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Head of Russian Navy Visits Naval Academy

Posted on: July 18, 2013 13:00 EDT by Jessica Clark

The Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Federation Navy visited the Naval Academy July 15 to learn about how the academy trains future naval leaders.

Adm. Viktor Chirkov was in the U.S. as a guest of Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert.

While in Annapolis, Chirkov toured the Yard and participated in a roundtable discussion with Russian-speaking faculty and staff. He also received a brief on academy training operations, including academics, physical conditioning and the seamanship and navigation program with the yard patrol craft.

Naval Academy leadership took the opportunity to discuss with Chirkov a potential exchange program with the Kuznetsov Naval Academy in St. Petersburg. The academy currently has arrangements for student exchange with seven countries: Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Japan, and Spain.

Mr. Tim Disher, director of the Naval Academy’s International Programs Office, stressed the importance of giving midshipmen opportunities to interact with other cultures.

“We want to make sure our students develop relationships with their counterparts because we know they’re going to interact with them at various stages in their careers,” said Disher.

In the fleet, officers have many opportunities to interact with their counterparts in foreign navies through collaborative exercises and operations, port visits, and – in the age of social media – online, said Disher.

“We want to prepare them to be able to operate in a very complex environment with our allies and be able to understand their points of view, understand where they’re coming from, and what their capabilities are,” he said.

Additionally, the president of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., discussed the potential for faculty exchange between the U.S. and Russian schools.

“By the end of the visit, [Chirkov] understood the possibilities for collaboration and agreed that at the student level – at the formative stages of student development – it’s important to develop ties. He left here with a much better understanding of how we can move forward in those areas,” said Disher.

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