The Fifth annual SAR Controllers training conference was held at the Computer Science Corporation (CSC) Lahnam, MD Maritime Training Center (MTC). The training was organized to help ensure the success of field units that receive SARSAT alerts. The training was designed to make RCC watch officers more knowledgeable on the SARSAT system and more effective in prosecuting SARSAT alerts. Students also had a chance to interact with a number of foreign RCC watch personnel and exchange best practices and build relationships. This training was also used by the US SARSAT program (USCG, USAF, NOAA, and NASA) to elicit feedback from RCC customers with respect to improvements to the system and the SARSAT product provided to RCC’s.
27 Students attended this year’s training, including representation from: LANTAREA, D-1, D-5, D-7, D-8, D-9, PAC/D-11, D-14, D-17, AKRCC, NOAA SARSAT program, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Curacao; represented by the Dutch Coast Guard, Panama; and Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; represented by COCESNA. 13 instructors from NOAA SARSAT program, USCG Office of SAR, and the USAF provided training which covered the following area: An overview of the SARSAT system; EPIRB false alerts; Communications and data distribution within the United States and Internationally; US SARSAT data base use and entry; SARSAT best practices; Corrupt beacon information; SAROPS training lab/demo; The future of the SARSAT system including beacon modernization; and SARSAT case studies. Student had the opportunity to tour the USMCC and ask questions of the controller on watch, and interact daily with the people that run the system and make the decisions which will impact the future of the SARSAT system.