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Discussion Questions: Explain the specific security challenges encountered in the port maritime environment and discuss what a risk-based management framework looks like as it applies to this mode of transportation. Discuss the Megaports Initiative. From your perspective, why was this program not advanced to its’ initial goal of 100 ports? What port security challenge is it truly difficult to address?

Articles for weekly assignment:

Security and Europe’s Sea Ports: threats and issues facing maritime gateways to Europe: https://danskehavne.dk/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/…

DHS Progress and Challenges in Key Areas of Port Security: https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-940T

Port Security: Threats and Vulnerabilities: https://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/1000…

Megaport Initiative: https://www.hsdl.org/?abstract&did=473907

Evaluating Port Security: Progress and Challenges Ahead: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/document…

GAO-10-940T: DHS Progress and Challenges in Key Areas of Port Security: https://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10940t.pdf

Instructions: Fully utilize the materials that have been provided to you in order to support your response. Your initial post should be at least 350 words. Please respond to at least two other students. Responses should be a minimum of 150 words and include direct questions. You may challenge, support or supplement another student’s answer using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings. Also, do not be afraid to respectfully disagree where you feel appropriate; as this should be part of your analysis process at this academic level.

Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas. Sources utilized to support answers are to be cited in accordance with the APA writing style by providing a general parenthetical citation (reference the author, year and page number) within your post, as well as an adjoining reference list. Refer to grading rubric for additional details concerning grading criteria.

Student #1 Kayla

Hello Class and Professor,

With anything that contains value, there will be a need for security measures. When it pertains to the maritime transportation there is no exception. The maritime method of transport connects numerous countries by sea ports in the exchange of goods. In the maritime environment there are many security challenges that are faced. Carafano and Kochems (2005) state, ” The challenges to the maritime security are complex and growing. Addressing vulnerabilities, ensuring access to the maritime domain, and maintaining economic competitiveness while protecting the US interest from sea-based attacks will be no easy task” (page 2).

The threats that the sea-ports face are constant and growing threats such as, drug smugglers, stowaways, cargo thieves, pirates and terrorist. Weapon trafficking and people trafficking (adults and children are transported for exploitation). To manage these risks and threats, the European Commission DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries report that Communication Information Sharing Environment for maritime surveillance. It proposes that all ports will have a responsibility for combating criminal activities and providing security at sea and EU seaports.

The Megaport Initiative is an initiative that was introduced in 2003 by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The megaport initiative “teams up with other countries to enhance their ability to screen cargo at major international seasports” (Megaports Initiative, pg 1). Initially what that means is that it works together with other countries to inspect the cargo before it enters the US port. It has three main objectives which are; deterring terrorist, detecting nuclear and radioactive material, and inderdicting harmful material before it is used against the US or its’ allies.

I believe that they have no been able to reach their goal of 100 ports because of lack of advancement in some countries and of course communication issues. Some countries are not able to afford the equipment or the training to make this a possibility.

The main port security challenge that is difficult to address would be communication and equipment. if ports did a better job of staying in communication that could tackle some initial issues, but if they don’t have the proper materials to scan cargo then others challenges will arise.

Sources

Security and Europe’s sea ports

https://apus.intelluslearning.com/lti/#/document/1…

Megaport Initiative

National Nuclear Security Administration: http://www.nnsa.doe.gov

Student #2 David

Explain the specific security challenges encountered in the port maritime environment and discuss what a risk-based management framework looks like as it applies to this mode of transportation.

The major security challenges facing security of maritime port environment are the impacts of threats and vulnerabilities. One serious concern that was brought in to focus is the risk imposed by small vessel traffic in and around port areas. Although, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Coast Guard have initiated certain strategies to help mitigate these risks, such as encouraging boaters to share information about potential threats, developed systems to track vessels, escort vessels and detect vessels containing nuclear materials (U.S GAO, 2010).

Other challenges such as implementing U.S. equivalent security measures by the Coast Guard in foreign ports is typically not welcomed, due to issues of sovereignty and lack of resources in poor countries. Also, the task of screening 100 percent of containers bound for the U.S. as part of the Secure Freight Initiative, poses challenges, due to occasional equipment failure. In order to help with delays the Customs and Border Protection has developed a layered security strategy to mitigate the risk of an attack using cargo containers, focusing their attention on potentially risky cargo and allowing other cargo to move freely (U.S GAO, 2010).

As part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the DHS established the risk management framework within the Federal Government to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure and resources (U.S GAO, 2010). Also, within this initiative came the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, which was put in place to protect U.S. ports and waterways, by implementing several security improvements. Some of these improvements include; the requirement of vulnerability assessments for port facilities and vessels, developing security plans to mitigate identified risks for the national maritime system, ports, port facilities, and vessels, and developing a process to evaluate foreign port security, from which vessels depart on voyages to the United States (U.S GAO, 2010).

Discuss the Mega ports Initiative. From your perspective, why was this program not advanced to its’ initial goal of 100 ports? What port security challenge is it truly difficult to address?

The Megaports Initiative helps to streamline efforts to team up with other countries to enhance their ability to screen cargo at major international seaports (Megaports Initiative, 2018). The initiative specifically seeks to train personnel in the use of its equipment, detect the presence of nuclear/radioactive material in cargo containers and post the results of what material is found. The initiative’s three main objectives are to deter terrorist from using world seaports from shipping dangerous material, detecting nuclear material shipped in cargo containers, and interdicting harmful material before it can be used against the U.S. or its allies (Megaports Initiative, 2018). Even though this initiative was designed to have minimal impact on port operations, some countries might not find it economical or lack the resources to adapt to its implementations, causing the program not to advance. Also, strengthening departmental unity is one of the most difficult security challenges to address. Because of this, it is necessary to enhance the cohesiveness of the Department, while preserving the professionalism, skill, and dedication of the people within, and the rich history of, the DHS components (Evaluating Port Security, 2014).

References

Evaluating Port Security: Progress made and challenges ahead. (2014). The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Retrieved February 11, 2019.

Megaports Initiative: Protecting the world’s shipping network from dangerous cargo and nuclear materials. (2018). National Nuclear Security Administration. Retrieved February 11, 2019.

United States. Government Accountability Office. (2010). Maritime Security: DHS Progress and Challenges in Key Areas of Port Security. United States. Government Accountability Office.

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