Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO)

Naval Forces
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U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Gary L. Johnson III

The Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) system deals with high-risk situations such as boarding ships that are suspected of having contraband cargo and may contain terrorists or other small hostile groups.

The use of scenario-based training for this application is appropriate since many of the trainees are familiar with the approach, and it is far safer than live exercises where potential booby traps (e.g., fall-away ladders, oil on the floor) are not feasible because of potential injury.

The MIO facility consists of two rooms: a large room to house the 10 trainees, and a second smaller room to house the instructors. Each station consists of a high-performance PC with 3D accelerated graphics, large displays, headset and push-to-talk switch with keyboard and mouse.

The system provides training in team operations when boarding a vessel, including training two man groups in confined spaces with small arms such as handguns, small machine guns, and stun grenades as armament. Some team members may also have additional simulated equipment, such as gas masks or respirators.

A team of trainees can be split up into multiple groups for searching different parts of the ship at the same time. They are coordinated by communications, and communications protocols would be part of the training as well. In addition, there is training provided for the coordinator that stays on the navy vessel and communicates to the team. The instructor(s) are able to see the 3D position of the trainees on a bird’s-eye or plan view.