Friday, July 9, 2010

DHS Small Vessel Security Update Bulletin

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a Small Vessel Security Update Bulletin. The link to the bulletin can be found at

Those are the facts. Below is my opinion of this document and the progress of this program:

This two-page document (for three years’ of work by the Coast Guard) essentially states that most of the progress on this program has been performed on the West Coast, and consists of liaison between citizens groups and AWW and testing of operational concepts and technology against the threat of the transportation of nuclear material by small vessels. The report also lists the December 2008 IMO non-mandatory guidelines document as if this was a product of the program.

Half of this 2-page document consists of an after-action report of AWW 2.0 support of the XXI Olympic Games.

AWW is a great program. We support it in our MARAD-approved Facility Security Officer courses, and we support it in our DHS-certified courses. But in many cases and venues we first have to acquaint the students with the basics of the program, the fact that it exists in the first place. After all this time, that’s all we have in the SVS toolkit?

The threat of small vessels is a major concern to persons throughout the U. S. MTS. These persons gathered in the national and regional SVS seminars. I don’t believe anyone at those seminars would have imagined that after all this time, we would still be at this stage of (lack of) progress.

The report states, “A roadmap for the entire effort is expected to be released in the near future.” As we’ve seen in MTSA II, and standardized training for MTSA screening, “near future” may mean we have to wait for more progress. I hope that events, also, are content to wait.

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