Austal Hosts Christening of YUMA (EPF 8)
Austal celebrated the christening of the Expeditionary Fast Transport ship USNS Yuma (EPF 8) with a ceremony at its state-of-the-art shipyard here, this morning. The ship’s sponsor, former Secretary of Homeland Security and Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, headlined the group of Austal officials, naval guests, civic leaders, community members and Austal employees who attended the ceremony beneath the hull of the ship in Austal’s final assembly bay. “As a former governor of Arizona…
Navy to Christen Expeditionary Fast Transport Yuma
The Navy will christen its newest Expeditionary Fast Transport, USNS Yuma (EPF 8), Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony, in Mobile, Alabama. Yuma, designated EPF 8, honors the city of Yuma, Ariz., and its historically strong ties to the military. Rear Adm. Craig Faller, chief of legislative affairs for the secretary of the Navy, will serve as principal speaker. The Honorable Janet Napolitano, former governor of Arizona, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
DHS Opens Headquarters on St. Elizabeths Campus
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Dan Tangherlini has officially opened the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Consolidated Headquarters campus with a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the newly built U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters building. The opening of the new facility marks the completion of the first phase of the consolidation project on St. Elizabeths west campus. “Today, we take a major step forward in making our ‘One DHS’ vision a reality,” said Secretary Napolitano. “We are proud to provide the U.S. Coast Guard with a facility that will support the important work they do for the American people,” said GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini.
Are our Ports Safe?
Two recent reports have raised alarms about the security of our ports and the cargo that enters them by containers every day. The top North American container ports handle more than 35 million containers per year bringing vital goods to U.S. homes and companies every day. Without this freight, our economy would be at a standstill. But one nuclear device placed into a shipping container could wreak havoc not just at the port it enters, but also with the surrounding population of our busiest ports such as New York/New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Long Beach.
DHS Unveils Official Portrait of Former Secretary Tom Ridge
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano hosted the first U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Portrait Unveiling Ceremony in honor of Governor Tom Ridge—our nation’s first Secretary of Homeland Security. “Governor Ridge has devoted his career to serving his country and the American people, and created the foundation for the Department of Homeland Security just ten years ago,” said Secretary Napolitano. Ten years ago, under the leadership of Governor Ridge, DHS began operations…
Retail Imports to Increase 2.3 Percent in March
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 2.3 percent in March over the same month last year despite federal spending cuts that could slow down cargo processing, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “Retailers are aware of the impact of the cuts on Customs operations at the ports and are working to plan accordingly so the impact on merchandise headed for the store shelves is minimized,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano…
'Sandy' Aftermath Sees Jones Act Waivers Agreed
U.S. Maritime Industry not opposing Jones Act waivers to ship petroleum to the Northeast US in fuel crisis. Thee American Maritime Partnership writes to President Obama to confirm that the U.S. Maritime Industry will not oppose waivers that are necessary to facilitate the delivery of petroleum products into the regions affected by Hurricane Sandy. Dear Mr. The domestic maritime industry stands by ready to help in any way as our nation responds to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Nothing is more important right now than the safety and security of our fellow Americans. Today our industry is working around the clock responding to this emergency. There is nothing new about that.
Dying a Slow Death
The United States Congress cannot legislate technology ... but it keeps trying. A case in point is the requirement for scanning in a foreign port of all containerized cargo bound for the United States (the so-called 100% scanning requirement). It was supposed to come into effect on 1 July 2012. That date has been pushed back to at least 1 July 2014, if ever. The major reason for the delay is that no equipment capable of scanning maritime shipping containers in a practicable manner has been invented. The law, though, remains in place.
Port Terminals Risk Millions with Lame Grant Strategies
Forget 2012; work on the funds already awarded. Port terminals risk losing their one last shot at millions in FEMA/DHS Port Security Grant Funds if they don’t act decisively before Sept. 2012. As of Jan. All of the $1 billion that is still sitting in the federal treasury has been dedicated to thousands of security projects and equipment approved at the highest levels as essential to protect ports against terrorist attacks from 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Port Security Grants (PSG). DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has ordered that by Sept.
