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California Maritime Security Council Met in Sacramento July 25th

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  • Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS
    CMSC Met in Sacramento July 25th California Maritime Security Council members and attendees again assembled in Sacramento. As previously reported, port
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 26, 2008
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      CMSC Met in Sacramento July 25th

      California Maritime Security Council members and attendees again assembled in Sacramento. As previously reported, port security continues to strengthen (see the April - June Captain's Call or post http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PMMC-NLUS/message/170.

      Matthew Bettenhausen, Director, California Office of Homeland Security, opened the meeting. CMSC Co-chairman, RAdm. Bone will be retiring in early August; his Chief of Staff at USCG District 11, Capt. John Long, attended in his place. He was accompanied by other USCG District 11 officers.

      The minutes of the April 25th meeting were approved. Extending the CMSC charter through March 2010 was approved. The next meeting will be November 18th in conjunction with the 7th Annual Marine Security Conference and Exposition at the Long Beach Convention Center. Budget woes stretch from the federal level to the local level; some expenditures will have to be authorized beyond 2008.

      Attendees were updated on the ports vulnerability assessments. The Office of Homeland Security Critical Infrastructure Protection Division is responsible for these assessments. San Diego, San Francisco, and Humboldt Bay assessments have been approved; that leaves eight to go.

      An update of the Proposition 1B port security grants was positive but SB 88 (not signed into law yet) was complicating matters. $100 million is to be spent on 39 of California ports. Actually it is $97 million; the other $3 million is allocated for related purposes.

      A very interesting thirty minute session on port bottom surveying followed. In for the presentation was Navy Captain Jim Berdeguez from the Naval Oceanography Operations Command at the Stennis Center in Mississippi and Navy LCdr. Chris van Westendorp from NOAA's Norfolk office. Underwater mines can be quite simple improvised explosive devices in steel drums or smaller containers like a seemingly discarded tire. All this stuff needs to be surveyed and mapped. Los Angeles and Long Beach have about 700 pieces of junk underwater; Honolulu has 2,000 plus! Some are scuttled boats - another problem area what with potential hazardous fuels and oil still onboard. In Hawaii there is a large ferry that churns up the bottom every time it turns around. Junk below is moved and there is no way to know if the object mapped in one place is the same object now located elsewhere. Divers frequently have to investigate; clarity is about two feet, and the opportunity to avoid tidal action or commerce above is very limited. It seems eventually everything that isn't supposed to be there needs to be hauled out and disposed of on land. This in itself is a big task and major disposal problem.

      There are different sonar technologies with different degrees of accuracy for mapping. As you might expect, they are not all compatible. A standard is in the works but continued improvement for compatible interface between the Navy, NOAA, Army Corps of Engineers, other federal, state, and local agencies, as well as the ports remains a priority.

      The chairs of the CMSC subcommittees then gave their reports. PMMC member Sidonie Samsom, Security - Port of San Francesco, discussed the state's maritime security strategy. This is a work in progress. She was followed by the chairs on legislation and grants, information sharing, science and technology, training and exercise, transportation worker identification (TWIC), and recovery and reconstitution.

      The major state exercise, Golden Guardian 2009 has been moved to 2010 to coordinate with a federal exercise. The state program is being aligned with a national five year exercise program. Jack Hagan, Deputy Director, Training and Exercise Division, California Office of Homeland Security, (and NLUS member, Sacramento Council) raced through his presentation - fortunately he distributed copies of his MS Power Point presentation. Another steering committee is being formed - involved will be the Navy, Coast Guard, and about a dozen others.

      In conclusion, the efforts made here in California in regards to port security are gaining more and more credibility and are cited as the prime example of a state successfully facing the challenges head on. A real incident will be the test; hopefully it can be prevented and all efforts will be directed at exercises. The adversary has an immense advantage but the California Maritime Security Council is our state's primary defense

      I have two sets of meeting handouts; if interested I can mail one to you upon request.

      Prior to the meeting I received notification that I will be serving on the California Marine and Intermodal Transportation System Advisory Council. Pacific Merchant Marine Council member Captain Bob Dockendorff is the Advisory Council's Chairman. I await the letter of appointment.



      Governor's Office of Homeland Security 


      Home Planning & Preparation California Maritime Security Council (CMSC)

      U.S. Maritime Security Expo 2008

      Long Beach Convention Center, November 18 -19

      www.maritimesecurityexpo.com - Cached

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