The future success of Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIOPs) and global boarder security will increasing rely upon interoperability between collaborating organisations and nations. In order to be successful in the future, military organisations need to develop their maritime interdiction (MI) training programmes and bring them into the 21st century where both performance and safety are essential.
The increasing variety of tasks that military & security forces are required to conduct places a great deal of pressure on the coxswains, crews and mission planners. Current MIOPs training & mission planning is still based on traditional approaches developed through national experience and doctrine. These tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), although developed over time and successful in the past, will in the future be put under greater pressure with the potential for catastrophic failure. Criminal and terrorist organisations, with the adoption of advanced technology continually and rapidly change their TTPs in order to thwart law enforcement teams.
The margins between success and failure are ever decreasing, modern criminal and terrorist forces have access to modern high-speed craft, technical expertise and intelligence information, whilst modern military & security forces are sometimes constrained by slow moving bureaucratic procurement processes, often resulting in a discrepancy in comparable capabilities.
The modern boarding team has seen an increase in pre-deployment training and the development of specific training facilities in methods such as room entry, fast roping and tactical movement but little has changed in the training the coxswain and navigator receive. Current training tends to be of a very basic formula, typically in support of the boarding team training. Crew training has always been difficult to conduct to a high level due to the prohibitive costs and logistics associated with on-water training with target vessels and/or multiple assault craft. Along with the costs comes the increased risk associated with this type of training. In order to develop a high-level of capability a recognition of this higher risk must be made as well as the corresponding risk management and costs.
So what does modern MIOPs training need to encompass?
The future MI planner and Crew need to be able to deliver a combat effective force to any target with as greater a chance of success as possible. Modern training needs to meet the emerging threats to global security, not just criminal but humanitarian. Operating a craft or planning a future MI task can involve a great deal of critical decisions both during the planning phase and also during the high tempo action itself. Information is crucial – including the following:
Knowledge of modern target characteristics (freeboard, speed, wake)
Knowledge of target possible counter measures (manoeuvring, defences)
Knowledge of how to remain undetected.
Knowledge & skills to defeat defences.
Knowledge of maritime law
Knowledge of high-speed / dynamic navigation
Knowledge of RUF/ ROE both crew served & remote weapons
Knowledge of regional intelligence (Know what is smuggled / demanded / planned)
What should Modern Training look like?
Future MIOPs training must encompass all of the above requirements whilst managing resources and costs. The use of simulation within MIOPs training is an ideal tool to support mission planning, decision making, navigation, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and mission rehearsals. The ability for crews to practice TTPs prior to and during deployments is essential. Simulation provides organisations with the ability to practice their actions-on in case of emergency within a safe and repeatable environment. The integration of training and simulation requires a detailed understanding of what a Crew and boarding team need to successfully compete in the modern security theatre. Acquiring a boat is just one piece of the puzzle, without training and coaching to deal with emerging threats there will be no competence to achieve successfully operational outcomes.
For more information on maritime interdiction training development and the integration of simulation in a modern training structure please contact us.
Please see links:
Defence Procurement International
Spring 2015 Journal; Special Maritime Issue
May 26, 2015
May 20, 2015
Defence Procurement International Summer 2017; Intercept, Interdict, Insert