U.S. Vessels Ready to Transport Fuel to Northeast: AMP
Washington, D.C. – With concerns that refinery closures in the Northeast may cause gas prices to increase further, the American Maritime Partnership (AMP) notified the Administration that American vessels have ample capacity to transport petroleum to the region from the Gulf of Mexico. AMP’s letter comes after a federal analysis omitted key data about the domestic shipping industry’s overall capacity. “Today, there is more than adequate American tank vessel capacity to address any additional refinery closures,” the AMP Board of Directors wrote in a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The Northeastern United States faces possible changes in its petroleum markets because of potential refinery closures.
U.S. Snub on Cutter Funds Seen as Threat
The Obama administration’s failure to budget $1.6 billion for two of the Coast Guard’s flagship vessels is drawing criticism from U.S. lawmakers, who contend that the service’s missions will be threatened. The Department of Homeland Security’s proposal for the fiscal year, beginning October1, requests $683 million to fund only the sixth of eight planned National Security Cutters, made by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. The agency, which oversees the Coast Guard, didn’t seek funding for the remaining two cutters for fiscal years 2014 to 2017. The 418-foot-long cutters are needed to replace an aging fleet of vessels, many of which are more than 40 years old and expensive to maintain, according to the service.
AWO Hails New Deadlines for Towing Vessel Inspection Regs
The American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association for the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, hails the enactment of provisions in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-281) that bring the industry one step closer to a historic towing vessel inspection regulation to improve safety in the towing industry. Section 701 of the Act requires the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding inspection requirements for towing vessels” no more than 90 days from the date of enactment, a provision strongly advocated by AWO. The law requires that a final rule be issued no more than one year after the enactment date.
Coast Guard Commandant Addresses Ship Budget
The Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus, Co-Chaired by Representatives Gene Taylor (D-MS) and Rob Wittman (R-VA), hosted a meeting with the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Adm. Robert J. Papp, to discuss the Coast Guard’s ship force structure needs, its missions, future threats, and the U.S. shipbuilding industry. Members of the Caucus in attendance were Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA). Admiral Papp conveyed the difficulty the Coast Guard has in keeping its major programs funded sufficiently. The Admiral discussed specific programs such as the National Security Cutter (NSC), the Fast Response Cutter (FRC), and the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC).
New Members, Deepwater Horizon Board
Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation Co-Chairs J. David Dykes (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement) and Captain Hung Nguyen (U.S. Coast Guard) announced that U.S. District Judge (Ret.) Wayne R. Andersen and U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mark R. Higgins will be joining the Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation Team. The addition of Judge Andersen and Capt. Higgins will increase the depth and diversity of the team, drawing on their vast expertise in managing and facilitating complex proceedings. The public hearings in this matter began on May 11, 2010, and have continued during the weeks of May 26 and July 19. The next hearings are scheduled to take place beginning on August 23, 2010, in Houston, Texas. “The addition of Judge Andersen and Capt.
First Lady Christens Newest National Security Cutter
First Lady Michelle Obama christened the Northrop Grumman-built (NYSE:NOC) U.S. Stratton is the third of eight planned National Security Cutters being built at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Pascagoula for the U.S. Coast Guard. With its 418-ft length and 4,700 ton full load displacement and state-of-the-art command and control systems, the NSC is the largest and most technologically advanced of the new multi-mission cutters. "Here in Pascagoula, you've been building ships for centuries," said Mrs. Obama. "It's in your blood—a proud tradition passed from generation to generation.
