New Course Enhances Global Maritime Security

By Romasco, Lee | DISAM Journal, Fall 2004 | Go to article overview

New Course Enhances Global Maritime Security


Romasco, Lee, DISAM Journal


How does one enhance maritime security around the world? Building international partnerships through the nation's Security Assistance Training Program is certainly a good place to start. With the successful launch this spring of the first-ever International Senior Officer Staff Course (ISOSC), the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has created an important new venue for sharing ideas and cultivating relationships with our international partners. This customized, allinternational senior officer course joins three other mid-grade officer courses now offered by Training Center Yorktown's International Maritime Officers School (IMOS). The new ISOSC serves as a logical follow-on to the prestigious ten-week International Maritime Officers Course that already boasts some 491 graduates from 98 different countries since 1995.

Teaming with representatives from the Naval War College, the Defense Institute for International Legal Studies, the National Defense University and Coast Guard headquarters program offices, the staff at Yorktown mapped out a course outline aimed at exploring the challenges modern day maritime services wrestle with every day. Adopting an over-arching theme of Maritime Security Transformation, a three-week curriculum was drafted with an eye toward gaining access to the very best possible speakers. The resulting course provides professional military education to senior international officers by examining a wide range of specific improvement initiatives the USCG has undertaken with a special effort to share implementation lessons learned. Participants consisted of twenty international officer and civilian equivalent students, all O5/O6 or above in grade, from the countries of Albania, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Germany, Guinea, Indonesia, Ireland, Lebanon, Malaysia, Netherlands Antilles, Portugal, Tunisia, Uganda and Yemen. To ensure the best possible access to and availability of key speakers, the course traveled to three different locations in three weeks. Representing seventeen countries, the twenty members of the inaugural International Senior Officer Staff Course students gather on the quarterdeck in Connelly Hall at the Naval War College.

Flying into Providence, RI, the class gathered at the Naval War College in Newport for the first week of the course. After a Sunday evening icebreaker event, the class kicked off a week that stimulated thinking about security in the international arena and then laid the course foundation by studying the legal and regulatory drivers that bound our maritime security efforts. Among the featured speakers were Don Phillips, author of Lincoln on Leadership and co-author of Character in Action with Admiral Loy; Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett, professor in the Warfare Analysis and Research Department, Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the Naval War College and author of the much anticipated book, The Pentagon's New Map; Dr. Judith Youngman, Professor of Political Science at the USCG Academy; and RADM Crowley, the Judge Advocate General and Chief Counsel of the USCG. Stimulating vigorous and thoughtful discussion, special sessions explored advanced level discussions of Rule of Law situations, examined the differences between Homeland Security and Homeland Defense, reviewed the impact of the Patriot Act and considered the legal aspects of counter-terrorism related programs.

After a weekend stop to tour the Coast Guard Activities New York, which included a much appreciated harbor tour aboard USCGC Katherine Walker and a visit to ground zero, the next stop was Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC. …

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