“We can provide helicopter fast-rope or diver inser-
tion. We can create noise and smoke, and simulate
IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and booby traps.
We have role players who may need to be interrogated,
rescued or captured,” Lagaras said. “We make sure
they enter a space the right way. We monitor anything
with CCTV [closed circuit television] cameras
throughout the ship — 35 of them — for safety during
the training and debriefing purposes afterward.”
NMIOTC trains for consensual, unopposed, non-
cooperative and opposed boardings, each one with pro-
gressively higher operational risk taken on by the board-
ing party. High-risk boardings are conducted only by
Special Operations Forces (SOFs), whereas all other
types are being conducted by regular boarding teams.
Participants are armed with weapons that shoot
small, paintball-like bullets. And, yes, they hurt if you
get hit, creating the necessary combat stress to increase
the alertness of the trainees. Despite a thorough
cleanup after each drill, the remnants of numerous
paintballs can be seen on and inside of Aris.
“We adjust the level of training to the unit,” Lagaras
When teams complete training, they get debriefed and
receive a DVD with the video of their training exercises.
But not every course requires an armed response.
Training can be directed at individuals, staff officers,
operations planners, and law enforcement, legal and intelligence personnel. There are theoretical and leadership-building courses.
Training is offered on container
inspections that can take advantage
of NMIOTC’s container stack, and
courses that examine the presence of
weapons of mass destruction at sea.
NMIOTC is a NATO educational
and training facility with an international and joint staff, with
Greece as the hosting nation.
“We support both Allied Command Operations by delivering
“just-in-time, day-and-night” operational training to deploying units:
and we support Allied Command
Transformation by conducting research and experimentation, and
developing doctrine and training to
achieve NATO’s transformational
goals,” said Hellenic Navy Commodore Ioannis Pavlopoulos, the
The NATO Allied Maritime
Pavlopoulos, who is both a SEAL and a qualified
surface warfare officer, serving on destroyers, guided-missile patrol boats and commanding amphibious
ships, said NMIOTC also can provide highly advanced
training for special operations forces.
“SOF Situational Awareness Training in support of
MIO is a week-long course of academic instruction and
practical application, tailored specifically for SOF personnel. It gets into human behavior and how people cognitively make sense of highly complex environments. It
involves intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance,
and makes uses of both our island and our training ship.
“NMIOTC contributes directly to force integration
and interoperability within the alliance and our partners, while also providing proper training on international law,” Pavlopoulos said.
“We’re trying to instill a law enforcement culture to
naval forces,” said Italian Navy Cmdr. Corrado Cam-
pana, the director of training support. “We’re creating
The Advanced Maritime Law Enforcement/Training
of Trainers course was conducted for officers from
Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia,
Seychelles and Tanzania from Feb. 23 to March 6. The
training was offered under the auspices of the
International Maritime Organization and the Djibouti
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / APRIL 2015
From the left, Machinery Repairman 2nd Class Robert Briggs, Operations
Specialist 2nd Class Verlon Kelly and Senior Chief Sonar Technician Brian
Morgan, assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Stout boarding team, conduct tactical team movement training aboard the training ship HS Aris in Souda
Bay, Greece, Dec. 16, 2013. The training was being given by the NATO Maritime
Interdiction Operational Training Centre while Stout was in port for a voyage repair
availability at Naval Support Activity Souda Bay.