Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Academy—standardized training brings the U.S. Coast Guard closer to U.S. and international partners

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard “Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council” magazine by LT Michael P. Attanasio, Regulations Branch Chief, U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Academy.

The maritime community continues to experience the challenges of rapid growth, increasing regulation and competition, transnational threats, and the volatility of overseas markets, all of which have heightened the price of failure. To meet these growing challenges, the Coast Guard has made measurable progress advancing the training, education, and qualification of its members serving across the country through standardization, achieving federal accreditation, and seizing upon opportunities to work with domestic and international partners.

To assist that effort, Coast Guard leadership directed the merger of Coast Guard law enforcement schools in Yorktown, Va., and Petaluma, Calif. As a result, on November 1, 2004, the U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement (MLE) Academy opened its doors for business at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, S.C.

The MLE Academy provides demanding classroom instruction and varied practical exercises. Students are taught constitutional law, vessel safety regulations, commercial vessel practices, detection of drug and alcohol impairment, defensive tactics, radiological detection, maritime security threats, and law enforcement officer etiquette. The picture at left shows Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Mounted Police shiprider officers simulating detention and arrest procedures aboard a fishing vessel at MLE Academy.

Learning by doing, students participate in exercises on boats, in non-lethal training ammunition shoot houses, in use-of-force classrooms, and aboard the 494-foot break bulk freighter SS Cape Chalmers.

The MLE Academy offers five different courses: a boarding officer course, boarding team member course, boarding officer practical course, radiation level 2 operator course, and marine patrol officer course.

For more information:
Full article and “Interagency Success Stories” edition of USCG Proceedings is available at http://www.uscg.mil/proceedings/spring2009.

Subscribe online at http://www.uscg.mil/proceedings/subscribe.asp.

Direct requests for print copies of this edition to: HQS-DG-NMCProceedings@uscg.mil.