Meet Our Instructors

Kimberly Flax Anawalt

As a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq, a diver, unmanned underwater systems operator and sonar expert, Kim brings a wealth of experience with a range of technologies and with operating in difficult environments.

After serving in the Marines, Kim attended National University Polytechnic Institute in San Diego where she graduated with Honors in Marine Technology, receiving her Commercial Diver’s License with a specialty in Dive Medicine in 2011.  First breaking into the maritime industry as a diver, she shortly thereafter gained experience with a variety of unmanned underwater systems which led her to become a Senior Unmanned Systems Specialist and instructor.  Through years of experience, she honed her skills in the on-water operations of both unmanned and remotely operated systems such as the IVER-3 (UUV), REMUS 100 & 600 (UUV), Seebotix vLBV (ROV) and Sonar EMILY (USV) and is currently the lead operator and project manager for a developing USV project for the US Navy.

Kim has performed countless successful surveys, test missions, inspections, recoveries and demonstrations utilizing methods ranging from underwater ROV video to side scan sonar, bathymetry and magnetometry and has provided key support for the development and implementation of new technologies for both government and commercial entities.  She has also demonstrated high success rates assisting Law Enforcement and SAR teams with drowning victim search and recovery missions, some under very challenging conditions.  Kim has extensive experience using Humminbird® sonars and Sonar EMILY and authored the quick guide for SAR HAWK® software.

In addition to developing course curriculum and providing training for a variety of units and Special Ops groups for the Navy and Marine Corps, in environments ranging from San Diego to Bahrain, Kim has also trained members of the Extreme Environment Robotics Group at NASA/JPL, Law Enforcement units and SAR/fire rescue teams on the use of sonar and UUV/USV systems with a focus on mission specific requirements, equipment, tactics, procedures, and the post mission analysis of collected data.

Kim’s broad teaching experience allows her to adapt her instruction to meet the unique needs of each class.

Vincent J. Capone

Vince’s maritime experience spans over 30 years of worldwide hydrographic and underwater search and survey operations.  He is an expert in side scan sonar search operations/sonar image analysis and regularly conducts training seminars for the US Navy, law enforcement, fire rescue and commercial clients.  His expertise also includes both single and multi-beam hydrographic surveys, ROV operations, as well as magnetometer and sub-bottom surveys utilizing all types of navigation systems including USBL.  He has conducted shallow water surveys from boats as small as a zodiac and deep water operations to over 14,000 fsw in larger vessels to lengths of over three hundred feet.  Vince has acted as an expert witness and technical expert on the aforementioned topics, having conducted numerous sonar and hydrographic surveys.

As a noted instructor of sonar systems operations as well as sonar image analysis and data processing & acquisition software, Vince is the author of over twenty five marine technology training videos including the Black Laser Learning® 2nd edition Not in the Manual Guide® to Sonar Image Interpretation of which over 900 copies are in circulation worldwide.  He is a special consultant to the US Navy, teaching sonar image analysis, Post Mission Analysis (PMA) and mine identification and developing several military versions of his Black Laser Learning sonar training programs on DVD for distribution to all forward units.  Vince has also been instrumental in the latest Navy online sonar training by providing sonar analysis techniques for incorporation into the computerized training program.  He has also developed a multimedia training program for the military synthetic aperture sonar as well as consulting on sonar operations utilizing UUVs (unmanned underwater vehicles).

Vince was the operations manager for the search for and recovery of Apollo rocket motors from over 14,000 fsw, supported the US Navy supervisor of salvage with debris search operations for the space shuttle Columbia and, in 2004, he located the previously undiscovered German U-Boat U-215 for National Geographic International’s “Sea Hunters” TV series.  In 1990, Vince located the Lake George Radeau, America’s oldest intact warship which is now an underwater historic park.

Vince has worked with organizations such as the FBI, EPA, DOJ, the US Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA, US Navy, Irish Navy, South Korean Navy, Montenegrin Navy, Cambodian Mine Action Centre, Golden West and the Israeli Navy as well as numerous legal and commercial entities carrying out a wide variety of underwater investigations.  He has also conducted sonar instruction for the numerous law enforcement and fire rescue organizations.

Vince brings both a depth of experience and an ability to distill difficult concepts to practical know-how.


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