Earlier this month, MITAGS hosted several operators from Japan’s Toyo Shingo Tsushinsha Corporation (TST) – or Toyo Signal Broadcasting Corporation when translated to English – for a two-week US Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) training program in Baltimore, Maryland. This training program provided TST’s operators with an immersive learning experience that included shiphandling instruction on MITAGS’s full-mission bridge simulator and traffic management on our all-weather navigation (AWN) simulators. Additional topics also covered general nautical knowledge, communication coordination, and practice responding to simulated emergency situations. All courses were taught in English, requiring each operator to pass a language exam before they could travel abroad and participate in the program.

The operators received instruction from MM&P member Captain Dan Murphy, as well as MITAGS’s adjunct faculty member W. Allen Birch, LCDR (USCG Ret), MEd, MBA, MHRM, and assistant, Matthew Holliday, former director, VTS New York. In addition, they had the opportunity to meet with professional mariners and harbor pilots during their time here. This allowed the operators to learn more, from the users’ perspective, about the services provided by VTS worldwide. All nine TST operators successfully passed the VTS training program at the conclusion of their two-week instruction and will now go back to Japan to share their expanded knowledge and skills with their colleagues.

“MITAGS instructors were kind, energetic and very knowledgeable. They’ve taught us how to go from qualified operators to quality operators,” said Yasuko Nakai, one of the nine TST operators in the program. “We can now bring this knowledge back to our colleagues and help improve our services in Japan.”

With numerous offices located throughout Japan, TST Corporation has worked with port administrators and the marine transport and trade industry for more than 85 years to provide navigational support services via port radios which includes coordinating ship movements, providing arrival/departure schedule data, and port facility management.

Chie Aileen Morimoto, a former operator with TST who now works for the Marine Exchange of Southern California at the Port of Long Beach, assisted MITAGS and TST with coordinating the most recent training program. “I took this course previously which greatly improved my skills and nautical knowledge. I knew it would benefit my colleagues, so I highly recommended to TST that they continue to enroll their employees in MITAGS’s VTS training program.”

MITAGS offers their IALA accredited VTS training program throughout the year, but can also create a custom experience, like the program TST’s employees just completed, upon request. For more information, please contact Captain, Bob Becker, Director of Business Development at MITAGS, at [email protected].