Proceedings Of The Marine

SPR 2014

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.

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52 Proceedings Spring 2014 the Marine Security Operations Center to build cross-border common operating and intelligence pictures. It is not only possible, but our shared future requires it. Bi-national sharing of sensitive information, for example, aerospace defense capabilities and response protocols shared through the North American Aerospace Defense Command, has maintained national security for years. Less sensitive information can be equally benefcial to both coun- tries, such as locations of each other's small boats and air- craft along our shared border, as well as information regard- ing vessel, cargo, and passenger screening. Seamless Operations The tyranny of time and distance, particularly in the Great Lakes maritime domain, demands agile and coordinated responses. For example, the 1999 tri-lateral search and res- cue agreement between the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom makes clear that, when necessary to ren- der emergency assistance to persons, vessels, or aircraft in distress, a response asset from one country may enter the territory of another country and make notifcations as soon as practical. The Great Lakes also present unique seasonal challenges that require operational support from both countries. Dur- ing winter, portions of the shared marine border can be easily accessed by vehicle or on foot. Additionally, water- ways that normally fourish with vessel traffc can become restricted by unrelenting ice — requiring signifcant effort to keep the borders open. Close coordination of our ice-break- ing tugs, buoy tenders, and CGC Mackinaw, along with the two Canadian icebreakers, is critical to seasonal operations Shared Awareness Without a common understanding of threats, information, and intelligence gaps, it is diffcult to operate seamlessly with each other or execute the right priorities. Canada's Marine Security Operations Center (MSOC) initiative holds great promise in this regard. The goal is to use the MSOC as a bi-national clearinghouse to generate and disseminate vital maritime domain awareness information. In addition to MSOC facilities on the Atlantic and Pacifc coasts, the Great Lakes MSOC in Niagara, Ontario, hosts a U.S. Coast Guard liaison offcer. Both countries leverage initiatives like We Act First to Save Lives In March 2012, while steaming in the Canadian waters of eastern Lake Ontario, the U.S.-fagged tug Patrice McAllister sufered a catastrophic fre. Canadian and U.S. Coast Guard assets responded immediately. Ultimately, the professionals of the Canadian Coast Guard rescued all six crew members. Tragically, one of the crew members succumbed to his injuries from the fre. 1 As soon as the rescue actions were complete, U.S. and Cana- dian ofcials immediately turned their attention to potential marine environmental threats. Pollution response staf stayed in contact to assess the threat and determine if it would be necessary to activate the Canada / U.S. joint marine contin- gency plan. A commercial salvage vessel moves the tugboat Patrice McAllister across Lake Ontario. U.S. Coast Guard photo. Fortunately, the fuel storage onboard the vessel remained intact and no pollution resulted. However, thanks to a robust bi-national exercise and review program, our shared pollution response would have been as seamless as the initial rescue. Endnote: 1. Tug Patrice Mcallister Major Marine Casualty. MISLE case 588131. Washington DC: U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada. Rescue aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., conduct helicopter hoist training with the crew of the Canadian Coast Guard Cut- ter Cape Hurd in Lake Superior. U.S. Coast Guard photo by LTJG Adam Saurin. Spring2014_FINAL.indd 52 3/21/14 11:14 AM

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