CAMP LEJEUNE, NC (Cpl Shawn Valosin) – U.S. Coast Guardsmen from multiple Deployable Specialized Forces units across the country participated in the Advanced Tactical Operations Course (ATOC) aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 2015.
The 8-week course was built upon fundamentals taught in the Basic Tactical Operations Course (BTOC), which is the baseline course for operators within the Deployable Specialized Forces community who are responsible for carrying out Coast Guard-specific missions.
The first four weeks of the BTOC covers the basic fundamentals of marksmanship, all the way up to shooting while moving and more complex drills that they will need for the follow-on eight week advanced course. The second portion of BTOC covers introductory close-quarters combat training inside of a shoot house.
“We’re building on their speed and progression,” said Donald Selby, a High-Risk Training instructor for ATOC. “The biggest challenge is working together as a team. In BTOC the focus was more singular, but now they have to come together to work effectively inside of a shoot-house facility.”
Both courses use experienced operators and civilian contractors as instructors to ensure skills that could be needed in real-world situations are taught and understood.
“We have a lot of different types of units represented here,” said Lt. Luis Ruck, the Tactical Operations Section Chief with the DSF Branch and Hampstead, Maryland, native. “They all have different mission sets, but the underlying commonality between them all is the maritime law enforcement or tactical maritime law enforcement that they’re going to be asked to do once they get back to their units.”
Once they pass ATOC, operators within the DSF community can be called on for antipiracy missions, counter-terrorism and numerous other maritime operations requiring a small group of service members who are able to make decisions on the fly and get the job done quickly and efficiently.
“I’m glad to be out here,” Ruck said. “We enjoy producing the next line of operators to do these types of missions.”