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NPS to Launch New Maritime Security Certificate Supporting Naval Strategies

NPS to Launch New Maritime Security Certificate Supporting Naval Strategies

NPS’ upcoming four-course Maritime Security Certificate is one of several new educational programs directly aligned to key concepts in the Tri-Service Maritime Strategy and the Chief of Naval Operations Navigation Plan, educating U.S. and international students at the university in critical security challenges within the maritime domain.

With the recent release of the Tri-Service Maritime Strategy Advantage at Sea and the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Navigation Plan – strategies for the Navy to project power and sea control amid competition – the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) is building a new in-resident maritime security certificate program to further educate our international naval officers on maritime domain challenges.

The CNO Navigation Plan specifically calls for the Navy to, “remain the best trained and educated force in the world,” and that the Navy will deploy forward, “alongside our allies and partners—to deter aggression and preserve freedom of the seas.” 

Supporting these ideals, NPS’ School of International Graduate Studies’ (SIGS) new certificate program will focus on multiple aspects of maritime security, including strengthening relationships with allies and partner countries with both international and U.S. students at NPS learning together. The program is scheduled to commence in the 2021 Fall Quarter. 

“I think it’s an exciting opportunity for NPS, for our students and for our partners,” said Dept. of National Security Affairs Senior Lecturer, Dr. Michael Malley. “If you just think about that new maritime strategy, it lays out five lines of effort and the first one is maritime security. This is a continuing interest of the [Department of Defense] and the [Department of the Navy], so it’s an exciting opportunity to address an issue of such high priority by drawing on all of the resources of NPS.”

The certificate will consist of a new Maritime Security Cooperation course, which will provide the theory and practice of global maritime security operations, as well as include two existing courses, such as Great Power Competition: Current Policy and Strategy, and Security Sector Assistance in an Era of Great Power Competition. Students may also choose from an approved list of courses focused on regional security in one part of the world where maritime security is a crucial issue.

“This program is going to help those international partners and international students interact and interface with us better throughout our own defense complex,” noted U.S. Navy Capt. Sean Hays, SIGS Military Associate Dean. “It’s also going to help our officers build those bridges to work with their international counterparts as partners and allies. This course will make those international naval connections easier and smoother early on and help make them last for the length of all of these officers’ and students’ careers.”

While the maritime certificate may be new, Hays and Malley both noted that the theme of maritime security, and focus on strengthening alliances and partnerships, has been prevalent throughout both National Defense and National Security Strategies in recent history.

“These are all the same ideas, to build partnership and alliances, and to make sure we have the international connections, partnerships and frameworks to provide security worldwide to make sure we are safe here at home,” said Hays.

According to Malley, the key to maritime security cooperation is working closely with our partners and allies, and that is not something new – it’s enduring.


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