US Navy’s ‘super-stealth’ destroyer hosts international officers

U.S. Navy’s latest class of destroyer, often referred to as the ‘super-stealth’ destroyer, the USS Zumwalt played host to the latest class of international officers at U.S. Naval War College’s Naval Command College (NCC).  

As students of the NCC, the officers study together for a year in Newport, Rhode Island, where they inspect elements of national power, best practices in military management and the development of lasting military power, all while building lifelong relationships.

Cmdr. Keith Reams, deputy director of the Naval Command College said: “We brought this class to Zumwalt to show the United States Navy’s might at its finest.” Only three weeks into this year’s curriculum, Reams noted that this venue is the first of more than 15 different cities the students will visit across the U.S.

In addition to ship visits, NCC students are invited to study other aspects of U.S. culture.

Zumwalt, the first of a three-ship class, is currently in the final stages of certification, and is planning to depart the Bath Iron Works shipyard prior to commissioning, planned for Oct. 15 in Baltimore.

Zumwalt Executive Officer Capt. Scott Tait escorted the guests through the ship, while answering many detailed questions and describing the features, challenges and successes of the new ship class.

Zumwalt Quartermaster 1st Class Angel Jimenez, a Cuban American of Conyers, Georgia, reconnected with Peruvian Navy Cmdr. Daniel Plasencia. They first met at UNITAS, the annual multinational maritime exercise, in 2004. Today, they rekindled their professional friendship, and spent time discussing past, present and future traditions and courtesies in naval signaling.

While Zumwalt does not resemble any ship in Peru’s 8-frigate navy, and the United States’ mission is divergent from his nation’s needs, Plasencia said, “Zumwalt is such an impressive warship.” Plasencia described that the tour illustrated for him how a “developed country” can discover many levels of challenging issues in both warfighting and industrialization, collect best practices in addressing them over many years and combine the results on one ship.

At the conclusion of the tour, South African Navy Cmdr. Tebogo Motsene said, “Your ship is beautiful!” He was impressed by the professionalism of both the leadership and the crew, the cleanliness of the ship and the effective blending of advanced systems. “All of the technology is centralized. For me, it was spectacular. You blew my mind,” said Motsene.