(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nardel Gervacio/Released)

Secretary of the Navy Visits Surface Warfare Officers School in Newport

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nardel Gervacio, Surface Warfare Officers School Public Affairs 

Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer visited the Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) Command to speak with students and get a firsthand look at surface warfare training June 12.

Upon his arrival, Spencer was greeted by SWOS Executive Officer Capt. Timothy Wilke alongside command leadership, Executive Director Richard Callas and Command Master Chief Randy Bell. 

While at SWOS, Spencer observed the capabilities of the school and listened to feedback from Sailors. He met with a group of Advanced Division Officer Course (ADOC) and department head students for a roundtable lunch session to discuss the future of the Navy, the Navy’s budget, and shipbuilding priorities before touring the facilities.

“I thought it was very constructive, and he took the time to answer questions that everyone had,” said Lt. j.g. Cory M. Roberts of Santa Barbara, California, an ADOC student. “I’m really excited for his plan and the future, not just in the surface warfare community but the Navy overall.”

The tour included the Conning Officer Virtual Environment (COVE) station for navigation and shiphandling training, which simulates every class of ship in the U.S. Navy and all their homeports in addition to routine ports of call in the world. Spencer also observed the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) simulator where students learn to handle the ship without the backup of a large bridge team.

“It was an honor to have him here, and we really appreciated his sincere interest in what we do,” said Navigation, Seamanship and Shiphandling Director Bud Weeks. “(We were) able to demonstrate to him the process of our training and to discuss ways in the future on how we can make what we do here better.”

Before departing SWOS, Spencer, impressed with the leadership and the organization at the command, ended the tour by simply saying, “world-class leadership.” 

Headquartered in Newport, Rhode Island and overseeing nine learning sites worldwide, SWOS readies sea-bound Sailors to serve on surface combatants as officers, enlisted engineers, and enlisted navigational professionals to fulfill the Navy’s mission to maintain global maritime superiority.