Training an overseas Coast Guard: Djibouti

Lt. Robinson talks with members of the Dijiboutian Coast Guard during a recent training exercise. U.S. Navy photo by Julia Casper.

Lt. Robinson talks with members of the Dijiboutian Coast Guard during a recent training exercise. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Julia Casper.

Written by Lt. Marquesio Robinson

Homeported in Yorktown, Virginia, the International Mobile Training Branch is the backbone of the U.S. Coast Guard’s effort to provide training worldwide.

Each year, working with the international affairs staff, members travel to countries around the globe providing technical training and consulting services in maritime law enforcement, small boat operation and maintenance, search and rescue and infrastructure development for countries with waterway law enforcement programs.

In fiscal year 2014, they conducted 60 deployments in 25 countries providing instruction to nearly 2,000 students.

Recently, a Mobile Training Team comprised of Lt. Marquesio Robinson, Senior Chief Petty Officer Todd Walters, Petty Officer 1st Class Javier Carpio, and Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Merrick arrived in Djibouti to provide a two-week boarding officer course to 16 students from the Djiboutian Coast Guard.

The course focuses on improving comprehension of topics such as international law, authority and jurisdiction, safety and occupational hazards, use of force protocols and professionalism through knowledge based and practical exercise lesson plans. Among the seven uniformed services of the U.S., the Coast Guard is uniquely positioned to effectively utilize its 11 statutory missions in an effort to advance the strategic national interests of the U.S. government.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Julia A. Casper.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Julia A. Casper.

Working closely with the Department of State‘s embassies across all combatant command theaters, the Coast Guard’s Mobile Training Branch provides a unique service to our foreign partners seeking an avenue to either establish a self-sustaining professionally trained and equipped Coast Guard capable of enforcing the law within their territorial seas or assist with refresher training as demand outpaces organic capabilities.

The Djiboutian Coast Guard was established in 2010 merging members from the Gendarmerie into a Coast Guard and currently has only 145 members. The Djiboutian Coast Guard’s missions include anti-piracy and the protection of its seas and port facilities.

“If we can help to keep our armed services personnel safe through capacity building and strengthening strategic relationships then we have accomplished our goals,” said Walters.

The training team plans to recommend additional training for the Djiboutian Coast Guard in the form of instructor development, small boat operator and outboard motor maintenance courses.

“We provide a unique service to our foreign partners seeking an avenue to either establish a self-sustaining professionally trained and equipped Coast Guard capable of enforcing law within their territorial seas, or assist with refresher training as demand outpaces organic capabilities,” said Robinson.

Members from the U.S. Coast Guard International Mobile Training Branch stand wtih members of the Djiboutian Coast Guard following training. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Julia A. Casper.

Members from the U.S. Coast Guard International Mobile Training Branch stand wtih members of the Djiboutian Coast Guard following training. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Julia A. Casper.

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