Coast Guard, Chicago Police Dept. and Illinois DNR to conduct maritime training near Chicago

USCG File Photo

CLEVELAND – Lower Lake Michigan citizens may see increased maritime law enforcement activity next week due to a scheduled Coast Guard Boat Operations and Training (B.O.A.T.) Course, offshore Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor, near Chicago, the week of April 11-15.

Neither the BOAT course nor the training involves live-fire exercise.

Twenty boat crewmembers from six Coast Guard stations across the Great Lakes as well as the Chicago Police Department and Illinois Department of Natural Resources will become familiar with interagency security coordination and the waterborne response and tactics required of agencies operating cooperatively within the maritime domain. U.S. Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor will host the training, which is being held in cooperation with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

“This course provides a unique opportunity to bring quality training to our crews and other maritime law enforcement partners,” said Cmdr. Dave Beck, chief of enforcement for the Ninth Coast Guard District. “Safe and effective boat tactics to detect and intercept maritime threats are critical skills. Maintaining proficiency in these skills with other federal and state partners is time well spent. Waiting until an actual response is needed is much too late to learn how each other operates.”

Consisting of five modules, practical exercises and a knowledge-based assessment, the training will demonstrate methods for identifying threats to high-value assets and critical infrastructure within the port environment.

The training features the same tactics, techniques and procedures that the U.S. Coast Guard uses to train its boat operators. The goal is to foster seamless integration of security operations among federal, state, county and local maritime law enforcement officers and agencies.

The course is intended for federal, state and local law enforcement officers assigned to the maritime community and is specifically targeted toward personnel of waterborne response teams, marine units, or port security agencies or departments.

Neither the training nor the course involves live-fire exercises. Rather, it is designed to provide training in boat intercept and defensive tactics that are used to defend maritime infrastructures and key assets.

Although the Coast Guard carries weapons in the course of routine operations, the Coast Guard does not conduct live-fire training on the Great Lakes. Since the Coast Guard withdrew the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish 34 safety zones for live-fire training on the Great Lakes in 2006, it has continued to conduct all live-fire training for its crews at a Department of Defense range facility outside the Great Lakes region.

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