ESA’s National Training School has been known to go to any lengths to provide the industry’s best training, but 7,200 miles certainly has to stand out as some sort of record.
On Aug. 20, 2012, NTS held a private Certified Alarm/Security Technician – Level 1 (CAT) course for 10 students in Okinawa, Japan. The students weren’t typical NTS pupils, though: They were service members of the United States Marine Corps, stationed at Camp Hansen.
The Marines were Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) specialists responsible for attacking, defeating and exploiting unexploded ordnance, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). In their line of duty, Marines regularly encounter different configurations of intrusion sensors when disabling IEDs, which makes electronic security a great addition to their training program.
Donald McInnes, senior national account manager for Stanley Security Solutions, presented the Level 1 portion of training in Japan. McInnes has been a senior instructor with NTS since 1987 and currently serves on ESA’s Education Committee. McInnes said electronic security concepts supplement the skills that Marines use on the job.
"We teach intrusion detection system (IDS) vulnerabilities and system/sensor defeat techniques, and then the students practice on a system built in the training space,” McInnes said. "It’s very important that they practice these skills, considering their mission is to protect our country by defeating IEDs.”
The Marines receive security training through the Basic Alarm and Theory Application (BATA) course developed by Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) in Appleton, Wis. The course was developed in 1996 as a physical security training program for the U.S. Secret Service. Since then, FVTC has partnered with NTS to add industry certification to the course offering. In addition to the Secret Service and Marines, BATA is also used by other federal agencies and organizations such as the Army, Navy and Air Force.
BATA employs a blend of concepts from basic interior intrusion sensors and systems to complex defeat techniques. While the BATA course material is standard for all federal agencies, each one applies the concepts a little differently. In this case, the EODs use their course knowledge to take apart alarm systems and sensors that are used as triggering devices for IEDs. In addition, the students practiced sensor applications and IDS skills, building their own IDS and programming the panel.
Since NTS is the industry standard for training and certification, partnering with FVTC to provide industry certifications with the BATA course was a natural step for everyone. As the past president of the Wisconsin Electronic Security Association (WIESA), McInnes helped foster the relationship between WIESA, ESA and FVTC.
"I introduced the relationship between FVTC and ESA when I became an adjunct there and was involved in our local association as a volunteer member leader,” McInnes said. "I am so honored that the partnership is still continuing.”
NTS can expect to continue providing instruction for the Level 1 portion of the BATA course. Through new deployments from the Marines, Army and other sources, NTS will be able to train more of America’s finest.
"Our membership should be very proud and honored in knowing that the knowledge learned from the CAT course is being used by those sworn to serve, defend and protect our country,” he said.