SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Regional Security Education Program (RSEP) instructors from the Naval Postgraduate School raised the collective cultural and security awareness of Boxer service members during an RSEP engagement Feb. 12-19 aboard amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4).
"The Regional Security Education program helps both familiarize Sailors and Marines with the areas of operations to which they're heading and also to explain the big picture situation, to show how crucial to national security is the job that Sailors and Marines do," said Michael Rubin, a senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS).
Rubin has participated in 15 RSEP engagements with military members over the past five years across dozens of deployed ships.
RSEP was created during the aftermath of the October 2000 attack on guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) to educate Sailors and Marines on pertinent cultural facts and social structures that may affect them during deployment. The briefings are unclassified and cover the political, historical and cultural aspects of any region that U.S. military personnel may operate in as part of an assigned mission.
"Our intended audience is anyone aboard any vessel in the amphibious ready group or carrier strike group, whether they are officers, NCOs [non-commissioned officers] or enlisted," said Robert E. Rook, an adjunct faculty member at NPS. "The idea is to provide some level of additional knowledge and understanding for any and all members of a Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) or any other unit that RSEP members address."
The program was initially established to help educate ship leaders to be better prepared for multiple security challenges while at sea, and has continued to execute that mission while broadening the scope of its audience. Lessons are taught and learned by both instructors and students.
"For many Naval Postgraduate School, Naval Academy, or Marine Corps University professors who teach RSEP, their first time participating in the program is the first time they go to sea or actually see the Navy or Marines in action," said Rubin. "Every RSEP is like a grad school seminar for me, as I learn more about just how amazing the Navy and Marines are."
More than 4,500 Sailors and Marines from Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and the 13th MEU are conducting sustainment exercises off the coast of Hawaii in preparation for entering the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operations.
For more information on the Regional Security Educational Program and the Naval Postgraduate School visit www.nps.edu.