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Two If by Sea: Waterborne Tactical Training Prepares SWAT Teams for Operations on the Deep Blue

NCJ Number
197015
Journal
Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine Volume: 26 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2002 Pages: 46-48,50,52,53,56,57
Author(s)
David Griffith
Editor(s)
David Griffith
Date Published
August 2002
Length
8 pages
Annotation
This article describes the Virginia Beach-based Tactical Waterborne Operations (TWO) training course for SWAT officers that have water in their jurisdiction, preparing them for operations on the water.
Abstract
With more than 70 percent of the American economy coming through ports, the water environment becomes a significant area in which police need a considerable amount of training, specifically SWAT officers. This article describes the Virginia Beach-based Tactical Waterborne Operations (TWO) training program, designed and developed by retired Navy chief Steven C. Bronson as a waterborne training program for SWAT officers. The 3-day course’s mission is to give officers comfort, confidence, and competence in a marine environment. Comfort is built in the water by starting training in a pool that teaches survival swimming, rescue techniques, and exercises to prevent panic. Training then progresses to the piers and then to open water. Officers learn how to cast themselves out of boats at various speeds, stealthily swim to and assault objectives, and move from one speeding boat to another. The article discusses three TWO program trainings conducted by the Port Arthur, Texas, Police Department, the Chattanooga, Tennessee, Police Department, and the St. Mary’s County, Maryland, Sheriff’s Department. Waterborne training must be recognized as a priority to law enforcement since they cannot assume their jurisdiction ends at the water’s edge to be handled by the Coast Guard or the Navy.