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Management Alert – The United States Coast Guard Discontinued the Use of Functional Firearms in DVD Simulation Training
We issued this management alert to advise the Department of Homeland Security and United States Coast Guard (Coast Guard) of a risk to the health and safety of personnel posed by using functional firearms (emptied of ammunition) during Digital Versatile Disc (DVD)-based simulation training. After receiving our draft management alert, the Coast Guard took immediate corrective actions to discontinue the use of functional firearms during DVD-based simulation training.
During our ongoing audit of DHS law enforcement virtual training, we learned that the Coast Guard was using functional firearms to conduct DVD-based simulation training. We identified this issue in Coast Guard’s Commandant Instruction 3574.5C, 18 September 2014, Coast Guard Judgmental Use of Force Evaluation (JUFE) (policy) and observed a demonstration of this training at one Coast Guard location. According to testimony or policy from four other DHS components that employ or train law enforcement personnel, the use of functional firearms during video-based simulation training is prohibited within their respective components. By using functional firearms capable of firing ammunition, even if emptied of ammunition, in DVD-based simulation training, Coast Guard increased the risk of unintentional injury or death.
Read Report No. OIG-21-67