Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/617100
35 Winter 2015–2016 Proceedings www.uscg.mil/proceedings Located in Martinsburg, West Virginia, the S&R NCOE is conveniently housed within the Coast Guard's National Maritime Center (NMC) building. The NMC site was cho- sen because of its direct association with merchant mariner credentialing, imparting a natural synergy to effectively and effciently oversee mariner issues pertaining to S&R investigations and provide S&R NCOE staff with direct and immediate access to mariner record review and retrieval. Suspension and Revocation National Center of Expertise staff members are also able to easily coordinate with NMC personnel on issues ranging from medical ftness to criminal convictions — issues that could possibly preclude a mariner from obtaining or maintaining a credential. Personnel The Suspension and Revocation NCOE is staffed by seven highly specialized personnel, including two active duty Coast Guard officers, three civilian personnel, and two dedicated attorneys. The attorneys work together to address numerous technical, complex, and often unique S&R issues, providing focused legal support to a corps of more than 170 feld investigating offcers across the entire country and abroad. The staff helps to ensure that IOs interpret Coast Guard law and policies correctly and implement the S&R program consistently. In addition, the S&R NCOE has estab- lished a 24-hour call line to ensure that investigating off- cers nationwide have continual access to uniform, consistent guidance and legal advice. Furthermore, Suspension and Revocation National Cen- ter of Expertise staff members work closely with staffers in the Coast Guard headquarters Offce of Investigations and Analysis as well as personnel from the Training Center Yorktown investigations school to develop, disseminate, and implement tools and techniques that help to enhance the knowledge and skill of IOs throughout the Coast Guard. Training One of the goals of the Suspension and Revocation NCOE is to build a corps of profcient, experienced, motivated, and competent IOs. To achieve that goal, investigating offcers must receive continual training and education. S&R NCOE staffers have taken a step toward that goal by implement- ing a weekly investigating officer "roundtable" discus- sion forum to foster improved teamwork and partnership within the IO community and directly link the workforce with training coordinators and policymakers from all levels within the organization. The concept quickly flourished into a much-anticipated weekly event, often reaching 50-plus investigating offcer participants. The forum serves to capture best practices and new policy documents while also offering immediate peer-to-peer communications. When emerging issues are identifed, an agenda is developed and reference material is distributed to inform the IO community and improve overall competency. Moving Forward The marine transportation system can only be as effective and dependable as its personnel, and maintaining a corps of capable, profcient merchant mariners can be a daunting task. Looking ahead, the Suspension and Revocation NCOE is positioned to provide even greater professional counsel and administrative assistance to Coast Guard investigating offcers nationwide, providing real-time feedback and lever- aging modern technology to deliver specialized, contempo- rary training on technical suspension and revocation issues. About the author: LCDR Yancee McLemore is the Suspension and Revocation program man- ager in the Offce of Marine Casualty Investigations and Analysis. He began his marine safety career as a domestic vessel inspector and marine casualty investigator at Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach. Subsequent tours include chief of the investigations division at Sector Corpus Christi and investigat- ing offcer at the Suspension and Revocation National Center of Expertise in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Vaeenma / iStock / Thinkstock