Training Demands for Private Maritime Security Personnel are Changing
In their article Shooting to Kill Pirates Risks Blackwater Moment, May 8, 2012, Michelle Wiese Bockman and Alan Katz refer to a number of reports about shooting at, and killing, Somali pirates. They seem to ask the question whether the security personnel now assigned to maritime security duties are exceeding their authority and resulting in potentially unwarranted deaths. Their article is an important piece, but their apparent intention may be otherwise since their conceptual foundation seems built upon a lack of understanding certain basic concepts.
The real story should be more about tactical personnel being assigned to maritime security and defense duties without the necessary training to understand the complexities of securing and defending an industry with 4,000 years of established methods and patterns. Without this training, unnecessary deaths may occur more often than may be acceptable.
Having read the article several times and seeing the sample video from Bloomberg news several times, the security team probably did have justifiable reasons to fire at the apparent attackers. However, in the opinion of Castle Shipboard Security Program, a company providing university certificated training in maritime security and defense, the team displayed a noticeable lack of training directed specifically toward the maritime industry’s needs.
Maritime security companies often assign personnel with extensive firearms capabilities to defend commercial vessels in high risk regions. These personnel are typically highly qualified “shooters”, although the “shooting” in the video was unimpressive. The needs of the industry are much more complex than this and this approach is unprofessional. Threats to the maritime industry will not decline in the foreseeable future and needs security personnel who have been trained as maritime security professionals.
Before assignment to the field our military’s best, SEALS and Rangers, train extensively. They understand the need for such training. As civilians, why then aren’t they trained adequately for maritime assignments? Maritime professionals should receive both classroom and real-world maritime tactical training before their assignments.
In response, Castle Shipboard Security Program (CSSP) is announcing its new online marine security training to meet the classroom needs of maritime security professionals. Online maritime security courses include: Awareness in Maritime Security and Safety, Security for Recreational and Charter Yachts, Basic Maritime Security and Defense, and Shipboard Security Team Officer/Leader. These courses can count toward your Master of Science Degree in Disaster and Emergency Management. Customized tactical training programs for maritime security and defense requirements are also available.
Maritime security personnel can, for the first time receive, the necessary maritime security training while on assignment, at home, or wherever they have access to an internet browser.