No live fire weapons drills on Lake Superior this year
By Miek Simonson
Published April 19, 2008
There will not be any live ammunition or weapons training on the Great Lakes this year. Criticism of the drills has the Coast Guard to seeking alternatives. Mike Simonson reports.
Right now, Great Lakes Coast Guard crews are getting live-ammunition fire training on the Salt River in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Robert Lanier says it's more expensive than training on the Great Lakes and takes crews from their stations. But he says after an explosion of public criticism to live-fire training on the Great Lakes in 2006, Fort Knox is the best alternative. "Right now it has. We still maintain that we will not conduct live fire training on the Great Lakes unless there is an emergent need, some thing that occurs and we have to get people out there." Lanier says they're looking at alternatives, including laser training called "MILES". "We'll continue to look at alternatives including the MILES gear, including a simulator that we borrowed from a neighboring district. Until we come up with a solution that works for us and continues to work for the Great Lakes community." The U-S/Canadian border has a tradition of being the world's longest unarmed border, leading to outcries from both countries when live fire practice took place.