I don’t typically use this blog to editorialize but I am going to do so now. It has become fashionable to malign the Coast Guard’s Homeport site. Unfortunately, it’s fairly common to hear Coast Guard personnel trashing the site. I especially hear this kind of talk among people who are not frequent users of the site or who have other issues with the organization.
There is no website ever created that is without flaws. I have a list of items I would like to see changed on the site. But there is a longer list of things I like about the site. One of those things is the responsiveness of the help desk. I have contacted the help desk several times in the past and it has been my experience that within hours of submitting an email I am talking to a real person who is interested in either helping me with my problem, getting me information, or in the case of my locating some information that probably shouldn't have been posted, thanking me for the email. This is in comparison with the HSIN site. I am a member of my local Area Maritime Security Committee, I am a member of the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee, and I have been asking for years without success to be admitted onto a restricted transportation sector page. My queries are never answered.
Homeport is our site, designed by our people, who know our jobs. Those who are calling for its closure and a transition to HSIN should be careful, they just might get what they are asking for.