Counter Piracy


Counter Piracy Operations Training Program


The National Maritime Law Enforcement Academy offers this Counter-Piracy training program for corporations that desire to field counter piracy operators that understand and can work effectively in the merchant marine environment.  This program will satisfy STCW95 requirements, and certify the operators as vessel security officers through the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies, and in Maritime Domain Awareness training through the MARAD certified program Portstar.  The operators will receive advanced training in use of force, judgmental shooting, and specialized classes in working effectively with Captains and Crews aboard commercial vessels.

Training will be established as Level II, for Basic Operators which meets minimum requirements for deployment, and Level I which is designed for the potential Team Leader and carries a Vessel Security Officer Certification and team management training portion in addition to the Level II course. The Academy believes that with the support of the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies, and given they are the AFL-CIO non-profit training center for the U.S. Merchant Marine Industry, that DHS/MARAD/FSU/NMLEA Certified training offered under PortTraining portions of the course, that there is no more professional and effective training in the industry.

LEVEL 2 COURSE       (Counter Piracy Training Certification)

General Operator STCW-95 program.  This 5-day, 40-hour course of instruction is designed to provide instruction and proficiency to meet with the mandatory minimum requirements for knowledge, understanding and proficiency in Table A-VI/5 and all requirements for the STCW95 Code.
COST: Contact for details prior to TBA.  $0.00 after TBA
PREREQUISITE: PortTraining Online Course - Maritime Security Awareness (MSA)

LEVEL 1 COURSE       (Team Leader Certification Program)

The Level 1 course includes all of the Level 2 and VSO course level training in addition to leadership training development and related program course training.
COST: Contact for details prior to TBA.  $0.00 after TBA
PREREQUISITE: PortTraining Online Course - Maritime Security Awareness (MSA)
Costs for both courses include all housing accommodations, meals, training materials, recreation & fitness facility and the After Hours Lounge.  Attendees will be housed at the beautiful Conference Center at the Maritime Institute.  Transportation is available to and from BWI Airport and MITAGS.
To register, contact Kelly Michielli, MITAGS Admissions Coordinator at or call 443-989-3226.  For PortTraining questions, contact Joe Bartko at

 Maritime Security Leader MORAN Joins First Class of

National Maritime Law Enforcement Academy

in Conjunction with MITAGS-PMI Counter-Piracy Operations Training Program

On the eve of the National Maritime Law Enforcement Academy's first counter-piracy training program for corporations working in the merchant marine environment, the NMLEA is very pleased to announce that among its first certification candidates are a number of vessel security officers from MORAN, already a recognized leader in the world effort against piracy and other attacks against vessels and seafarers.

Noting that the NMLEA is supported by the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS), the Academy's efforts are a big step forward in meeting growing international demands for standardizing (and professionalizing) counter-piracy security teams not just in the United States, but around the world.  

The NMLEA and MITAGS having agreed to work together to design the best program possible to meet the international shipping community's needs, the new counter-piracy operations training program teaches those "best practices" that have been identified to date, with a special emphasis on the effective integration of security forces with vessel captains and crews.

"This program is designed to assist companies like MORAN to maintain and highlight their highest-level of professional security officer possible," said Robert M. Wells, director of training for both the National and International Maritime Law Enforcement Academy’s.

"The course will certify officers as vessel security officers through MITAGS in order to assist those officers in understanding the corporate ships' security officers and ships' security officer’s requirements, and to better assist them in vessel preparation in transit through challenging waters and in the conducting of more realistic and effective required counter piracy drills."

"This training will allow shipping companies to see exactly what officers are being trained in and be comfortable with the fact an outside entity has conducted that training, evaluated the officers and insured they meet the highest standards possible before deployment," Wells added.

"Unfortunately for both crews and ship owners, many companies state they have training programs; however, there is no real transparency as to the effectiveness of that training or exactly what that training entails." 

The reason the NMLEA has teamed with MITAGS is to insure industry has the highest comfort level possible for the right training for the mission of counter-piracy operations certification, Wells concluded. 

"Safety, working well with Captains and Crews and execution of the appropriate use of force for the situation is key to any successful security operations afloat," he said.

National Maritime Law Enforcement Academy 

1001 Connecticut Ave NW – Suite 405 – Washington, D.C.  20006

Phone: (202) 497- 4580