In 2000 Capt. Jeffrey L. Kuhlman, then Master of a survey vessel in the Bay of Bengal, looked to the door of his pilothouse to see two knife laden men entering through a watertight door.  Not expecting a rather imposing figure and combat veteran with the Marine Corps in Vietnam, these two turned and ran when Capt. Kuhlman grabbed his bullhorn and, hollering Hindi epithets at them, chased them out of the pilothouse.  They jumped into their boat and left with two unanswered questions remaining.  The first was, “What would have happened if they had had AKs instead of knives?” and “How did they get aboard without being seen?”.  Many subsequent interviews of mariner having had similar experiences ended with two common declarations.  They didn’t know they had been boarded and they didn’t know what to do about it. 

From that time Capt. Kuhlman, dedicated his time and efforts to training and providing information to the maritime industry to counter the actions of seaborne thugs by the establishment of Kuhlman Services LLC.   Capt. Kuhlman is an experienced ship’s Master, educator, and combat veteran who has served with the Marine Corps, Navy, and Army National Guard.  His books and curricula are now available to companies and individuals across the globe through Marisector LLC at www.marisector.com.  For eight years he wrote, updated, taught, and tested his programs and concepts at sea against real suspect vessels.  The courses begin where ISPS training stops.  In addition, Capt. Kuhlman’s company, Marisector LLC, was established to provide academic support to the maritime industry by writing the course curriculum and teaching the maritime track for a Master of Science Degree in Disaster and Emergency Preparedness at Nova Southeastern University.

Capt. Jeffrey L. Kuhlman is ably assisted by his business partner and wife Glenna M. Kuhlman.  Mrs. Kuhlman is a Presidential Award winning educator.  Her input is essential to assuring that all course materials are educationally sound.   She is a dynamic woman who has been a merchant mariner, firearms instructor, pilot, and sailor.  As a pilot, she was the first test pilot for the Para Plane and completed a 3000 mile epic journey of 3,300 miles in her open cockpit and fusilaged Breezy.

We define the maritime is being civilian transportation by sea, offshore facilities, and port facilities; this includes charter yacht services and the communities supporting port operations.  In order to meet the various technical requirements for this complex industry, Kuhlman Services LLC  is further augmented by independent marine and tactical specialists who are able to work with our clients' often sensitive and specific needs.  Client information is closely held for their security and the security of their personnel, guests, and companies.


Typically today, security and defense training have followed concepts developed for use in the law enforcement and military environments.  This is reflected in their respective perceptions of maritime security.  Having been a ship’s Master working in several piracy prone regions and having faced boardings; having had combat experience and having been qualified in several combat arms disciplines through the U.S. military; and being a trained and experienced educator and training consultant, Capt. Jeffrey L. Kuhlman determined that those perceptions did not necessarily apply adequately for use in the civilian context of the maritime industry.  Videos of defensive actions aboard ship and comments from security personnel returning from assignment bear this out.  Applied to military and law enforcement assignments, militarily styled defense and security actions are exceptionally effective.  Their weaknesses in application for the maritime environment, however, are few, but telling and important.

Military operations typically work under “Mission Statements” that include authorizations, chains of command, chronology, rules of engagement and disengagement, and the desired results.  Mission Statements are usually issued with the intention to defeat or destroy an enemy and to ensure that the enemy does not have the capability to re-engage.  Similarly, law enforcement rules are set by public law and agency policies that are intended to take either lethal or non-lethal action with the intent to stop the threat and/or take a perpetrator(s) into custody.  Troops and officers train to meet these conditions.

The maritime industry has an entirely different security and defense environment.  The industry has over 4000 years behind it in traditions, rules, and interactions.  Codification of these traditions, rules, and experiential interactions hadn’t begun in any international context until the 20th century, long after the publication of Two Years before the Mast in 1840 by Richard Henry Dana who became an internationally recognized seaman’s advocate whose work led directly to the codification process.  Even today, because of international treaty agreements and concerns, the process is far from complete, although it is getting better. 

Actions and activities are ordered through treaties that reflect International Maritime Organization directives and circulars, Flag State laws, policies, and regulations; and Coastal State laws, policies, and regulations.  Factually, within the confines of a Ship’s Security Plan, the sole responsible party for safety, security, and defense aboard a ship on the high seas (reference Section XII Part B the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code) is the ship’s Master, and his authority exceeds all other authorities for that vessel including the ISPS Code.  This fact mandates that a ship’s Master must have real and verifiable knowledge of security and defense applications, capabilities, and procedures in order to provide leadership to both crew and security personnel aboard ship.  This also means the private armed maritime security personnel should have training designed to ensure that they can work in the maritime environment with understanding and effectiveness.  There are no military Mission Statements in the maritime and there is little time to “committee” a response when a threat is only a short distance away with no help available, often for hours or days.  Likewise, there is no required taking of perpetrators into custody as is often necessary in law enforcement operations.

In the complex maritime environment there is only one other constancy beside the Master’s authority; that is that any action must be fully defensive in nature.  Training must be suitable to enable the defenders of a commercial vessel, offshore facility, and/or port facility to work within these broader concerns in a way that is effective, makes sense in an international context, and can be defensible in an admiralty court.


Maritime Security Products and Training

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Kuhlman Services LLC was organized to provide training and other support for security and defense within the maritime industry.  The following considerations have been incorporated into the Concept and Philosophy of our training process.



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