The National Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) Executive Steering Committee (ESC) released its latest assessment, the “National MDA Challenges: Current State Report,” that examines the most pressing issues in the maritime space and makes recommendations to mitigate ongoing threats. The final report was approved earlier this month at the ESC meeting at the White House, chaired by the Director of the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office (NMIO), Rear Admiral Mike Studeman.
“The challenges we face in the maritime space cannot be tackled by any one agency,” said Studeman. “It was encouraging to bring so many leaders to the table from across government to focus on our top mutual concerns. With the approval of the Current State Report, we have not only outlined existing gaps in our capabilities, but found ways to measure and track performance in closing those gaps. This ESC is charting a way toward achieving tangible results in key security areas in support of a national security priority.”
The MDA ESC’s Current State Report incorporated input from 175 subject matter experts from 26 federal agencies to provide a baseline for which to evaluate MDA capability challenges and develop and implement interagency solutions that resolve or mitigate critical MDA issues. This is in support of the President’s National Security Strategy, which explicitly states “we will stand up for freedom of navigation and overflight, support, environmental protection, and oppose destructive distant water fishing practices by upholding international laws and norms.”
The MDA ESC is composed of partners from the National Security Council, Department of Transportation, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of State, Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and NMIO that meet quarterly to discuss whole-of-government solutions to critical challenges in maritime security.