Coast Guard scheduled to conduct vessel pursuit training this week

USCG file photo

MARBLEHEAD, Ohio – The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to conduct vessel pursuit training in cooperation with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators offshore near Coast Guard Station Marblehead Tuesday to Thursday.

The three-day course will focus on improving the skills and knowledge of crews operating law enforcement vessels at high speeds in various sea conditions day or night in order to pursue, stop and board vessels that fail to yield to officers’ orders to stop.

The training will also incorporate multi-integrated laser engagement system (MILES) technology. Building on successful lessons learned from evaluations conducted on Lake Erie in 2007, MILES technology uses eye-safe lasers and sound-producing blanks to provide law enforcement responders with a tactical engagement simulation without using live munitions or projectiles. The technology has been safely employed throughout the military and law enforcement communities for many years.

“A key component of maritime border security and counter-smuggling operations is the ability to stop vessels that attempt to flee,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matt White, asst. chief of the Ninth Coast Guard District’s Law Enforcement Branch. “The public expects their Coast Guard and law enforcement agencies to be ready to respond to a wide range of maritime threats. This training program helps ensure our crews are proficient and ready.”

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 on-water exercises involve the use of live-fire munitions. Though the Coast Guard carries weapons in the course of routine operations, the service does not conduct live-fire training on the Great Lakes. Since Dec. 18, 2006, the Coast Guard has conducted all live-fire training for its crews at a Department of Defense range facility outside the Great Lakes region.

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