Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MARAD Survey Concerning Merchant Marine Personnel Shortage

On June 20, 2011, in Volume 76, Issue 118 of the Federal Register, the U. S. Maritime Administration announced that it will collect information in the form of a survey of approximately 100 vessel operating companies representing different sectors of the U.S. maritime industry.

MARAD believes that a survey is necessary because it has received an abundance of anecdotal information indicating there is a serious existing and projected mariner shortage in different
market sectors.

Commentary: Those of us who remember hard times in the merchant marine wonder at times why anyone risks making a living in that industry. (I remember, for example, 1979 on the Great Lakes, when mariners with big licenses counted themselves lucky to sail as deckhands.)

This should be an interesting survey.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

TSA Maritime Security Training Program

I just received the following information from Ms. Tanya Rawson of the TSA Intermodal Security Support Division. This TSA division is doing excellent work in maritime security/transportation security training. TSA ISSD has produced several self-paced training courses that will benefit the MTSA community - especially "Screening Procedures." The STORMCAP program stands for Security Training for Operational Readiness and Maritime Community Awareness Program.

STORMCAP Training CDs- TSA's Intermodal Security Support Division produces and distributes training CDs for passenger vessel crews and terminal employees. Each CD contains a self-paced training product that takes about an hour or so to complete in one sitting. However, a learner doesn't need to complete it all at once because it will save the location of where the student left off and pick back up there upon return. The descriptions below provide additional details about each CD currently available.

Security Awareness for Passenger Vessel Employees: A 101-level introduction to security awareness concepts. The CD introduces security concepts, such as indicators of suspicious persons and packages, communication and reporting of threats and incidents, and how to minimize exposure and injuries. A pre-test feature allows learners to demonstrate mastery of the material before proceeding further. The course has great utility for just about anyone needing basic security awareness, from the ticket taker to those whose duties include regular patrolling.

VBIED/IED Recognition/Response for Passenger Vessels and Terminals: A 201-level coverage of recognition and response to suspicious packages and vehicles. The CD reviews the suspicious indicators that the first CD in the series covers. Additional information includes emphasizing the importance of not touching a suspicious object, immediate responses to take, and reporting considerations. The most interactive of the courses, it features checks on learning that require identification of suspicious objects based on their placement alone (suspicious versus a lost or misplaced item), printable job aides, and interviews with experts in the field. A must-have for anyone who regularly conducts security patrols or interacts with members of the public!

Crowd Control for Passengers Vessels and Terminals: A 201-level coverage of crowd control concepts. The course presents theories for crowd movement and uses case studies to demonstrate how vessel and terminal operators can apply those concepts to their advantage to safely move large groups of people. The course also focuses on characteristics of effective leaders and how to employ these desirable traits during an emergency situation. The course targets those who work on a daily basis with members of the public.

Maritime Terrorism and Hijacking Situations: A 201-level coverage of hijacking and piracy situations and how to prevent them. Very maritime-centric, this course has broad appeal for vessel security officers and those likely to send ships into hostile waters. The course emphasizes proper planning as a method to avoid terrorism situations, as well as defensive measures to take in the event of a terrorist incident or hostage situation, to include active shooters.

Screening Procedures: The course covers basic screening concepts and procedures at the 101-level for those not familiar with this role. The course focuses on screening techniques that involve minimal (human senses) or common technologies (x-ray machines, metal detectors, K-9s, etc.). The course reviews some basic concepts from “Security Awareness for Passenger Vessel Employees” but provides more details on how to set up and run a screening operation that enables quick, efficient throughput. The last lesson explores more advanced screening technologies that would be obtainable through grants funds.

Terminal and Vessel Evacuation Procedures: Building on concepts from “Crowd Control for Passenger Vessels and Terminals,” this course explains how to evacuate in emergency situations. A maritime-centric lesson includes a section on lifeboat deployment. The intent is to have a multi-modal focus too, featuring evacuation considerations for land-based transportation terminals.

For more information on any of these courses, or to order copies, please call Tanya Rawson at (571) 227-3556 or e-mail her at maritime@dhs.gov.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

DHS Review of Existing Regulations - MTSA 2002

On May 18, 2011, DHS issued the Preliminary Plan for Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations. http://www.whitehouse.gov/files/documents/2011-regulatory-action-plans/DepartmentofHomelandSecurityPreliminaryRegulatoryReformPlan.pdf

This plan is executed in accordance with “Executive Order 13563 (which) requires each Executive Branch agency to develop a preliminary plan to periodically review its existing regulations to determine whether any regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed so as to make the agency’s regulatory program more effective or less burdensome in achieving its regulatory objectives.”

Review of MTSA 2002 (MTSA II) is briefly addressed in this plan. The reason for review of MTSA 2002 is to “clarify MTSA requirements in response to requests for interpretation and guidance.”

“DHS received a comment regarding application of the Maritime Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) to the Great Lakes area that recommended the creation of exemptions from MTSA requirements for certain facilities and vessels. The Coast Guard has already initiated a rulemaking to review the Coast Guard regulations implementing MTSA in 33 CFR chapter 1, subchapter H. One of the reasons the Coast Guard initiated this rulemaking is to address requests for interpretation and guidance in complying with subchapter H. The Coast Guard is working on a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) and will address this comment when considering all comments received in response to the NPRM.”

There is no timetable given for the issuance of the NPRM.