Homeland Security to host vessel security summit in Houston

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
Department of Homeland Security to host Small Vessel Security Summit in Houston

WHO: Hosted by the Department of Homeland Security, co-hosted by Eighth Coast Guard District

WHAT: The summit scope is to focus the Gulf Coast region’s maritime stakeholders on a range of discussions and concerns involving small vessel security risk in the Gulf Coast maritime domain.

Security risks for small vessels include:

Use of small vessels to smuggle weapons (including, but not limited to, Weapons of Mass Destruction/Effect).

Use of small vessels as Water Borne Improvised Explosive Device – small, explosive-laden vessels used as “boat bombs” against another vessel, maritime critical infrastructure, or key resources.
Use of small vessels to smuggle terrorists into the U.S.
Use of small vessels as a platform for standoff weapon (e.g. Man Portable Air Defense Systems, SCUD platform for launch offshore) attacks on the maritime industry or critical infrastructure.
The summit format will consist of presentations from Coast Guard officials, and other government professionals on small vessel threat and layered security measures. These will be followed up by small vessel stakeholder panel discussion participation and a facilitated discussion working group. The activities are centered on identifying small vessel threat issues and solutions specifically for the Gulf Coast region from the perception of the small vessel stakeholders using a scenario-based approach.

The objectives of the DHS Gulf Coast Small Vessel Security Summit are to focus the broad stakeholder community on a range of issues and to launch continuing interactions regarding management of small vessel security risk in the U.S. maritime domain. The objectives of the meeting are:

Provide a regional forum for small vessel stakeholders to discuss and present their ideas on the development of security measures to mitigate gaps in small vessel management and control in the maritime domain with local federal leadership and coordinators.

Educate regional small vessel stakeholders of security threats in the local U.S. maritime domain.
Communicate with regional small vessel stakeholders on the actions being taken within the region to coordinate a layered security system at the federal, state, tribal, and local government levels, as well as within the regional maritime industry and public.
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

WHERE: Hilton Hobby Hotel, Houston

By Professional Mariner Staff