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2008 Embassy Events

U.S. Conducts Small Boats Operations Course for Border Police

July 14, 2008
A group of men riding in a small boat

Ambassador Munter takes a ride on a Border Police boat (FoNet photo)

Training Includes Police from Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina

On July 15th, U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Cameron Munter, U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro Rod Moore and U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Charles English will open a regional "Small Boats Operations" course for the Border Police Services of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro. Representatives of the Customs Service of Serbia will also be present. Export Control and Border Security Program (EXBS) will conduct this program in cooperation with the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

The course will familiarize students with procedures to be followed for the safe and effective operation of small boats, based on the U.S. Coast Guard’s crew training program and will establish skill requirements for boat crew personnel. The course includes boat crew responsibilities, risk management, deck seamanship, preventative maintenance, coxswain skills, personnel recovery, casualty control, and navigation.

The United States Government provides a variety of assistance programs to promote regional border protection capability and increase public security for all citizens in the Balkan region. EXBS, a program directed by the U.S. Department of State, combats the proliferation of both Weapons of Mass Destruction and illicit military equipment transfers, as well as the transfer of other contraband items across borders, by working closely with law enforcement partners around the world.

The EXBS program has provided extensive training, consultation and equipment donation to the countries of the Balkans, totaling almost $2.5 dollars in 2008 for programs with Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Recent donations have included inspection tool kits, x-ray scanning equipment, computers, bullet-proof vests, cameras, telecom and tele-conferencing installations and other items necessary to safeguard the region's borders. In addition, over the last four years an active training program has been underway - over a dozen training courses taught by EXBS experts have been held in the last two months alone.

The U.S. Government places high importance on the development of strong regional law enforcement cooperation. Robust regional agency partnerships are critical to providing a safe and secure future for the citizens of the Balkans, and for the region's countries to meet their obligations as members of the world community.

We are confident that this and future training will help Border Police and Customs officers better secure their nations' borders and prevent illegal migration and the smuggling of contraband goods, including WMD, through harmonized and coordinated operations and techniques, and solid cross-border cooperation.

The opening ceremony for the Small Boats Operation Course will be held at the Hotel Vidikovac in Zvornik, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Border Police Directors General of Bosnia and Herzegovina - Vinko Dumancic, Serbia - Dragan Gligoric, and Montenegro - Vesko Vukadinovic will also attend.