Coast Guard personnel alongside federal, state, local agencies and industry organizations from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands conducted a functional area maritime security exercise Wednesday throughout the Captain of the Port Zone area of responsibility.
The exercise is part of the nationwide Area Maritime Security Training Exercise Program.
“This exercise proved to be invaluable to the further enhancement of maritime preparedness across commercial ports in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Hector Cintrón, Coast Guard Sector San Juan port security specialist. “It is through the Area Maritime Security Training Exercise Program Coast Guard and port waterfront facility contingency plans are updated and validated. Through periodic and continuous exercises, we can guarantee the best level of preparedness, coordination, and response, which are crucial to protecting island waterways and maritime infrastructure while strengthening our collective ability to facilitate and conduct safe maritime commerce.”
During the exercise, participating agencies and industry partners faced complex scenarios, which tested their collective ability to respond and coordinate during simulated port security threats to the maritime transportation system.
Agencies focused primarily on their capacity to alert, mobilize and activate personnel, facilities, and resources for an emergency response, tested their communications, and established an Incident Command structure under the National Incident Management System to coordinate interagency operations.
The scenarios involved in this functional exercise challenged participants to make difficult decisions, carry out essential functions, and maintain a common operating picture, while focusing on Area Maritime Security Awareness, Prevention, and the sustainment of the Maritime Transportation System.