House Hearing on U.S. Port Security

Thursday, March 17, 2005
The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security of the House Committee on the Judiciary conducted an oversight hearing on U.S. port security. Representative Howard Coble (R-NC) stated that the purpose of the hearing was to focus on the operations and effectiveness of the agencies charged with inspecting ships and cargo entering U.S. ports and on methods used by the public and private sector to enhance the security of the ports. Jayson P. Ahern, Assistant Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection, testified regarding various activities utilized by the agency to target and inspect sea cargo, including the smart box initiative, non-intrusive inspection technology, and the automated targeting system. RADM Larry Hereth, USCG, testified regarding maritime domain awareness, the maritime security regime, and efforts to increase operational presence and improve response and recovery posture. Peter Scrobe, International Cargo Security Council, testified regarding cooperative efforts to reduce the risk of terrorism and crime in the ports. Jeff Keever, Virginia Port Authority, testified that upgrading the security of the authority’s various port facilities (as mandated by federal law) will cost an estimated $40 million, but port security grants have only totaled $11.4 million. Source: HK Law

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