The American Salvage Association
(ASA) and the United States Coast Guard have
executed the Marine Salvage
and Firefighting Quality Partnership with
a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the association and the Coast Guard. Admiral Brian Salerno
, Assistant Commandant
for Plans & Policy for the U.S. Coast Guard, and George Wittich
, President of the American Salvage Association, signed the partnership agreement at ASA's offices on Friday, June 8
Specifically, "the purpose of the partnership is to strengthen the communication and working relationship between the Coast Guard and the marine and firefighting industry in order to improve vessel and personnel safety within that industry; enhance national maritime security preparedness and response; promote timely, responsible and professional salvage response to marine casualties; and enhance the protection of the environment along our nation's waterways."
"The parties will interpret and implement this Memorandum so as to supplement and not adversely affect this regulatory relationship." and "The parties shall seek to achieve its purpose primarily through: ... cooperation to promote the interest of the American public in maritime safety and security, through non-regulatory means where possible;..." "The parties will promote this partnership within their respective organizations and, as may seem best, involve their representatives at all levels in steps to be taken at the national, regional, or local level."
ASA and the Coast Guard have had a long, successful history of partnering on projects, including Industry / U.S. Coast Guard Cross
Training; maritime salvage conferences; ASA's participation in the Coast Guard's Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) Training in Yorktown, Virginia
; ASA salvage training to the various USCG Strike Teams; and the ASA's early, and continued involvement to the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita response at the Coast Guard's request.