USS Makin Island
“Gung Ho”
Makin Island Sailors and Marines Complete Second NCPACE Term
By Seaman Matthew J. Hill, USS Makin Island Public Affairs
USS MAKIN ISLAND, At sea - Sailors and Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit MEU) deployed aboard amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) completed the second term of the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE), March 5.

Students earned a total of 441 college credits this term which contributed to their personal educational goals. American History and English Composition were the two courses offered at "Makin Island University" during the second term of instruction.

"NCPACE is a good way to use your spare time to get college credits," said Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Benjamine Byers. "It has helped me a lot in preparing for a degree. I feel good about working toward something that matters."

Byers, one of 46 students who completed the English course this semester, said he is grateful to the Navy for giving him this opportunity.

"The Navy is doing their part," he said. "It motivates me, and makes me want to give back to the Navy."

Stephanie Riese, the civilian English instructor for Makin Island's NCPACE courses, said the available college curriculum provides valuable tools for students pursuing college degrees.

"Every college degree requires writing research papers," said Riese. "English Composition gives students the necessary tools."

Algebra and English courses are scheduled for the upcoming third NCPACE term during Makin Island's current deployment.

Makin Island is the first U.S. Navy ship to deploy using a hybrid-electric propulsion system. By using this unique propulsion system, the Navy expects over the course of the ship's lifecycle, to see fuel savings of more than $250 million, proving the Navy's commitment to energy awareness and conservation.

This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps that will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve the secretary of the Navy's energy goals to improve our energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase our energy independence and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.

Makin Island is the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

NCPACE is one of many opportunities for personal and professional growth available to Sailors to earn certificates, licenses and degrees making them invaluable assets to the Navy. Those programs are important parts of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Department of the Navy.

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