Page 17: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2004)

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Maritime Security

MTSA: Another Key Layer of Port Security

By Chris Doane & Joe DiRenzo III

The Layered Defense.

This classic military strategy has been used as a primary approach for defend- ing a valuable target, infrastructure or piece of property for centuries.

Medieval rulers had wide moats and drawbridges surrounding their castles, followed by high walls and armies ready with flaming arrows or large caldrons of hot metal ready to dump on the attack- ing force to slow their advances.

Modern day security barriers are now a fixture at every U.S. embassy around the world. The idea of a layered defense has been a primary tactic that have served military commanders well.

The layered defense strategy is also a cornerstone of security in the maritime arena, especially in the United States following the cowardly attack on the

USS COLE. Critics and advocates alike agree that there have been tremendous advances in maritime security over the past two years throughout the United

States, its' Commonwealths and

Territories. Several steps have con- tributed to this advance, however, one specific action stands out, the imple- mentation of the Maritime

Transportation Security Act or 2002 (MTSA). Signed into law by President

Bush on November 25, 2002, the MTSA represents one of the most comprehen- sive and important steps forward in meeting the President's and the

Department of Homeland Security's lay- ered security plan for our ports and waterways.

Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001 the Coast Guard has led a coalition of government agencies, mar- itime industries and the boating public in an ongoing effort to strengthen the security of the maritime transportation system. The eyes and ears of maritime law enforcement have been given a tremendous boost as legitimate maritime users from recreational sailors off of

Martha's Vineyard, to fishermen near the

Golden Gate Bridge to the crew of a dive boat off the Florida Keys report unusual activities. Maritime industries have voluntarily reinforced their securi- ty operations to prevent terrorist attacks.

Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have reenergized their focus on maritime security by increasing their presence on the water and along the waterfront. While all of these efforts have improved maritime security, they lacked a formal framework to ensure coordination and a proper distribution of

March 2004 responsibility and accountability. The

MTSA provides this formal framework.

In regards to port and waterway secu- rity. the MTSA contains four "major" components of interest. These are: the requirement to complete port, vessel and facility vulnerability assessments, the submission and approval of security plans for facilities and vessels that may be involved in a transportation security incident (an incident resulting in signifi- cant loss of life, economic loss or envi- ronmental damage), the establishment of Area Maritime Security Committees, and the development of Area Security / Marine Deck Hardware k and Equipment • ANCHORS: • 5C to 60.000 Lbs - New and Used

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.