Southeast Asia Maritime Law Enforcement Initiative Technical Experts Workshop

CHANNELBALI Denpasar | The United States Mission to ASEAN, U.S. Coast Guard and Indonesia Badan Keamanan Laut (BAKAMLA) inaugurated the Southeast Asia Maritime Law Enforcement Initiative Technical Experts Workshop (SEAMLEI TEW) June 24-28 in Bali.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Deputy
Director of Security Cooperation Brigadier General Rory Copinger-Symes and BAKAMLA Director of Exercise First Admiral Yeheskiel Katiandagho opened the event, which was attended
by over 90 technical officers and specialists of regional maritime law enforcement organizations
in Southeast Asia.

The Vice Governor of Bali, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, and representatives from POLDA-Bali, PELINDO III, and the Indonesian Navy attended the opening ceremony.

The U.S. Coast Guard, in partnership with BAKAMLA, facilitated an extensive professional exchange through group discussions and briefings by SEAMLEI members and subject matter experts, and through the sharing of best practices. The exchange included instruction on maritime boardings, with hands-on practical exercises.

Topics included the sharing of national laws and regulations, maritime domain awareness, and information sharing. The practical portion of the exchange was conducted onboard two fishing vessels to enhance the confidence of the technical experts in boarding procedures and inspection of vessels of interest in a maritime environment.

Brigadier Rory Copinger-Symes referenced illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and narcotics trafficking, saying “transnational crimes are unbounded by physical borders, and regional maritime challenges are not felt by any one country. Overcoming these challenges requires greater maritime domain awareness, transparency, cooperation and information sharing
between countries.”

The Southeast Asia Maritime Law Enforcement Initiative (SEAMLEI), formerly known as the Gulf of Thailand Initiative (GOTI) on Maritime Law Enforcement, is a sub regional forum meant to increase maritime law enforcement cooperation and information sharing among the
Southeast Asian countries. The GOTI was established in 2012 by the State Department’s Export Control and Related Border Security Program to enable seamless maritime law enforcement
collaboration among the countries bordering the Gulf of Thailand (Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam). In 2018, the organization expanded to include the Philippines and Indonesia.

As the United States and Indonesia celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations, this strong partnership between the U.S. Coast Guard and the BAKAMLA validates the robust relationship between our two nations. It also demonstrates the United States’ commitment to maritime security in Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific region. (ChannelPress)

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