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Building Global Maritime Partnerships: CCMR & US Coast Guard Station Monterey

Posted: Sep 7, 2018
B. Davari

Every year, the US Government spends millions of dollars to help our allies and partners around the world improve their maritime security capabilities and capacity. Here in Monterey, there has been a cost-effective effort to maximize the training and education experience of our international counterparts through a combination of intensive classroom instruction and a visit to the local US Coast Guard Station.


A Mutual Exchange

The Center for Civil-Military Relation’s (CCMR) Maritime Security Program conducts five courses each year at CCMR Headquarters in Monterey. Hundreds of international partners have attended these courses since their inception in 2009. The courses include a visit to the local US Coast Guard (USCG) station where the Commanding Officer presents an overview of USCG roles, missions and resources, and answers participant questions. Groups are then escorted onto the station’s two 47-foot rescue boats and an 87-foot cutter.


The value of these visits cannot be overstated. It can be argued that human capital is one of the most valuable assets of any organization, and inviting international participants to observe firsthand the professionalism of USCG officers and enlisted in action during their daily routine can make a powerful impression.

As a result of collaboration between the two organizations, the Monterey Coast Guard Station has noticed a significant impact on the professional development of US global maritime allies and partners. This is done without having USCG personnel travel overseas at great expense to share their knowledge and experience-- a win-win for all involved.


Building Interagency Partnerships

The Maritime Security Program’s innovative security cooperation and executive education programs are designed to advance US and partner efforts to build capacity and capability with the ultimate goal of fostering interagency and international collaboration. That mission is exemplified during the program's two-week resident courses entitled "Civil-Military Approaches to Maritime Security, which are attended by diverse groups of international military students (IMS) and their civilian counterparts. Lectures, dialogue, and group exercises are all oriented towards identifying, preventing, and responding to global maritime security threats.


In order to highlight the course’s emphasis on interagency coordination to combat these threats, CCMR’s Maritime Security Program Manager, Captain Tim Doorey, USN (Ret.), reached out to the local USCG station in 2013 to see if they would be willing to host international participants for a short visit.

Since then, the visits to the Monterey Coast Guard Station have become one of the highlights of the Maritime Security course. The IMS come away from the trips with a much greater appreciation and understanding of USCG roles and missions. Additionally, many express surprise at how equipment is maintained and how limited resources are maximized-- including delegating important leadership responsibilities to enlisted personnel and volunteer flotilla.


Continuing the Relationship

Over the past five years, USCG Station Monterey has hosted over 150 mid to senior level maritime officials from dozens of countries around the world. The visit has made a significant impact on the participants, providing them with a long list of “best practices” and “lessons learned” that they can take back to their home countries-- and hopefully implement with their own maritime services.


This continuing collaboration between CCMR and Coast Guard Station Monterey is a testament to the tremendous impact that a few individuals, and the investment of a few hours of time, can make in building partner maritime security capabilities and capacity.

The next iteration of the "Civil-Military Approaches to Maritime Security" course is scheduled for 17-28 September 2018 at CCMR Headquarters.


These exchanges were made possible by the Monterey Coast Guard Station’s exceptional leadership under Commanding Officers LCDR Charles “Ben” Stanley and LCDR Mark Magrino, and the current CO, LT John Gatti. Visits are also supported by outstanding Executive Officers LT Taylor Smith and LTJG Cathleen Giguere.