Port Manatee’s facility security officer training program – the only such approved course offered by a U.S. seaport – has earned new certification from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Port Manatee’s FSO course, certified since 2005 by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, has now received Coast Guard approval, in accordance with latest federal certification procedures.
“We are pleased to have gained this heightened level of federal certification for this vital security officer training,” said David St. Pierre, Port Manatee’s director of public safety and security. “Over the past 15 years, more than 1,150 graduates from throughout the nation have completed approved FSO training at Port Manatee, which continues to be the only seaport in the United States certified to offer such a course.”
The three-day course, offered quarterly, covers U.S. and international regulatory requirements for seaport security, security planning, vulnerability risks and assessments and interagency collaboration, all with a focus on antiterrorism.
Port Manatee’s FSO training is taught by port security personnel and additional retired Coast Guard officers, including lead instructor St. Pierre, who served more than 24 years in the Coast Guard prior to discharge as a chief quartermaster, and Edmond Morris, a retired U.S. Coast Guard commander. The course has been offered at Port Manatee since 2005, the same year St. Pierre joined the port’s management team.
Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers.