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The start of day three for the Facility Security Officer (FSO) Course and the day prior, the one day FSO Refresher Course wrapped up with 21 "old hands" sharing years of experience and wealth of knowledge.  These were all seasoned FSOs, many of them senior managers at their organizations, taking the time to refresh their knowledge about Coast Guard requirements and emerging threats. 

While all Seebald & Associates courses benefit from student discussions, the refresher course typically has at least as many “sea stories” and examples from the students as formal lecture from Captain Brian Kelley, the lead instructor.  Discussions about everything from the use of shotguns to remove rust and slag from ships (no kidding, you had to be there), to how to best support security guards quickly dominated the course.  Had we not had to break from lunch Master Instructor Captain Brian Kelley might never have had the chance to return to his course plan.

TWIC was the first topic in the afternoon, which included some interesting stories about forgeries.  Many of us have seen guards fooled by fairly simple fakes, like those made on a copy machine and hotel rewards cards.  Good training can catch these fakes, but professional forgeries are all too easy to find these days.  Fortunately electronic TWIC readers, which a majority of our students are using, can catch these threats.

Another key topic was Facility Security Assessment (FSA) procedures.  The FSA is the foundation of your Facility Security Plan, and if done correctly, will help you identify the security procedures at all MARSEC levels that will reduce your operational risk, meet the regulations, and align with your business practices.  At Seebald and Associates we take pride in our FSA process, which always includes a risk-based-analysis of threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences.

Speaking of FSAs, we also discussed the latest Coast Guard policy guidance on incorporating cybersecurity into the FSA, which was released just weeks earlier.  Seebald & Associates is already incorporating this policy into our procedures. 

Wednesday closes out the FSO course, with 34 graduates joining the 21 Refresher FSO students as we transition to the Symposium, with special guest speakers and panel discussions on cybersecurity, high reliability and situational awareness and ending the day with Dr. Watkins, Valero Executive Director for Global Securities will discuss the response and lessons learned from the recent protests on Valero facilities in the United Kingdom and Valero's planning against this threat against their facilities in the U.S.