Proceedings Of The Marine

SPR 2015

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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Picture the following scenarios: 1) two vessels collide on the Houston Ship Channel and thick bunker fuel gushes into the busy waterway; 2) train cars derail, release toxic chemicals into Mantua Creek in New Jersey, and residents are exposed; 3) a Category 5 hurricane ruptures a million-gallon oil storage tank, its noxious contents spill into f ood waters that surge into New Orleans neighborhoods; 4) the Department of Defense seeks subject matter expertise to destroy Syria's 620-ton chemical weapons stockpile in a complex offshore operation. Sweating a bit? Or are you chomping at the bit to get to work? If it's the latter, you're probably a Coast Guard strike team member. These were real all-hazard response scenarios Coast Guard operational commanders faced. While each required a unique response, they all had one thing in common: the National Strike Force (NSF) deployed to ensure a successful outcome. For more than four decades, these highly trained and specialized teams have responded in the name of public and environmental safety to make bad scenarios better. I'm proud to honor the history of our NSF through this edition of Proceedings. This issue will provide a better understanding of a capability that allows federal on-scene coordinators — both Coast Guard and EPA — to sleep easier at night. A national asset and "special team" codif ed in the National Con- tingency Plan, the National Strike Force is highly adaptive and ready to respond. It is comprised of three all-hazard response teams under the NSF Coordination Center, covering the U.S. and its territories, and providing technical expertise to international partners worldwide. The NSF was an essential force multiplier when the Coast Guard responded to the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history. Deepwater Horizon was a watershed event for our service. It tested our capabili- ties, challenged our policies, and reminded us that we must always work to develop more effective response techniques and planning scenarios. In the f ve years since the spill, the Coast Guard has applied many vital lessons learned to strengthen our people, equipment, and policy. We developed formal FOSC training, created district incident management preparedness advisors, and established a deployable Incident Management Assistance Team. We strengthened interagency partnerships, fortif ed the spill of national signif cance exercise program, and invested in pollu- tion response research and development. This year, the f eld will receive a major program policy update — the new Marine Environmental Response Manual — to replace MSM Volume IX. Perhaps most exciting, the Coast Guard recently welcomed the very f rst marine safety specialist response warrant off cers into our ranks to bolster f eld expertise. The National Strike Force's role remains at the core of the Coast Guard's marine environmental response capability, which will undoubtedly continue to be tested as industry drills offshore in deeper, more remote waters, including in the Arctic; as we experience unprecedented domestic oil production; and as we experience the effects of climate change and extreme weather events. The NSF's contribution will perhaps be most vital during "peacetime" — the calm between spills and crises — when we can focus on preparedness, planning, and exercises. Congratulations to the authors who contributed to this historic edition of Proceedings. Thank you to all who serve and have served as environmental stewards to our nation. This issue is for you! Champion's Point of View 5 Spring 2015 Proceedings www.uscg.mil/proceedings Editorial Team Barbara Chiarizia Executive Editor Leslie C. Goodwin Art Director Sarah K. Webster Managing Editor Proceedings is published quarterly in the interest of safety at sea under the auspices of the Marine Safety & Security Council. Special permission for republication, either in whole or in part, except for copyrighted mate- rial, is not required, provided credit is given to Proceedings. The articles contained in Proceed- ings are submitted by diverse public and private interests in the maritime community as a means to promote maritime safety and security. The views expressed by the authors do not necessarily represent those of the U.S. Coast Guard or the Department of Homeland Security or represent off cial policy. Editorial Contact Email: HQS-DG-NMCProceedings@ uscg.mil Mail: Commandant (CG-DCO-84) ATTN: Editor, Proceedings Magazine U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7318 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. S.E. Washington, DC 20593-7318 Web: www.uscg.mil/proceedings Phone: (202) 372-2316 Subscription Requests Proceedings is free. Subscriptions www.uscg.mil/proceedings by CAPT clAudiA c. gelzer U.S. Coast Guard Chief, Off ce of Marine Environmental Response Policy

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