Pictured above is the newly refurbished ex-NOAA vessel McArthur, a 183-ft. ship that boasts “state of the art navigation systems, full GMDDSS communications, SEATEL Broadband, dedicated command and control bas, helicopter decks, hospital and multiple support vessel capabilities.”
What’s newsworthy about this vessel is the company that purchased it, Blackwater USA, the private military organization known as either a private security firm or a mercenary organization… depending on your political beliefs. What’s even more striking is the company’s partner in its new maritime endeavor, the United States Maritime Academy’s Global Maritime and Transportation School. In a recent press release they write:
Blackwater today unveiled its plans to create a new subsidiary; Blackwater Maritime Security Solutions.
Blackwater Maritime Security Solutions (BMSS), in a strategic partnership with the Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS) at the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy, and other professional maritime organizations and industry leaders will focus on providing world-class tactical maritime security training, professional maritime security services, and cutting-edge maritime security vulnerability assessments and plans in accordance with the International Maritime Organization (IMO)-mandated International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code.
BMSS will also provide international anti and counter-piracy, and anti and counter-terrorism security programs led by the world’s finest maritime special operations and security professionals.
BMSS will soon offer its complete tactical maritime security training services aboard fully operational maritime platforms. This capability allows BMSS to conduct real-world tactical training for maritime force protection units while underway, at anchor, or in port.