TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Toledo's museum ship, the Col. James M. Schoonmaker, is being pressed into service to boost regional homeland security efforts.
The retired lake vessel is making for an ideal location for some members of the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs Border Patrol to conduct training exercises on Monday and Tuesday.
"The purpose of this training is to enhance our preparedness for conducting security boardings in the Great Lakes. This has a lot of elements. The focus is on inter-agency cooperation", says USCG Lt. Guillermo Colom.
The ship is being used to help new personnel become familiar with security and boarding operations, including being presented with several 'what-if' scenarios which could present themselves either at port or on the open water.
The Schoonmaker was chosen because it's similar to many laker ships currently being used in the Great Lakes.