Smoke On The Water
By Brian J. Stas
It is easy to relax and enjoy the sea or a beautiful waterway. The sound of waves crashing. Children digging sand castles or a day of fishing in a clear lake with a cold beer in hand. I’m sure we all have some fond memories involving the water. It is easy to forget that the waterways and shores of our homeland could house terrible dangers. Dangers that are brought to us by Mother Nature or the ones that come from those that would see our country turned to ashes if they had the chance. I think about these things as I stare at a purple sky sinking into the pre-dawn beach. I’m not wear- ing shorts though, its BDU`s. Instead of a beer in my hand it’s a rifle
Many things have changed for law enforcement and military since the war on terror. Nowadays the need for Law enforcement and military to mesh and cross pollinate tactics are an absolute necessity. The scope of our duties in law enforcement in particular went from a protect life and property mode, to the added duties of protecting our homeland from terror attacks. It is no longer acceptable for law enforcement to believe some other entity is going to come take care of their waterways to prevent an attack, or stop criminal activity. Shared responsibility in patrolling our waters is a must.
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From past to present day, there are many examples of dan- ger berthing from the water. The pounding we took at Pearl Harbor was brought by planes sent from ships at sea. In that same war a German U-boat penetrated our water off the coast of Maine. The attack on the USS Cole reminded us of danger lurking in the sea. There is Intel that Al-Qaeda is training divers to attack our US interests as well.
As we progress toward present day we have examples of hard core criminal elements being stopped in the water as well. Many people such as the feared cartel leader Felix Arehano have been taken down at sea. Submarines filled with narcotics headed to our soil have been thwarted by our water warriors on several occasions to date. This is not a history lesson, just examples that sometimes to get the big fish we need to get wet.
We can admit that two of our biggest obstacles for protecting our homeland are our seas and waterways. Although we have increased our presence in the water to some extent, we are far from where we need to be. The reasons are countless. They can range from lack of finances, manpower issues, equipment and properly trained instructors. In my search for more answers to our problems, I lean on the men that strive for perfection in the water everyday. The US NAVY SEAL`s.