International Maritime Officers School

International Maritime Officers Course (IMOC) (P171575)

The purpose of this flagship course is to provide professional military education for international maritime officers by offering an in-depth overview of the U.S. Coast Guard organization and the planning and management of its missions while providing American cultural experiences in an environment that fosters the development of long-lasting bonds of friendship, partnership, and cooperation.

Established in 1995, this course was designed specifically for international, mid-grade officers or civilians with 7-10 years of maritime experience. The course consists of a 15-week series of seminars, classes, and field studies that present U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. government best practices and policies. The course covers a wide variety of topics, including maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, marine safety prevention and response, emergency management, the international rule of law and armed conflict, port security, American culture, crisis management, and military leadership. Guest instructors support the major areas of study and include:

Search and Rescue

Presented by instructors from the Coast Guard National Search and Rescue School, Training Center Yorktown. The purpose of the Search and Rescue (SAR) Coordination and Execution class is to provide the basic SAR knowledge necessary for understanding the fundamentals of planning and coordinating a Search Action Plan (SAP). Subject matter covers basic SAR System and Organization; Drift Theory; Search Plan Variables; Search Patterns; SAR Communications; On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) Duties; Search and Rescue Resource Unit (SRU) Duties; General SAR Policies; Legal Aspects of SAR; Flare Incidents; and Surface and Aviation Resources. The student must complete a final assessment exercise to pass the class.


instructors from the Coast Guard National Search and Rescue School, Training Center Yorktown


Maritime Law Enforcement

Presented by instructors with years of experience in USCG federal law enforcement, the course reviews maritime legal concepts and practical law enforcement techniques. This section includes lessons on the use of force, ethics, boarding procedures, search and seizure, and authority/jurisdictional issues.

Marine Safety

Presented by instructors from the Marine Inspection and Investigations School, Training Center Yorktown. Topics include port state control and commercial vessel inspections, casualty investigations, pollution prevention and response, Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW), Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) implementation, the regulatory aspects of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), and the International Safe Management (ISM) code.

Command and Operations

Presented by instructors experienced in shipboard and deck watch operations. Topics include ship handling, command organization, crew endurance, vessel on vessel use of force scenarios, and risk management. Students use a state-of-the-art ship simulator to reinforce professional studies and exercise lessons learned in the Team Coordination Training (TCT) block of instruction.


instructors experienced in shipboard and deck watch operations


Rule of Law and Armed Conflict

Topics include discussions on rules of engagement, the law of armed conflict, maritime security and terrorism, human rights, and the role of a military justice system in achieving military objectives.

Crisis Communications and Emergency Management

Crisis Command and Control Presented by USCG International Division staff and staff from the School of Emergency Management. This module develops the skills necessary for decision-makers to manage a variety of challenging incidents. Highly interactive instruction consists of emergency management doctrine familiarization, risk communications, media relations training, risk-based decision-making, “best response” practices, and the Incident Command System (ICS) Planning Process workshop. The curriculum is further reinforced by a civilian Emergency Operations Center (EOC) tour and a crisis management tabletop exercise in which participants utilize acquired skills to respond to a challenging crisis scenario.

Tactical Operations Training

Presented by instructors from the Special Missions Training Center (SMTC), Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Topics include vessel escorts & security zones, riverine operations, and the development of tactical plans for waterside operations.

Leadership and Management

Presented by USCG International Division staff. This module develops leadership and management skills for supervisors using an experience-based curriculum. Students develop practical skills that enhance their performance as leaders. Areas of focus include strategic leadership, group dynamics, leadership theory and application, motivation, team building, conflict management, ethics, and performance appraisal. Students further demonstrate learned qualities by present an end-of-course project outlining their leadership philosophy. The module's objective is to enhance communication skills while developing the IMS's leadership style and philosophy. The performance-based training relies heavily on role-playing, case studies, and group activities to facilitate learning.

