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SMTC History  

Coast Guard Special Missions Training Center (SMTC) was commissioned as a Coast Guard Headquarters unit on July 29, 2003. Originally, SMTC was named the Port Security Unit Training Detachment (PSU TRADET) and was located in Port Clinton, OH. PSU TRADET relocated to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC in November 1998. The PSU TRADET was tasked with improving the mission effectiveness, unit readiness, and pre-deployment support for the U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Units (PSUs).  After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the PSU TRADET commenced training the Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSSTs) created as a result of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. To better encompass its multi-faceted capabilities, the name of the command changed to SMTC in August 2002.

As the Coast Guard's "Tactical Center of Excellence," SMTC analyzes, designs, develops, and delivers high risk and expeditionary training to improve performance, ensure safety, promote proficiency, and enforce standardization for Coast Guard Deployable Specialized Forces (DSF), Boat Forces, Expeditionary, and Chemical, Biological, Radiation, and Nuclear (CBRN) communities. SMTC is part of the Coast Guard’s formal Training System and reports directly to the Coast Guard Force Readiness Command. SMTC manages three geographically dispersed training detachments, offers 17 resident courses, and graduates over 1,500 students annually, while also providing direct support to over 1,400 field members during Ready for Operations assessments at 22 DSF units and two Maritime Force Protection Units.

SMTC operates four different boat types with 24 assigned assets that include Tactical Coxswain, Opposing Force Tactical Coxswain, and Tactical Bow Gunner courses that train over 300 members for Ports, Waterways, and Coastal Security mission execution.  SMTC also offers the Basic Tactical Operations Course and Precision Marksman Course as entry level training for the DSF community, while aiding seasoned Tactical Operators to build proficiency and master their craft with the Advanced Tactical Operations Course, Close Quarters Combat Instructor, Advanced Marksmanship Instructor, and Precision Marksman Instructor courses.  SMTC provides critical training in support of expeditionary missions for PSUs and Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA). This includes the PSU Expeditionary Operations Course, PSU Shoreside Security Course and PATFORSWA Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) to nearly 300 Coast Guardsman annually. In 2019, SMTC added to its training portfolio the Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear (CBRN) Standard and Defense Training offered to all Coast Guard units.

Special Missions Training Detachments East and West (SMTD-E and SMTD-W) are elements embedded with the Coast Guard's two Advanced Interdiction / Counterterrorism teams in Chesapeake, VA and San Diego, CA. SMTD-E and SMTD-W lead high-risk training events at the Maritime Security Response Teams to ensure the units are fully ready for short notice maritime response operations. Special Missions Training Detachment - Dive, located in Panama City, FL, is co-located with the Navy Diving and Salvage Training Center. Together, they train all Coast Guard second class and first class divers. SMTC-Dive conducts the military's only cold water ice diving course.

Current and Former Commanding Officers:

2019-Present: P.E. Frantz, CAPT
2016-2019: A.L. West, CAPT
2013-2016: J.N. Riffe, CAPT
2011-2013: M.J. Wilbert, CAPT
2008-2011: S.A. Weiden, CAPT
2006-2008: R. M. Dean IV, CAPT
2003-2006: E. Alexander, CAPT
Established in 2003 as SMTC by F. White, CMDR