Abbreviated as MSST, the Maritime Safety and Security Team is a coast guard anti-terrorism team that is aimed at protecting the assets of the United States government in maritime zones. The team normally uses underwater security maintenance equipment for the detection and/or destruction of underwater diver threats at coastal zones, harbors and ports. This paper looks at the ease of obtaining information on MSST processes in the country.
According to open sources, the MSST was established under the Maritime Transport Security Act of 2002 as a response to the security threat that was posed against the united Stated in 11th September, 2001. The intention of this group is to liaise with Homeland Security for the provision of security services to the country, with this group focused on internal waterways and access points through coastal avenues. Critical infrastructure at seaways, vessels of interest and other water users receive moderate protection through the services of the MSST. The team has been set up with protocols for the quick response of internal threats from any part of the country through a speedy air, ground or water response to the affected area. Moreover, facilities have been provided to the Team for quick access to other Coast Guard activities (Young, 2014).
Officers of the MSST will receive training at the Joint Maritime Training Centre before being assigned to duties at any one of the thirteen stations set up all over strategic cities in the United States. This centre combines the training available for US Navy officers, Marine Corps and the US Coast Guard where there is sufficient training and evaluation of personnel in view of the Department of Defenses objectives in achieving better quality of security in the country. Therefore, the MSST officer will be engaged in all the training that a Coast Guard officer will have including the pursuit of a non-compliant vessel, port security, the operation of an automatic weapon, advanced marksmanship and basic tactical operation skills. The intention of this course is to provide with adequate knowledge of threat response as well as threat eradication if necessary (United States Coast Guard, 2016). Moreover, these officers are trained at the Port Security division which ensures that there is adequate training on counter-terrorism approaches as well as protection from hostile forces. Therefore, officers are taught in tactics, procedures and necessary techniques of countering domestic threats that are water-borne. The necessary additional courses that are undertaken are in chemical and biological defenses, basic skills and vehicular searches as well as military operations in urban areas. Strategic ports at the worldwide scene are also maintained for the purpose of operations from an external point.
The mission of the MSST is to deal with security threats that are posed to strategic seaports in the US. Therefore, the team must provide both onshore and offshore security support at strategic points of entry in the country at sea. Therefore, the MSST provides protection to military personnel using waterways for the transportation of sensitive goods and conduct antiterrorism activities at the port level, providing a significant approach to law enforcement at the port location they are found in, deploying personnel in the case of Special Security events such as the Olympics and other social events of such magnitudes, deploy vessels that enhance port security and support navy warfare vessels. Each station has seventy five active personnel on duty.
Having sampled the ease of access of information of the information on the government security service, it is notable to see that contact information is provided on the government website for direct contact to the person to an officer. Therefore, one can easily obtain further information from the representative of the MSST at any particular city by accessing that citys website. This is not the case when accessing open source information. However, the particulars of the training that the officers undertake are no discussed in detail. Rather, the responding officer will only give an overview of the objectives that each learning process should have. This is in line with the objective of the protection of sensitive information that is useful for the protection of the citizenry, which might not be productively used if divulged to third parties. Moreover, I was directed to the US Coast Guard site for the San Diego MSST department where there were pictorials of the services that the MSST was engaging in. a presentation of an operation aboard a vessel is seen as officers land on the deck of the vessel. In another picture, officers are seen conducting a drill off the coast of San Diego (United States Coast Guard, 2016).
The amount of information available on both the open source analysis and the interview were informative as the larger part of the information concerning the mission, role and training of the MSST officers. However, specific information on training is limited since the particulars cannot be stated. Nonetheless, the objectives of the training could be deduced once the officer described the purpose of training.
United States Coast Guard. (2016). MARITIME SAFETY AND SECURITY TEAM SAN DIEGO (91109). Retrieved June 3, 2016, from United States Coast Guard: http://www.uscg.mil/msst91109/
United States Coast Guard. (2016). Tactical Coxswain Course - A (TCCA). Retrieved June 3, 2016, from United States Coast Guard: http://www.uscg.mil/smtc/Training_USCG_TCC.asp
Young, S. (2014). Ruff Responder. Retrieved June 3, 2016, from Coast Guard Compass: http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2014/04/ruff-responder/.
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