DHS unveils Maritime Operations Coordination plan
The Department of Homeland Security unveiled a Maritime Operations Coordination plan developed to increase coordination and enhance information-sharing across agencies. Specifically, the agency said the plan supports the integration of intelligence for maritime operations among the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“As America’s maritime first responder, the Coast Guard works closely with our fellow DHS components and security partners to deter and respond to threats in our ports, along our coasts, and in waters of U.S. interest,” Adm. Robert Papp, commandant of the Coast Guard, said publicly. “This plan will combine resources from across DHS to strengthen our ability to protect our nation’s global trade and our citizens.”
The MOC plan focuses on the unique nature of the maritime security, with emphasis on the sharing information within DHS, as well as among other federal, state, local, tribal, territorial and international partners. Once put into place, field-level supervisors will implement the requirements set forth in the plan to provide “an active, layered and scalable security presence to deter and respond to threats against the United States as outlined in the National Strategy for Maritime Security,” according to a DHS spokesperson. Supervisors will be responsible for coordinating department-wide activities to avoid duplicative operations and provide an active, layered and scalable security presence, as well as to plan joint exercises to improve coordination and apply a risk analysis methodology to the planning effort.
The announcement follows Papp’s testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Border & Maritime Security about the nation’s maritime border security post-9/11. Papp stated under oath that the agency follows a layered security and communications approach to counter maritime risk to more than 350 ports and 95,000 miles of coastline, which includes a focus on Maritime Domain Awareness, a diverse set of capabilities that support strategic, operational and tactical decision-making.