WASHINGTON — U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials joined federal, state, local and tribal authorities and private sector stakeholders at the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute, in Arlington, Va., Friday to discuss and announce publication of the Department of Homeland Security Small Vessel Security Strategy Implementation Plan, according to a press release.
The Small Vessel Security Strategy Implementation Plan outlines the methods and actions required to reduce and mitigate the potential exploitation of small vessels by terrorists or other threats to attack U.S. maritime ports, shores and waterways. The plan maps how existing programs and stakeholders will work together, and what research and development will be conducted to refine or create needed capabilities for the strategy as a whole, to implement the 2008 Small Vessel Security Strategy, which you can view here.
“Approximately 17 million small vessels use our nation’s waters for a wide variety of purposes, providing extraordinary economic and social benefits,” said Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft, assistant commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship, in a statement. “We have consulted closely with our federal, local and private sector partners throughout the nation to ensure that this security strategy is effective while preserving freedom of movement for the small vessel fleet.”
“The Small Vessel Security Implementation Plan is an essential part of national resilience,” said Thomas S. Winkowski, assistant commissioner, Customs and Border Protection Field Operations, in a statement. “This plan will provide government and private sector stakeholders with the guidance necessary to fully implement the Small Vessel Security Strategy and further protect our nation from terrorism and other threats.”
The 2008 Small Vessel Security Strategy was designed, according to the press release, to enhance maritime security and safety by increasing partnerships with the small vessel community and public and private sectors in order to enhance maritime domain awareness; leveraging technology to enhance the ability to detect and interdict small vessels that pose a maritime security threat; and enhancing cooperation among international, federal, state, local, and tribal partners and the private sector.