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Gulf of Mexico Area Maritime Security Committee holds annual security exercise

Written by Nicholas Parham, Security Specialist
8th District Outer Continental Shelf Division

The Gulf of Mexico Area Maritime Security Committee (AMSC) held its annual security exercise in Kenner, Louisiana, on August 29, 2019.  The tabletop exercise gave participants the opportunity to discuss the capabilities, resources, and procedures required to respond to cybersecurity threat scenarios that may occur during operations in the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). 

Rear Adm. John Nadeau, Coast Guard 8th District commander, greeted the more than one hundred and thirty participants from across the Gulf of Mexico who attended the exercise. One of Nadeau’s duties as the 8th District commander is to serve as the Federal Maritime Security Coordinator for the Gulf of Mexico OCS spanning from the Texas-Mexico border to offshore of the Florida panhandle. During his remarks, Nadeau thanked the port partners in attendance, encouraged continued cooperative efforts among law enforcement agencies, and highlighted the Coast Guard’s efforts to establish and grow the Coast Guard Cyber Command. 

In addition to testing the Area Maritime Security Plan, port partners who participated in the exercise were able to test their own security plans to fulfill the annual requirements of the Maritime Transportation Security Act. Exercise participants included the maritime industry, oil and gas exploration and production companies, and related service industries, as well as port authorities from South Louisiana, and Mobile. Eight students from Tulane University and Louisiana State University attended as observers to gain an understanding of what is involved in some of the career opportunities related to maritime security.  The planning and execution of the exercise was done by members of the Gulf of Mexico AMSC with support from the Coast Guard’s Exercise Support Team.  Mr. Brant Mitchell, Director of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute at Louisiana State University, developed the scenario for the exercise with a team of subject matter experts in cybersecurity.   

Lessons learned from the exercise will serve to improve security for all stakeholders operating in the Gulf of Mexico OCS by improving their own plans as well as the Area Maritime Security Plan maintained by the Gulf of Mexico AMSC. These committees and the plans they develop and exercise in partnership with stakeholders are essential elements of the layered security of our nation’s ports. Building strong working relationships through these exercises are essential to preventing, detecting, responding, and recovering from terrorist threats to the Marine Transportation System. 

For more information about the Gulf of Mexico Area Maritime Security Committee, please see the Gulf of Mexico AMSC Homeport community or contact Mr. Nick Parham, Executive Secretary, via email at

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.

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