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FLETC initiates aggressive plan to meet Maritime training needs

Brunswick, GA Jan 16, 2006

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center has announced plans to aggressively clear the backlog of training requests for the Marine Law Enforcement Training Program.  The two-pronged approach to fulfilling this commitment will entail nearly doubling the number of classes in 2006, and increasing the class size to 24 students to better serve its partner organizations.

"The Marine Law Enforcement Training Program (MLETP), offered by the Marine Training Branch, is one of the FLETC’s most popular advanced programs," said Acting Chief of the Driver Marine Division Ted Sparks.  "The importance given to protecting our seaports only increased that demand over the past several years.  The MLETP has traditionally been delivered to classes not exceeding twenty students; however, with a four-week program this number has simply not met the increased demand."
 
The MLETP is an intense four-week course of instruction that is conducted at the FLETC’s main facility in Brunswick, GA.  It is designed to teach basic boat handling skills and tactics to trainees with little or no prior marine experience.  The program balances time between classroom lectures, laboratory exercises, and practical exercises conducted on the local waterways and around seaports.  Students receive a rigorous curriculum of basic seamanship subjects including; marine terminology, safety equipment usage, preventative maintenance for outboard motors, and launching and retrieving vessels.  Once the basics have been mastered, students move on to more advanced subjects including; traditional navigation, chart interpretation, piloting, advanced marine electronics, vessel boarding techniques, pursuit vessel operation and vessel intercepts.  Students are given instructions and are required to practice learned techniques in laboratory exercises, and are then expected to demonstrate proficiency in practical exercises. 

Training in the MLETP is delivered by a dedicated staff of experienced instructors, many of which have more than twenty years of experience in the field of maritime training.  The MTB instructors bring tremendous credibility to the programs through their wide variety of background experiences and occupations, which range from the U.S. Coast Guard, State and Local Marine Law Enforcement agencies, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Secret Service.

The MLETP has a long history of providing basic and advanced vessel operations and tactics training to marine law enforcement officers from Federal, state and local, and numerous foreign law enforcement agencies.  The program was first implemented at the request of the former U.S. Customs Service, in 1984, to provide vessel operators a basic knowledge of boat operations, handling skills and tactics.  The program has evolved over the years into what many agencies consider a phase of their basic training program for vessel-operator positions.

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