Team Coast Guard trains local Law Enforcement
in Small Boat Handling
Members of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary,
with support and facilities provided by their Active Duty counter-parts
will participate in a 10 day training session for the Officers
of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department
(PAPD), starting 26 July 2004.
The first of a series of courses, the Small Boat
Handling Course for Local Law Enforcement, created by the Staff
of the Director of Auxiliary, First Coast Guard District, Southern
Region is the first of its kind in the New York Metropolitan
The Port Authority Police Department is the 24th
largest police department in the nation. The Police Officers,
who serve at one of the four Airport Commands, are also cross-trained
in structural firefighting, emergency first aid and now small
boat handling. Both the John F Kennedy Command, at New York’s
JFK Airport and the LaGuardia Command at New York’s LaGuardia
Airport are surrounded by water.
The first course will take place at the PAPD training
center, at JFK, and in the waters of Jamaica Bay, the Narrows
and the Atlantic Ocean. This course is utilizing the skills
and experiences of over twenty-five members of the Coast Guard
Auxiliary as well as the men and women from CG Station New York.
Also schedule to participate are members of Air Station Atlantic
City. Subsequent courses are scheduled to be run at both JFK
and LaGuardia airports.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the
uniformed civilian volunteer component of the Coast Guard, operating
both their own vessels and on Coast Guard assets in all missions
of the Coast Guard except military and direct law enforcement.
The Auxiliary, which was created by Congress in 1941 currently,
has over 35,000 members.
All Auxiliary members participating in this course
are volunteers, freely giving their time and knowledge to increasing
Homeland Security, here in New York City, as well as nationwide.
The Small Boat Handling Course concept was born
when Inspector Kenneth Honig, Commanding Officer of the JFK
Command, PAPD approached a Coast Guard Auxiliarist, seeking
assistance in finding suitable trainers for his men in small
boat handling. The idea was then brought to the attention of
CDR John Felker, the Director of Auxiliary for the First Coast
Guard District, Southern Region, which encompasses the area
from Southern New Jersey to Connecticut, west to Vermont and
Great Lakes region of New York. CDR Felker enthusiastically
embraced the concept, assigning his Operations Training Officer,
Chief Warrant Officer Mark Ferreira to assist the Auxiliary
with the development of the appropriate course(s).
The Auxiliary tailored the Small Boat Handling
Course to meet the needs of this unique Police Department, and
their Marine Bureau’s unique mission. What makes the PAPD
marine mission unique is that their craft is a “Life Raft
Distribution Vessel” (LRDV), with secondary missions as
a Patrol and/or Search and Rescue vessel. The PAPD’s Marine
Bureau’s primary mission is to distribute life rafts at
a scene of an aircraft landing that occurs in the waters around
the airport. Their LRDV boats are capable of distributing life
rafts that can hold up to three hundred people, in case of an
accidental waterborne landing.
In addition to these shallow draft vessels, the
PAPD also has jet-ski type boats and air-boats, similar to what
is used in the Florida Keys to navigate the large marsh areas
that make up Jamaica Bay, the primary waters surrounding JFK
Other courses that are being developed for both
the PAPD and local law enforcement are Cold Water operations,
Air Boat operations and JetSki boat operations.
Wayne Spivak, BC-AIG, N-IC
National Press Corps
National Public Affairs Department
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary