Hopefully you view your vessel or Facility Security Plan (FSP) as an important part of your overall security program.  But do you know how those plans fit into The Big Picture?  Believe it or not, you are an integral part of our nation’s overall strategy to protect critical infrastructure and our Homeland.

One step up from an individual FSP is the local Area Maritime Security Plan.  This plan, written by the Area Maritime Security Committee (AMSC), helps guide the Coast Guard Captain of the Port on addressing security issues across the port area. 

AMSC’s are made up of private sector representatives as well as various government officials, so you could be a member or simply participate in AMSC meetings if you’d like to contribute beyond your own fence line or gunwale.  Check the list of AMSC contact points here, or we at S&A would be glad to introduce you to your local AMSC coordinator at any time.   

Those AMSPs feed into higher level maritime security plans, and contribute to plans and strategies at the Department of Homeland Security level.  The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (or “NIPP”) organizes critical infrastructure into various Sectors (energy, transportation, healthcare, etc.), and lays out information sharing and partnership frameworks to counter broad threats, such as terrorism, natural disasters, and cyber. 

Very recently, DHS published their Strategic Framework for Countering Terrorism and Targeted Violence.  One of its goals is to Enhance U.S. Infrastructure Protections and Community Preparedness.  Outside of the Coast Guard and DHS, there are other strategies of interest.  For example, the National Cyber Strategy specifically addresses maritime cyber security. 

These plans and strategies don’t solve all of our security problems, but they do represent hard working public servants and private sector contributors working to protect our nation.  At Seebald & Associates, we are proud to work with the many patriots in the maritime industry to do our part in this worthy goal.