KINGS POINT, N.Y., September 8, 2015 – The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point hosted a group of maritime law enforcement personnel as part of the U.S. State Department International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) last week.
The group of senior Southeast Asian maritime police members from Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and East Timor visited Kings Point to learn about the Academy, its education and training functions, and its role in national and international maritime security and anti-piracy initiatives.
Launched in 1940, the IVLP strengthens U.S. engagement with countries around the world and to cultivate lasting relationships by connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts through short-term visits to the United States.
Director Maritime Logistics & Security Program, Capt. Jon Helmick, USMS, coordinated the visit, and introduced the visitors to Assistant Dean for Academic Support Programs, Cdr. Preston DeJean, USMS, who provided an Academy overview.
Helmick briefed the group on the USMMA leadership role in the development of International Maritime Organization (IMO), U.S. Coast Guard, and Maritime Administration (MARAD) maritime security training standards and model curricula; other maritime security initiatives, cooperative anti-piracy agreements, and regulatory developments in which the institution has been involved; and the maritime security education and training of Kings Point midshipmen.
An anti-piracy demo on the Academy’s full-mission bridge simulator was a highlight of the visit. Capt. John Hagedorn, USMS, and Capt. David Moskoff, USMS, of the Department of Marine Transportation explained how they train midshipmen to respond to pirate attacks and then staged the demonstration.
“We have hosted several groups of visitors under the auspices of the IVLP program,” said Helmick. “It is always very interesting to exchange views and to discuss security challenges with delegates from maritime countries around the world. These visits are also an excellent opportunity for us to expand international awareness of the Academy’s programs and its contributions to maritime and intermodal security.”