Written by Ryan Owens, Office of Port and Facility Compliance, Domestic Ports Division
The implementation of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) mandated the establishment of regional AMSCs as collaborative forums for government and industry partners to work together to enhance security in the maritime environment. This is accomplished through meetings, partnerships, networking, information sharing, training, vulnerability assessments, and development of plans and strategies.
Annual AMSC reports are an important tool used to compile and share information pertaining to AMSC issues such as: committee organization, training events, challenges, accomplishments, best practices, and recommendations. These efforts ensure the Coast Guard and the maritime communities maintain alignment with national preparedness goals, strategies, and reporting requirements, and ultimately serve to improve AMSC effectiveness nationwide.
Some of the highlights in this year’s reports include:
• AMSCs conducted 671 meetings, 332 Joint Agency training meetings, 189 maritime security training events, and conducted 45 training exercises nationwide. These coordination and collaboration opportunities have resulted in effective, real world security prevention, response, and recovery efforts.
• Cyber Risk Management and the Marine Transportation System. Cyber risk management is a rapidly evolving area of concern and indeed a growing activity for AMSCs. Many Captains of the Port/Federal Maritime Security Coordinators have established AMSC cyber subcommittees to aid in addressing cyber risk, information sharing, and resiliency.
• Radiological/Nuclear (RAD/NUC) Detection Regional Concept of Operations (CONOPs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office was instrumental in developing RAD/NUC CONOPs & SOPs for numerous AMSCs. This effort improved the capability to detect and respond to the introduction of a RAD/NUC device in our Nation’s ports.
AMSCs are an integral part of the maritime security regime and must continue to evolve and adapt to combat emerging threats while ensuring the unimpeded flow of commerce. Security challenges, whether physical or cyber related, remain a constant fixture and continue to pose potential adverse impacts to our critical MTS. Continued collaboration, information sharing, and coordination via AMSCs are vital to mitigating risks and essential to the efficient facilitation of commerce.
For additional information on the AMSCs, contact Dr. Robyn Kapperman at Robyn.A.Kapperman@uscg.mil.
This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.