Acting Sub Lieutenant Jamal Taylor of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force recently returned home after successfully completing a six-week Boarding Officer’s Course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Charleston, South Carolina. The International Military Education Training (IMET) sponsored course was designed to prepare junior commissioned officers for the arduous duties associated with enforcing United States laws and regulations and treaties at sea.

Hosted by United Stated Coast Guard (USCG) personnel, the course was conducted at the Coast Guard’s Maritime Law Enforcement Academy from 23 October – 5 December 2019.  Some of the topics covered included authority and jurisdiction, international law, weapons law and identification, drug identification, boarding of vessels, port waterways and coastal security missions, tactical and arrest procedures, safety regulations and identification of different types of vessels.

Examinations and practical training took place onboard the Cape Chalmers, a 417-ft. cargo ship.  This phase of the training included defensive and weapons techniques, searching, identifying and removal of illegal weapons, as well as testing and identifying controlled substances.  During the mock boarding exercises, participants were required to conduct the boarding of vessels in a legal manner to determine whether a violation of the law had occurred, and to take the appropriate law enforcement action where necessary.  This also included the use and exposure to oleoresin capsicum (OC) chemical irritant.  Successful participants of the course were certified as standard instructors.  This enables them to train personnel at their respective units in law enforcement procedures.

Acting Sub Lieutenant Taylor joined the Defence Force in 2010 as a Marine Recruit, and successfully completed the Royal Navy Young Officers Course at the Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC), Dartmouth, England. He currently serves in the Squadron department as the Navigation Officer onboard HMBS Lignum Vitae.

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