Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Welcome to the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee blog!

In an attempt to take advantage to the Social Networking and Web 2.0 initiatives being championed by Coast Guard Senior Leadership, we’ve decide to put our toes in the water, so to speak, and put together a blog.

To give you some background, The NMSAC was established under the authority of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-295). Congress also determined that NMSAC would operate under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

Composed of 21 maritime industry executives, The NMSAC will advises, consults with, and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Homeland Security, via the Commandant of the Coast Guard, on matters affecting national maritime security, including, but not limited to:

  • Developing a national strategy and policy to provide for efficient, coordinated and effective action to deter and minimize damage from maritime related transportation security incidents;
  • Recommending actions required to meet current and future security threats to ports, vessels, facilities, waterways and their associated inter-modal transportation connections and critical infrastructure;
  • Promoting international cooperation and multilateral solutions to maritime security issues;
  • Addressing security issues and concerns brought to the Committee by segments of the maritime transportation industry, or other port and waterway stakeholders; and,
  • Such other matters, related to those above, that the Secretary may charge the Committee with addressing.

Some of the Committee’s key activities include:

  • The Committee was active in the development of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The Committee formed a workgroup to address credentialing and provided input on specific questions posed by the Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In support of the second TWIC rulemaking, another workgroup was established to develop contactless card and reader specifications. This work resulted in a maritime operating requirements document, as well as technical card and reader specifications which meet maritime industry needs, both of which may be used during the TWIC pilot tests and subsequent implementation nationwide.
  • NMSAC assisted the Coast Guard and DHS by working with the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) to identify members of the maritime sector who would be able to provide operational advice and consultation to the CG or DHS on national maritime security matters during transportation security incident response or recovery operations. This list subsequently facilitated the successful formation of the Maritime Sector Coordinating Council.
  • NMSAC assisted with review of the Maritime Modal Implementation Annex to the Transportation Sector Security Plan that is required under the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP).
  • Providing recommendations and comments to assist DHS with a review of the Strategy to Enhance the Security of the International Supply Chain (required by the Safe Port Act).
  • Providing recommendations and comments with the development of procedures and protocols for engaging the private sector on recovery issues following a national incident that significantly impacts the marine transportation system (MTS).
  • NMSAC is currently working on the following projects: (1) providing recommendations and comments to assist the Coast Guard on addressing foreign seafarer’s access to shore leave and (2) continuing involvement with the development and deployment of TWIC.

As you can see, the NMSAC is a key tool in the CG's attempt to secure the Maritime Transportation System. We look forward to exploring how NMSAC can leverage the Social Networking tools to further enhance the collaberative nature of the Committee with the maritime industry. Please feel free to provide comments/suggestions.

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