Papp Relieves Allen as Coast Guard Commandant
Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr., assumed command as the 24th commandant of the Coast Guard on May 25, relieving Adm. Thad W. Allen during a military ceremony at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D. During the ceremony, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates awarded Allen the Defense Distinguished Service Medal. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano presided over the change of command and awarded Allen the Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal. While the May 25 ceremony marks the end of his term as commandant…
USCG Honors Responders to Plane Crash
The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to hold an award ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2 p.m., at the New York Waterway Terminal,West 39th Street and 12th Ave. in Manhattan, to honor the Good Samaritan mariners who responded to the US Airways plane crash in the Hudson River. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen will present public service awards to recognize the mariner that helped the Coast Guard carry out its lifesaving mission. Also in attendance will be First Coast Guard District Commander Rear Adm. Dale G. Gabel, New York Captain of the Port Robert O'Brien and President and Chief Executive Officer of New York Waterway Arthur E. Imperatore Sr.
USCG, USACE Disburse Recovery Act Funds
On April 20, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security revealed that four bridge alteration projects will receive funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that President Obama signed into law on February 19. Additionally, Secretary Napolitano announced that some ARRA funding would go toward building the edifices for various Coast Guard sectors, and for other functions around the country. ARRA allotted $240m to the Coast Guard. Secretary Napolitano indicated that $142m of that total will fund bridge alteration projects on the Mobile Bridge in Hurricane, Al.; the EJ&E Bridge in Devine, Ill.; the Burlington Bridge in Burlington, Ia.; and, the Galveston Causeway Bridge in Galveston, Texas.
DHS to Fund S.C. State & Local Port Security
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham announced an agreement between DHS and the state of S.C. to use $800,000 in fiscal year 2009 homeland security grant funds to support state and local law enforcement personnel stationed at SeaHawk, a U.S. Coast Guard-led security initiative operating at the Port of Charleston. "SeaHawk represents a critical partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement partners to share information and coordinate response." said Secretary Napolitano. "Today's announcement will enhance our capabilities to deter terrorists and other criminals. "Today's announcement was very good news for the people of Charleston and South Carolina as a whole," said Senator Graham.
Grant Guidance for $2.7B in FY 2010
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the release of fiscal year 2010 grant application guidance kits for 13 DHS grant programs totaling more than $2.7b—funds for state, local, tribal and territorial governments and private sector entities to strengthen our nation’s ability to prevent, protect, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. “These grants play a major role in our efforts to work with our state, local, tribal and territorial and private sector partners to build a national culture of readiness and resilience,” said Secretary Napolitano. The grant program guidance kits announced also incorporate the input of DHS’ state…
Federal Security Grants Fund Maintenance
The Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) announced in its newsletter that for the first time, funds awarded under the Port Security Grant Program will be available for certain “maintenance and sustainment” costs, including warranties, costs of repairing or replacing equipment, and user fees. In the past, grants were generally restricted to capital costs only. This limitation had come under increasing criticism, as vessel operators completed capital improvements to increase security but increasingly contended with recurring operational costs of security measures. PVA successfully urged Homeland Security officials, including Secretary Janet Napolitano, to loosen past restrictions.
Joint Enforcement for 2010 Winter Games
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and the Honorable Vic Toews, Canadian Minister of Public Safety, announced a new Shiprider pilot project designed to bolster cross-border security operations in the waters of Puget Sound and off the Pacific Coast before and during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. The project enables the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the U.S. Coast Guard to cross-train, share resources and personnel and utilize each others’ vessels in the waters of both countries. The pilot will be consistent with the Framework Agreement governing Shiprider operations in shared waterways signed by Secretary Napolitano and former Public Safety Minister, the Honorable Peter Van Loan, in May 2009.
Bersin Appointed CBP Commissioner
President Obama has appointed Alan Bersin Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Commissioner Bersin oversees the operations of CBP’s 57,000-employee work force and manages an operating budget of more than $11b. CBP’s mission is to protect the nation’s borders at and between the ports of entry from all threats while facilitating legitimate travel and trade. Commissioner Bersin is CBP’s third Commissioner following former Commissioner’s Robert C. Bonner and W. Ralph Basham. Former Commissioner Bonner was the first Commissioner at CBP’s inception March 1, 2003. CBP’s operational offices include the Office of Field Operations, the U.S. Border Patrol, the Office of Air and Marine and the Office of International Trade.