Naval crews from some Caribbean and Latin American countries will soon do part of their training here in southwest Florida…thanks to a collaboration between the U-S Department of Defense, and the Lee County School District. The new program is called Operation Enduring Friendship. The Defense Department contracted with Naples Yacht, and ‘Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats of Cape Coral’ to build 8 interceptor ships. They’ll be used by the militaries of several Caribbean & Latin American countries to combat smuggling.
Lee Schools spokesman - Joe Donzelli – says once built, the vessels will need crews to maintain them…and that’s where the district comes in…
“We were approached because of the programs we have in place – specifically the facility at High Tech Central, which is located right here in Fort Myers. We were asked if we could provide the training component for this program…and we couldn’t jump at it quick enough.”
Donzelli says the new partnership comes with little cost to the district.
The first class gets underway in January with a crew from Panama. Another one from the Dominican Republic will follow after that.
The Lee County School District’s High Tech Central will soon be home to a training program for naval crews from Latin American and Caribbean countries. The U-S Defense Department has tapped two local companies – Naples Yacht, and ‘Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats of Cape Coral’ –to build 8 military vessels.
District spokesman – Joe Donzelli – says they’ll provide the ships – and Lee County Schools will provide a place to teach their crews how to maintain them…
“As far as the military procedures that’ll all be done by the militaries of the respective countries. The training that’s going to be going on here is to make sure that those boats can operate so these individuals can do their job.”
Naples Yacht will hire specialized instructors…and pay for tools needed for the training.The first crew will come from Panama…and will get started in January. Next it’s the Dominican Republic and other countries after that.
Thursday, 28 September 2006 01:00
Defense Contract at Lee SchoolsWritten by WGCU Newsroom