Learning Tactics To Dissuade Or Disable
by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Nicholas Lubchenko
November 1, 2018
“This is the United States Coast Guard, stop your vessel or you will be fired upon,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Dziama over the radio as he pulled beside a boat attempting to outmaneuver him and enter a security zone. The vessel posing imminent threat continued on its course into the zone prompting Dziama to instruct his bow gunner to fire a warning shot ahead of the vessel.
When this did not deter the threat, Dziama pulled up beside the vessel and gave the order to disable the boat. The bow gunner fired multiple times, and the boat slowed to a stop.
August 23, 2018 - Students participating in the Tactical Coxswain Course close in on an opposing force’s vessel. The students learned and implemented new skills to dissuade or disable potential threats from harming the high value vessel. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Nicholas Lubchenko)
Dziama had successfully prevented the enemy boat from attacking the high value vessel inside the security zone by implementing the four steps taught at the Tactical Coxswain Course on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune during August 2018.
The Tactical Coxswain Course teaches students how to use their authority, vessel and weapons to protect what they are guarding.
“We teach the students how to enforce a stationary and moving security zone, which are used to protect naval vessels, cruise ships, waterfront infrastructure and limited access areas,” said Chief Petty Officer Chase Ryan, course chief.
The instructors used fake improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and pistols while trying to outmaneuver the students to expose them to a wide variety of threats.
August 23, 2018 - A simulated improvised explosive device is thrown at the students participating in the Tactical Coxswain Course from an opposing force’s vessel posing imminent threat that is entering a security zone surrounding a high value vessel on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Nicholas Lubchenko)
“The opposing forces, played by our instructors, attempt to enter the security zone, and the job of the students, acting as screen boats, is to employ tactics to dissuade or disable the vessel,” said Ryan.
The students were also taught what to do in the event a vessel outmaneuvers them.
“We learned what to do when we are beat and how having a multi-boat setup can help us,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Logan Pickavance, a student of the course. “If the instructor got by us we would call to the other screen boats that we had been beaten so that they could stop them.”
August 23, 2018 - U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Dziama, a student participating in the Tactical Coxswain Course, subdues a potential vessel posing imminent threat while acting as a bow gunner on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The course offered the students an opportunity to learn new skills while being exposed to a variety of potential threats including fake improvised explosive devises, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and pistols. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Nicholas Lubchenko)
During the two week course, the students will spend approximately 35 hours on the water 17 of which are at night.
“This is good experience for them,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Charles Dawkins, instructor. “Here they can push the boats and themselves to the limits so they can learn. We have seen pretty steady improvement throughout the course.”
Camp Lejeune is the only location in which the Tactical Coxswain Course is offered for the Coast Guard.
“We support the entire Coast Guard from this unit,” said Ryan. “Our instructors do a great job making the students the best that they can be before they go back to their units to be certified. In the end, we are here to enable the Coast Guard to complete its mission.”
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