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Coast Guard Special Missions Training

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Coast Guard Special Missions Training

Special Missions Training Center students get a taste of the Over the Horizon Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat's capabilities as they practice high speed boat tactics to chase down an opposing- forces boat full of instructors.

Official Coast Guard Photo
Updated November 10, 2011

Coast Guardsmen of the Special Missions Training Center at Camp Lejeune, N.C. recently trained servicemembers from throughout the Coast Guard on Maritime Security tactics to prepare them for possible real-world endeavors both in the United States and abroad.

A port security instructor for the SMTC said they are trying to transition these people from doing their normal day-to-day jobs, such as being mechanics and electricians, into becoming operational port security Coast Guardsmen. It was not exactly a smooth transition in the beginning, but it turned out well in the end.

“It is a difficult task to take your everyday Coast Guardsman whose background is law enforcement or a job in the mechanic field and make him or her think about topics such as locating, closing with, and destroying the enemy,” said PS2 Emilio Quintana, Port Security Division, SMTC. Other training given at the SMTC included an Over The Horizon course and a Transportable Port Security Boat course.

This TPSB course is the first of its kind handled by the SMTC. Until recently, the majority of the courses put on by the training center have been Coast Guard courses with Coast Guard students, taught by Coast Guard instructors. However, due to some drastic changes in today’s world, the idea of using force projection and antiterrorism tactics has become more frequent, and interoperability between services has become paramount while operating in a real world environment.

“Our number one rule here is ‘all of us are better than one of us,’” said BM1 Bill Eppright, lead TPSB instructor at SMTC. “The Navy guys, like the Coast Guard guys, want to be the best at what they do.”

“I believe that we here at SMTC feel that interoperability is the key to the military’s future. It’s a crucial aspect of our efforts to effectively guard our assets both within the United States and abroad,” said BM3 Scott Brown, SMTC. “More likely than not, we [Coast Guard/Navy] will be running into each other in the future and it’s important to be on the same sheet of music so we can accomplish the mission.”

The Over The Horizon course wrapped up with students from two West Coast-based cutters, the CGCs Munro and Sherman. “One of the most important things these people can take away from this training is to know how to execute any mission they’ll be given,” said BM2 Robert Truttier, Fast Boat Division, SMTC. “More importantly, this course is about confidence building, not only for the guys driving the boat, but for the entire crew including the engineers, the gunner’s mates and the other crewmembers.”

“The training we received here is top of the line,” said BM3 Corey Bradshaw, CGC Sherman. “As for the rest of the students and for myself, I can guarantee that we all now have the ability to chase down a fast mover in any condition.”

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