Press Releases 2009
Advanced Maritime Law Enforcement Boarding Officer Course Ends
April 30, 2009
On April 30th the head of Georgia's Border Police, General Zaza Gogava; the head of Georgia's Coast Guard, Captain Besarion Shengalia, and the US Embassy Chief of Party, Land Border Advisor James F. Kelly attended the ceremony marking the end of the Advanced Maritime Law Enforcement Boarding Officer Course in Georgia's Coast Guard Base in Poti.
The main objective of the two-week course was to provide Georgian Coast Guard boarding team members with classroom instruction and numerous practical exercises in order to confidently conduct normal to high risk boarding. The course included extensive instruction and practical exercises in subject control techniques, defensive tactics, arrest procedures, use of deadly force, judgmental exercises and additional boarding exercises.
The training was attended by 24 Georgian Coast Guard officers, members of law enforcement and security division. The training, conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard instructors, was requested and funded by the U.S. Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS).
At least four commanding or executive officers of the Georgian Coast Guard vessels will receive extensive training in the U.S. every year. The first two officers will travel to the U.S. in late May. Upcoming local trainings include: Port State Control (May), Incident Command Systems training (July). EXBS plans to refurbish the vessel repair facility in Poti and provide equipment for the facility that will enable the Georgian Coast Guard to maintain their fleet internally.
EXBS also provides funding for the English language lab established in 2004 in Poti. The lab is based on the Defense Language Institute teaching program. The teaching program is expanding due to opening of a new lab in Batumi; the building for the English language lab in Batumi will be refurbished and equipped by the U.S. Government.
Since 1999, through the Georgia Border Security and Law Enforcement program and the EXBS program, the United States has provided over 25 million dollars of assistance to the Georgian Coast Guard. This assistance has been designed to strengthen the Coast Guard's capabilities to control and manage the legitimate transit of goods and people across Georgia's borders, and to address concerns about contraband smuggling, weapons trafficking, terrorism, illegal migration, and revenue losses in a maritime environment.
Due to the increase in the number and complexity of projects impacting the Georgian Coast Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard assigned a Maritime advisor to the post who will assume duties in July. Border Police of Georgia agreed to assign an English-speaking Georgian Coast Guard officer for continuing liaison with the U.S. Embassy.
The Georgian Coast Guard has proven to be a very successful and efficient organization. The U.S. Government continues to support the Georgian Coast Guard by providing equipment, training and expertise. This is additional proof of the U.S.'s interest and role in strengthening Georgian maritime security.