Acting Commander Samuel Evans of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, recently graduated from the United States Naval War College (NSC), after attending the U.S. Naval Staff Course from January 10 to June 20. The Naval War College is a premier U.S. Military institution, and is located in Newport Rhode Island. The purpose of the course was to assist specially selected naval officers in developing the professional and managerial skills for command and staff positions within their own navies. Naval officers representing 37 countries participated in the five and a half month program. The graduate level course provided students with in depth knowledge and understanding of national security issues and military related matters at the international level.

The program afforded the officers opportunities to gain understanding of the organization methods and doctrines of U.S. Military leaders. Areas on the course undertaken by Acting Cdr. Evans included studies on National Policy and Military Strategy, Joint Maritime Operations, International Law and Ocean Affairs, and National Security.

Major subjects studied included National Security Decision Making, Operational Law (International Maritime Law and the Law of War), Strategy and Policy, and Joint Operations. Acting Commander Evans completed a research paper entitled; “Problems of Illegal Immigrants in The Bahamas; and the role of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force in Solving the Problem.”This research paper highlighted the effectiveness of the Defence Force in dealing with this international crisis which affects many countries.

The extensive academic program also facilitated national security forums and seminars. Keynote speakers at these events included Flag Officers from all branches of the US Armed Forces. They all spoke on topics which varied from terrorism to that of global maritime strategy in the twenty-first century. One notable speaker included Senator Jack Reed from Rhode Island. Course participants traveled more than 10,000 miles to major cities throughout the U.S. to gain leadership and managerial insights from executives of various civilian establishments. Some of the places of interest included the Washington State Senate, Stanford University, US Federal Bank and the San Quentin Prison in San Francisco, California; the Starbucks headquarters and Boeing Jets manufacturer in Seattle, Washington, and the Martin Luther King museum, the Jimmy Carter Center and the Coca Cola headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The officers also visited Boston and Pennsylvania, where they were shown the practices and culture of the Amish population.

Acting Commander Evans currently holds the post as the Force’s Squadron Commanding Officer, where he is responsible for the daily operations of the Defence Force’s fleet. He joined the Defence Force in 1979 as a Marine Recruit, and was selected to attend the Special Duties Officer’s Course in Dartmouth, England in April 1986. He has also attended other courses locally and abroad, and has gained vast knowledge and training. He is married to the former Margo Wilkerson, and the couple has four children. (RBDF Photo by Leading Seaman Jonathan Rolle)