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International Leadership Symposium Held at NAVCENT

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Victoria Kinney, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs | July 19, 2017


Service members from five nations attended U.S. 5th Fleet’s Combined Joint Maritime Enlisted Leadership Development Program (ELDP), held aboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, July 16-18.

Over the three-day period, 71 participants from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and the Sultanate of Oman completed the leadership program. The program integrated lessons from the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO)/Petty Officer (PO) Handbook, published by the National Defense University, allowing participants to share their own experiences and apply them to the lessons in a combined working environment.

Throughout the course, myriad guests spoke of their leadership experiences. Presenters included U.S. 5th Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) Deputy Commander Rear Adm. Paul Schlise, Royal Jordanian Navy Command Master Chief Petty Officer Khalaf Awad Nassar Almarayeh, U.S. 5th Fleet Master Chief James Honea, and U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Fleet Master Chief Raymond Kemp, Sr.

During Schlise’s presentation, he offered words of wisdom to the enlisted service members in the audience, encouraging the crowd to speak calmly, learn to prioritize, delegate and supervise and encouraged them to develop more mentor relationships.

While the differences in the services and nations that participated might be profound, students in the course learned that leadership and responsibility of the NCO is a cornerstone to success of the services, according to the handbook.

Kemp shared experiences from his three decades of service in the U.S. Navy. He encouraged those in the audience to encourage subordinates to be bold and courageous so that they can speak truth to power.

“If we find an answer to our struggles that we might have had on our shop or squadron, we should share that lesson to move faster and better together,” said Kemp.

He concluded that through open communication with the different services and nations, the combined working environments should operate more smoothly together and evolve to handle tasks better.

During Honea’s speech, he expounded upon the importance of interoperability between services and nations, and stated those in attendance had to learn to operate on a global environment, the increasing reality of future military operations. He gave examples where forces in the region have only been able to successfully conduct exercises and operations through the collaboration of coalition partners. Honea also pressed the importance of critical thinking while managing organizations, and the importance of recognizing trends to mitigate risks or problematic issues before they arise.

“We need to come to the table and work together in order to be better leaders,” said Honea. “If we talk about a problem, talk about the risks, and talk to our Sailors, we can figure out what the challenges are and figure out how to mitigate the problem or risk [and prevent it] from happening again.”

 “One of the benefits of a course like this is that you learn to think through situations before they become real and urgent,” said Electronics Technician 1st Class Erik Holmberg, a participant of the program, assigned to NAVCENT. “Additionally, it was great to hear from a wide range of senior leaders and get their perspectives. As a reservist, I’m glad I got to attend this program so that I can share it with the junior Sailors I work with back in America, as well as applying it to my day-to-day life.”

ELDP courses are held quarterly by NAVCENT to enrich the leadership skills of enlisted services members in coalition forces.