RSEP gives ‘Big E’ beneficial briefs

27 Jul 2007 | Cpl. John Jackson

ABOARD THE USS ENTERPRISE – Marines and sailors currently deployed aboard the USS Enterprise had the opportunity July 7-20 to listen to personnel from the Regional Security Education Program give several informative briefs geared toward their deployment.

Every Marine and sailor was encouraged to attend the wide variety of briefs that were offered while the four-member RSEP team was on board.

“Our goal was to get (service members) acclimated with the regions they are planning to go to while deployed,” said retired Rear Adm. Stephen Loeffler, the director of RSEP. “These lectures provided information about cultural awareness as well as strategic and historical education.”

The team gave several briefs each day, and focused on various topics and different locations throughout the Middle East.

“I hope the briefs reinforced everyone’s sense of purpose aboard the ship,” said Navy Lt. Scott Porter, the Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 86 assistant maintenance officer. “After hearing these briefs, we will be more energized and motivated to do the best job possible while we are out here and away from our families.”

The Regional Security Education Program started at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. The program has been touring Carrier Strike Groups and Expeditionary Strike Groups carrying Marine Expeditionary Units for the past seven years. RSEP deploys experts from various governmental agencies to go aboard U.S. Navy ships and educate service members while deployed.

“We bring education to the fleet that is timely and practical,” said Ernest Tucker, a professor at the United States Naval Academy and first-time team member of RSEP. “Each brief is targeted for the troops.”

The briefs that were offered on the Enterprise focused mainly on the Middle East. Subjects such as Middle Eastern Culture, the Strategic Importance of the Persian Gulf and U.S. Presence in the Middle East were just a few of the different lecture topics.

Everyone from the Enterprise commanding officer to new sailors and Marines were encouraged to attend.

“I think it was important for all ranks to attend,” Tucker said. “I hope it awakened their interest and gave them enhanced knowledge about the area.”

“The service members aboard the ship should have a better understanding of the Middle Eastern culture,” Loeffler said. “Most importantly, I hope the sailors and Marines understand why they are deployed and why that’s important.”