Coast Guard holds 49th International Maritime Officers Course graduation in Yorktown, Va.

 

Graduating IMOC class with their embassy and nation representatives.

Members of International Maritime Officers Course class 49 stand with their respective embassy and nation representatives in front of the Washington Auditorium following a graduation ceremony at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown, Va., Thursday, Jun. 27, 2013. IMOC 49 is the 49th graduating class in the school’s 18-year history consisting of 30 students from 22 partner nations. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Jason Harris.

Story by Lt. Jeremy Bohn

Thirty students from 22 partner nations graduated from the International Maritime Officers School in late June at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown, marking the 49th graduating class in the school’s 18-year history.

Rear Adm. Christopher J. Tomney, the assistant commandant for Intelligence and Criminal Investigations, and Capt. Reed Stephenson, the commanding officer of Training Center Yorktown, officiated the graduation.

Of the thirty students, the senior class participant was Rear Adm. Borin Khun of the Cambodian Navy who is the first ever 2-star flag officer to attend the International Maritime Officers Course. Additionally, the IMOC 49 graduation marked two significant milestones for the school. For the first time, Egypt, Serbia, Ivory Coast and the Dutch Antilles were represented, bringing the ever growing number of partner nations to 120. The second major milestone was the 1,000th course graduate, Lt. j.g. Walid Romdhane of the Tunisian Navy.

Many of the graduating students were joined by representatives from their respective home nations, including the Cambodian ambassador to the United States and Mexico, as well as senior military and civilian leaders from seven countries. The class was distinguished by their honor graduate, Lt. Agung Kusumaji, an officer from the Indonesia Ministry of Transportation.

Graduating IMOC class with their embassy and nation representatives.

Lt. Agung Kusumaji, a member of the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation and honor graduate of International Maritime Officers Course 49 is shown following their graduation ceremony at Training Center Yorktown, Va.. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Jason Harris

The ceremony’s presiding official, Tomney, noted the common interests between the international officers and their U.S. Coast Guard partners and congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments.

“In the U.S. Coast Guard, we often describe our mission simply by saying we protect those on the sea, protect our nation from threats delivered by the sea and we protect the sea itself. Those are common goals we share,” said Tomney. “Providing for the safety and security of the seas and stewardship of the world’s marine resources is a job that requires cooperation among the maritime services of the world.”

As assistant commandant for intelligence and criminal investigations, Tomney oversees a workforce of more than 1,200 professionals and is accountable for the service’s intelligence programs to include counterintelligence, cyber, criminal investigations and cryptology.

Supported by the Department of State and as a component within Training Center Yorktown’s resident International Training Division, the 15-week course teaches professional military education for international maritime officers by providing an in-depth overview of the U.S. Coast Guard organization and the planning and management of its missions. Students are exposed to a series of seminars, instructional lessons and field studies programs and activities covering a variety of topics, including maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, maritime safety and response, international law, port security, crisis management and military leadership.

Consistent with the Coast Guard’s international, cooperative missions throughout the world, the course also provides students American cultural experiences in an environment designed to foster bonds of friendship. Since its founding in 1995, 1,001 international military officers from 120 partner nations have graduated from the International Maritime Officers Course.

 Photo of IMOC students at a graduation

Rear Adm. Tomney, graduate Lt. j.g. Issai Cruz of the Mexican Navy and Mexican Foreign Liaison Officer to the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and Rear Adm. Ruben Ceballos-Guevara are shown at an International Maritime Officers Course graduation. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Jason Harris

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