Coast Guard and Partners to Conduct Security Exercise

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, the Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team, the Coast Guard Atlantic Strike Team, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Maine Emergency Team-WMD, the Cities of Portland and South Portland, Portland Pipeline and many other area agencies and industry partners will be participating in a full-scale maritime security exercise in the port of Portland May 9 through May 12. The exercise provides local players with the opportunity to practice interagency coordination and response to a potential attack on the Maritime Transportation System. In the aftermath of 9/11, Congress passed the Maritime Transportation Security Act, which required the establishment of Area Maritime Security Committees in each Captain of the Port zone. The local port multi-agency/industry committee has developed an Area Maritime Security Plan to capitalize on interagency coordination to prevent and plan for response to Maritime Transportation Security Incidents. The Sector Northern New England Area Maritime Security Committee has worked together to combat potential terrorism in the local maritime environment and will be testing its plan through this joint exercise.

This exercise will also help port facilities meet a regulatory mandate to test their own individual facility and vessel security plans. It will also provide the opportunity for the Boston-based Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team to practice coordinated operations with Maine Marine Patrol and Maine State Police. The Coast Guard Atlantic Strike Team and Civil Support Teams from Maine and New Hampshire will also be able to practice joint operations in a simulated WMD environment. Collectively, all participating organizations will be testing their ability to integrate using the National Incident Management System- Incident Command System. A local fishing vessel will participate in the exercise and will be anchored in Casco Bay, where a Coast Guard Safety Zone will be established around it to protect participants and maintain the integrity of the exercise. Law enforcement vessels will be on scene to direct boating traffic away from the exercise area. Tactical techniques will be practiced that require the use of training munitions. A fact sheet on training munitions is available upon request. The public may hear low-level noise during the tactical operations on the vessel.

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