Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/381781
30 Proceedings Fall 2014 www.uscg.mil/proceedings Hormuz, and the Red Sea, just to name a few), and securing these routes is vital to the international community. 2 We also live in an era of terrorism, piracy, asymmetrical warfare, and what appears to be increasing instability with nature. These challenges make seaborne commerce risky, even as it is increasingly important. Additionally, our nation's marine transportation system (MTS), which includes our network of navigable waters, public and private vessels, port terminals, intermodal con- nections, shipyards, vessel repair facilities, and the person- nel who operate and maintain the infrastructure, is an inte- gral part of the global supply chain. A physical or cyber attack on the MTS could result in cata- strophic impact to national or regional economies and may affect national security. The system is equally vulnerable to disruptive natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina or Sandy. This is why the marine transportation system must not only be safe and secure, but also highly resilient. The Coast Guard, through its contingency preparedness and exercise program, is well suited to provide the basis for the nation's defense, its economic security, and the safety of these vital sea lanes of commerce and communication. The Coast Guard is also empowered by legal authorities that allow it to be a force multiplier in maritime commerce pro- tection. 3 For example, U.S. Coast Guard personnel assigned to foreign ports are empow- ered to inspect containers and other cargo destined for U.S. ports. Should cargo fail to meet U.S. standards, it is not permit- ted to depart that port for an American destination. The Coast Guard is well poised and empowered to ensure that the U.S. is safe and secure; and it accomplishes this through three preparedness measures: • plans, • incident management and crisis response, • a very active exercise pro- gram. Plans Contingency plans are written in different formats, depend- ing on the contingency and characteristics of the potential response. U.S. Coast Guard unit operations plans address multiple contingencies, including oil and hazardous material spills, hurricanes, fres, natural disasters, alien migration interdiction opera- tions, and search and rescue. Some contingency plans are required by legislature, such as the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, and have specifc formats; other plans are not so formalized. Additionally, today's contingency plans are unclassifed, so there is less of a risk in accidentally compromising classifed information. In this day of shrinking budgets and personnel cutbacks, it is important that response agencies are attuned to one another, to effectively collaborate on response efforts. U.S. Coast Guard assets play an important role in securing maritime safety and security. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Offcer Kevin J. Neff. "Our … forces continue to stand the watch in all of our vital ports and waterways, securing global commerce, protecting lives at sea, ensuring a safe, secure, and resilient maritime transportation system …" — Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft