NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) welcomed two of the newest officers after they successfully completed Officers Training at the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), the force announced yesterday.
According to the announcement, Lieutenant Angelo Whitfield and Sub Lieutenant Delron Mitchell recently completed conversion courses for naval officers in New London, Connecticut. Whitfield, an Eleuthera native, attended the Officer Indoctrination School, while Mitchell attended the Officer Candidate School at the USCGA, from July 22 through November 16, 2020.
The RBDF said the courses were sponsored by the International Military Education Training Program (IMET) and “designed to educate and train officer candidates to ensure that they possess moral, intellectual and physical qualities, and the leadership potential to serve effectively as commissioned officers”.
The initiative was “in keeping with Commander Defence Force Commodore Raymond King’s strategic intent of developing a professional and high-performance workforce focused on excellence and succession planning”, the RBDF said.
“Commodore King congratulated both officers for their outstanding achievements abroad, and presented them with certificates at Defence Headquarters, John F. Kennedy Drive,” its statement read.
The force noted that the curriculum included Academics, Leadership and Management, Nautical Science, Health and Physical Readiness, Customs and Courtesies, Military Traditions and Coast Guard History.
“The Academic aspect of the course gives the officer an overall view of the Coast Guard. It also exposes them to Maritime Law Enforcement, Military Etiquette, Unified Code of Military Justice, Effective Writing, Communication Skills and First Aid,” read the statement.
“Both officers completed the Nautical Science aspect aboard USCGC BARQUE EAGLE. This included a 14-day tour of duty where the officers were required to apply the knowledge of Piloting, Maneuvering Boards, Rules of the Road, Ship Handling, Celestial Navigation, Shipboard Communication, Tides and Currents, Nautical Nomenclature and the Compass System. The craft disembarked from the New London Port and made patrols in and around the New London and New York sea lanes.
“Lieutenant Whitfield took part in a new program known as STRAND. This allowed officer candidates the opportunity to step into the portfolio of an afloat officer and experience duties of a new officer onboard a service vessel designated for travel to Coast Guard Sector Boston for hands-on training in navigating and piloting.
“The Leadership and Management section assesses the officer’s leadership, managerial and conceptual abilities. Evaluations are based on Personal Conduct, Military Aptitude, Situational Awareness and Leadership Positions.
“Sub Lieutenant Mitchell was tasked with various administrative duties during his tenure at the school and served in numerous roles, including officer of the day, junior officer of the day and academic section leader. Moreover, Sub Lieutenant Mitchell made history when he became the first international student to be selected as platoon commander for Alfa One Platoon. He was also the long cruise assistant who worked along with the long cruise coordinator aboard the USCGC BARQUE EAGLE.”