class in the international training center’s more than 50-year history.

    This iteration, which accounted for 125 students, featured students from Belize, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, St. Vincent and Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

    The selected international military and law enforcement personnel studied at NAVSCIATTS’ facilities in order to develop operational proficiency and technical knowledge and skills in specialized courses ranging from the school’s inaugural iteration of Expeditionary Logistics and Supply, Intel Fusion Operations and Integration, International Small Arms Maintenance course, Outboard Motor Maintenance and Overhaul, Patrol Craft Officer Coastal and Riverine courses, Technical Welding and Applied Repairs course, to the facility’s flagship Strategic Leaders International Course.

    Students, NAVSCIATTS’ staff and both international and local dignitaries gathered at the Diamondhead Country Club on July 20, to honor the students for their achievements and for newly-forged relationships.

    “Tonight’s ceremony is a bittersweet event for me, as this is my final graduation serving as the commander at NAVSCIATTS,” expressed Cmdr. Clay Pendergrass, as he introduced the incoming head of the facility, Cmdr. John T. Green.

    “Few positions in my career have impacted me as much as the time I have spent at this command and I am extremely proud to be at the helm tonight as we honor our largest graduating semester in the school’s history,” continued Pendergrass, a 28-year veteran of the U.S. Navy who has spent the majority of his career as a SEAL. “NAVSCIATTS’ most important objective is to build everlasting and ever-changing relationships with our partner nations. Those very relationships are the cornerstone in combating globally-shared issues. ”

    “I am proud to say that no other international training center within the entire U.S. Department of Defense can make the claim that it shapes the entire career of their partner nation students, except NAVSCIATTS,” he stressed. “We do not simply train a student on a skill set and send that student home. We train our students. Then we reach across oceans and borders and politics and religion to help shape that student as he or she progresses through their careers."

    With NAVSCIATTS’ primary mission as an international training center for U.S. Special Operations Command, an invitation to address the graduates was extended to Guatemalan Brig. Gen. Pedro Antonio Reyna Caro, commander of the 1st Infantry Brigade. With more than 30 years of military experience, Reyna stressed the importance of continued training and strengthening of relationships within the Latin American regions.

    “We have the support of the United States government, our brothers-in-arms from the marines and especially the crew of NAVSCIATTS,” he explained, as both Central and South America routinely provide large numbers of students to the Security Cooperation schoolhouse. “It has been here in this school where our junior officers and enlisted marines and sailors, those who make the difference, train and acquire valuable knowledge and experience.”

    Reyna closed his remarks to the 17-4 class reiterating the importance of combined global efforts and partnerships. “Graduates, today you conclude this instruction that enables you to lead the actions against criminal groups that threaten and terrorize the residents of each of your countries. The threat is great. But your strength is greater, because we are stronger together.”

    Other international and local dignitaries in attendance were Capt. Angel Eugenio Fonseca Donaire, chief of the Nicaraguan Naval Forces; Dr. Ken Griffey, Stennis Space Center; and Cmdr. Jose Antonio Martinez Perez, commander of Nicaraguan naval battalion and Nancy Depreo, Diamondhead, Mississippi City Council.

    NAVSCIATTS currently offers 20 courses of instruction with an average of nearly 1,000 international personnel graduating from in-resident and mobile training events annually. Since 1963, more than 11,500 students from 110 partner nations have graduated from NAVSCIATTS, which specializes in mobile and in-resident training across the tactical, operational and strategic spectrums. The Security Cooperation schoolhouse operates under USSOCOM in support of the Foreign Security Assistance and Geographic Combatant Commands’ Theater Security Cooperation priorities.

    For more information on NAVSCIATTS’ history and courses offered, visit



    Date Taken: 07.21.2017
    Date Posted: 07.21.2017 08:54
    Story ID: 242024

    Web Views: 559
    Downloads: 1