The Castle Shipboard Security Program Announces Its New Broader Training Capability

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Effective training for expected new civilian maritime security and defense issues, in lieu of military centric applications, is essential. Those who will write the new regulations must be trained first and those who will apply those rules will need to be trained before their application and the field assignment of personnel.

Tactical operatives know that you are as you train. It’s time to get the training right for the maritime.

The Castle Shipboard Security Program is announcing its broader training capabilities essential in meeting the rigors of security and defense in the maritime environment and the management skills necessary to make qualitative decisions. To accomplish this, the Castle Shipboard Security Program trains both online and on campus at Nova Southeastern University; this enables instruction to take place virtually anywhere. The university certificates the courses of instruction.    Using the courses as a solid foundation, customized training can be provided for almost any field application. Each member of the training staff has a unique compilation of extensive maritime leadership, training, and proven tactical experience.

The needs for proper training in maritime security and defense are clearly demonstrated through Capt. Rich Madden’s (SUNY) April article. In his article (Shipboard Security Teams and the Rules of Engagement, by Capt. Rich Madden, April 9, 2012, published by, Capt. Madden has much to say about the potential failures of militarily trained security teams on board merchant vessels. He references the deaths in February, 2012, of innocent fishermen in the Indian Ocean by a security team on the Italian flagged M/V Enrica Lexie. Capt. Jeffrey Kuhlman, owner of Castle Shipboard Security Program agrees in principle with Capt. Madden’s article. However, questions raised by the Madden article, must be determined and solution found. Appropriate training for the maritime environment is one essential and fundamental portion of the solution.

The security team on the Enrica Lexie was apparently comprised of militarily trained and experienced operatives. Military training of soldiers is excellent for the meeting of armies or armed engagements ashore.    However, the Rules of Engagement, under which these teams generally operate, were not typically written for use in the maritime’s civilian context where they must be applied. In essence, the training that these personnel obtained was grossly inadequate for maritime use, and in this case it resulted in several innocent deaths. Capt. Kuhlman does not believe the fault rests entirely with the team; it rests also with the ostensibly ill-suited Rules of Engagement which were in place.

Because maritime inter-vessel activities are generally peaceful and common, aggression and preemption are contra-indicated. Military experience often mandates preemptive actions and continues until a presumed attacker is no longer capable of executing further actions. This perspective is suitable for a battleground or in naval engagements both large and small but are inappropriate and potentially deadly in the maritime. The military mindset differs greatly from that of the maritime industry’s defensive requirements.

Military involvement should be relegated to support duties. Support duties may range from patrolling and being on-call to the establishment of protected transit corridors as has been established in the Gulf of Aden and proposed in the Gulf of Guinea. The actual deterrent must be aboard the commercial vessels at the time of an attack but in a manner consistent with the demands of the civilian environment (, see particularly the two paragraphs below the Seamless Security Model).

Worse, Capt. Kuhlman is fearful that those bureaucrats who will write regulations will do so without adequate understanding of the broader issues in the establishment of new effective security Rules of Engagement in the maritime industry. Capt. Kuhlman has this belief because the sources sought for information and development of regulations have historically been comprised of a group of government and military “experts”, insurance industry executives, maritime industry executives, and a very few industry Masters. This is exactly the mix that has created the problem as it is known today. Few, if any, of these representatives have had adequate training in the practical details of civilian maritime security and defense issues in lieu of military centric applications. This is not a fault issue, it is a matter of understanding that no problem exists until it is pointed out as a problem.

The training problem is now pointed out. Those who will write the new regulations must be trained first, and those who will apply those rules will also need to be trained before the application of rules and field assignment of personnel. Capt. Kuhlman has been pressing the industry for better training for years ( , see paragraph 9).

Training must begin with the concept that security should be defined as all the actions taken to avoid the need to defend and that once an attack begins the security phase ends as the vessel is no longer secure. The defense phase begins when an attacker is properly identified and ends as soon as the attacker retires. Further action is in the realm of military tactics and not within the realm of maritime security.

The Castle Shipboard Security Program in, Fort Lauderdale, Florida provides the advanced training necessary to meet the training demands indicated in the referenced news article, to understand maritime security and defensive options, and to react appropriately within the defensive environment required by the civilian maritime industry.

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Capt. Jeffrey Kuhlman

LtCol. USAF Rtd Steve Stimpson
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