Submitted by Nick Parham, Gulf of Mexico Area Maritime Security Committee executive secretary
The Gulf of Mexico Area Maritime Security Committee (AMSC) held its annual security exercise in Galveston, Texas, Sept. 13, 2018. The exercise, Gulf Guardian, gave participants the opportunity to discuss their response options to unique physical security scenarios that may occur during operations in the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf. In addition to testing the Area Maritime Security Plan, maritime stakeholders participating in the exercise were able to scrutinize their own security plans as required in the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.
Seventy participants from across the Gulf of Mexico attended Gulf Guardian, including representatives of the offshore maritime industry, oil and gas exploration and production facilities, and related service industries, as well as port authorities from Houston, south Louisiana, and Mobile. More than forty companies with operations in the Gulf of Mexico were represented at the exercise including, but not limited to: BP, Chevron, Enbridge, Shell, and Williams.
The event was held at the Texas A&M Galveston campus, which gave 13 cadets enrolled in the maritime academy the opportunity to observe the exercise and gain an understanding of what they may be expected to do in the future. At the conclusion of the exercise, AMSC members held a Q&A session with several of the cadets to further discuss what had occurred and how these partners work together to promote safety and security in the offshore energy sector.
Members of the Gulf of Mexico Area Maritime Security Committee planned Gulf Guardian and the chair of the committee is Capt. Russell Holmes, who recently reported to the 8th District Outer Continental Shelf division as the Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection after a tour as the commanding officer of the Coast Guard Navigation Center. Lessons learned from the exercise will serve to improve security for all stakeholders operating in the Outer Continental Shelf. The annual security exercise for 2019 is tentatively scheduled for June 11 in New Orleans.
For more information about the 8th District Outer Continental Shelf Division, please visit the website.
For more information about the Gulf of Mexico Area Maritime Security Committee, please visit the Gulf of Mexico AMSC Homeport community page or contact Mr. Nick Parham, Executive Secretary via email at Charles.N.Parham@uscg.mil.
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