Field Studies Program

The formal coursework is augmented with a Field Studies Program of tours and activities. This includes visits to Boston, Massachusetts; New York, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; and Washington, DC. Instructional, cultural, and educational trips support academic work, expose the student to U.S. culture, and provide an opportunity to learn more about U.S. institutions and commitments to democratic principles.

Prerequisites: Prior experience working in or supporting a multi-mission maritime agency, with strong navigational skills and the ability to plot nautical courses is required for practical exercises and group discussions.

Note: This course is not appropriate for noncommissioned officer personnel.


Field Studies Program


International Maritime Search and Rescue Planning (ISAR) (P173018)

This international student-only course is designed to train personnel on the fundamentals of Maritime Search Planning in the coastal and oceanic environments.  Students study environmental factors in search planning, rescue platform selection, maritime survivability, search patterns, communications, rescue operations, and case closure. The curriculum introduces search planning concepts consistent with the International Aeronautical and Maritime SAR Manual, promulgated by the International Maritime Organization of the United Nations.

Pre-requisite(s): Strong mathematics skills at the Algebra II level, basic Trigonometry, familiarity with chart navigation, and plotting techniques are required. Practical exercises focus on the use of mathematics to manually develop search plans combined with manual chart planning.

Note: This course is directed to SAR Operators in federal, state, and local emergency services and law enforcement and Civil Air Patrol, international and volunteer SAR agencies. The target audience includes SAR Planners at Rescue Coordination Centers, on-scene incident commanders, and their planners, operational leaders, and their up-channel reporting chain.

International Maritime Domain Awareness (IMDA) (P171064)

This international-student only course is designed to expose personnel to the concept of Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). The course will examine policies, plans, systems, and information gathering to identify maritime threats/events/. Students will gain essential knowledge for implementing a national-level, strategically focused MDA plan (e.g., U.S.’s Maritime Domain Awareness Plan – NMDAP). The course offers a multi-faceted approach to the use of MDA in guiding incident prevention as well as response planning and provides a valuable introduction to the Maritime Safety & Security Information System (MSSIS). The response spectrum, including essential interagency partners, will be addressed through this course.

Field Studies Program

The formal coursework is augmented with a Field Studies Program of tours and activities. This includes visits to Washington D.C. and New York, New York. These FSP trips support academic work, expose the student to U.S. culture, and provide an opportunity to learn more about whole of government approaches, interagency partnership, and various elements that contribute to MDA concepts.

Pre-requisite(s): This course is directed to maritime professionals (both military and civilian) who manage and engage in maritime safety, law enforcement or port security operations. The target audience is persons with 10+ years of service and experience.

Note: Students examine: Legal aspects of combating terrorism and corruption; human rights and ethical considerations; law of the sea and law of armed conflict; prevention of illegal and unregulated fishing; whole-of-government weapons of mass destruction (WMB) and best practices for anti-piracy, seaport security and anti-terrorism will be shared through practical/simulator exercises and classroom academic discussion.


International Command Center School


International Command Center School (P120001)

This two-week is designed to prepare qualified Command Center (CC) watchstanders, those currently working on their CC qualifications, and prospective/current CC supervisors to effectively perform their assigned duties at CCs. IMS’s will apply classroom instruction and theory in a simulated environment by standing watch in key stations designated at Command Centers. Students receive one week of lecture and instruction on the application of USCG laws, regulations, and policies related to the Information Management (IM), Situational Awareness (SA), and Command and Control (C2) component of USCG Command Center mission areas. Following the lecture week, students experience a week of single and multi-mission scenarios where they apply the classroom instruction to the simulated environment by standing watch in the four watch positions defined in the USCG Command Center Manual. In responding to simulated mission scenarios, students employ IM, SA, C2 principles to correlate and collaborate each watch position’s individual responsibilities to meet mission area objectives. Team building, effective communication, risk management, and Command Center policy/watch standing principles are core topics reiterated throughout the course.    


Prerequisites: IMS’s should have familiarity working in the Command Center and assigned as watchstander or supervisor.