reading the materials provided for the week and watching the video, the BIMCO video

Reply with 150 words to each post.

Post 1 (Kyle)

After reading the materials provided for the week and watching the video, the BIMCO video, the elements I consider most critical to successful operations at the port are two-fold, according to me, and these are effective planning and convergence or collaboration or cooperation among security agencies; both private and federal. Effective planning and the port involves training and assessment of the various threats to the port, port vulnerability, and associated risks (Noakes & Hunter, 2017). For effective planning, there needs to be an assessment by the appropriate agencies to establish the threats likely to affect the port, how vulnerable to the established threats the port is, and risks that can be taken in terms of port security (Leonard et al., 2015). Through the assessment, a focused plan is established on the various steps needed to proceed with security effectively, and the various countermeasures required to ensure security is in place. In addition to the focused plan, training is brought into play where all port members, considering mostly the security personnel, get a chance to be trained on the threat capabilities, starting from the least likely to the most suitable.

Apart from effective planning, constant communication through collaborative and cooperative means is another critical element. Ports should make efforts to advance their means of communicating so that there is constant communication to allow the exchange of up to date information and to provide room for discussing the various security issues at the port (Konecny et al., 2016). With effective and constant means of communication among the security personnel and other port employees at various ports, a single port’s security program can be  easily extended to form a national alliance consisting of many programs concerned with port security, and working collaboratively with all other maritime industry elements (Konecny et al., 2016). Merging this alliance with the joint training programs between the private and public security agencies at the ports, there could be excellent outcomes in terms of security gaps, cooperation, communication, role understanding, and security policymaking (Leonard et al., 2015). Therefore, because of the constant changes taking place in the types of threats, and the daily new tactics being improvised by attackers, effective planning for training and assessment and constant communication between or among agencies will keep the ports safe for various operations.

Post 2 (David)

The most critical elements to maintain port security and operations was the development of the Area Maritime Security Committees (AMSC).  The AMSC brought multiple law enforcement agencies and private stakeholders together to assist in improving the security of US ports.  Combining all of these assets together was an excellent initiative, because no single entity can carry out such a large task.  The planning, coordination, communication, working relationships and joint training exercises are all a part of the AMSC effort to create layered security (USCG, 2017, p. 1).  Through this effort, the AMSC is essentially creating a common operating picture that identifies which assets (federal, state, local, and private) are available, their locations, and what their roles are in providing security, as well as their specific mission in the event of an attack. 

           One crucial element of the AMSC is information sharing.  Since the AMSC is comprised of multiple agencies, it is easier to share information such as updated security threats, and it cuts out the typical bureaucracy that is associated with numerous government agencies.  Training is also another element that is essential to port security.  Anyone can have a solid plan built, but it is the training that ensures the AMSC can work together effectively.  In 2016, AMSCs conducted 671 meetings, 332 Joint Agency training meetings, 189 Maritime Security training events and conducted 45 training exercises nationwide (USCG, 2017, p. 3).  These stats reveal the hard work and collaboration of multiple agencies working towards the common goal of maritime transportation security. 

            In reference to the port of Boston, they have developed an intelligent video system that has the ability to analyze video content and identify suspicious behavior (Pate, Taylor, Kubu, 2007, p. 81).  This video system has been installed around the perimeter, to include the water boundary.  This is accompanied by a command center to oversee the entire operation.  Advanced video technology is critical to port operations, since there are too many people/trucks entering and leaving the facility for security to track them all.  This type of technology is equipped with alarms to notify personnel within the command center of suspicious activity.  Granted the report referenced is from 2007, it still identifies security practices that are essential in keeping ports secure.