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FLETC initiates aggressive plan to meet Maritime training needs

For Immediate Release
January 15, 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.