Coast Guard beefing up port security

The Coast Guard is looking to increase its focus on port security and develop a plan to support the agency's growing homeland security mission, Coast Guard chief of staff Vice Adm. Thad Allen said today.

Allen referred to this focus as maritime domain awareness: reaching beyond a common operating picture to increase surveillance and to track cargo at ports. With such awareness comes the need to create a supporting architecture.

"We want to be solving problems," Allen said, speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Northern Virginia Chapter of AFCEA International. "We are looking now how to harden the ports as we raise security conditions, and we need an architecture that deals with overall port security."

He said the agency was trying to bring together the pieces of knowledge across the agency and building a technology framework that allows it to focus on security — starting with the ports and moving up into the rest of the Homeland Security Department.

"We're going to start building it from the port up, from the Coast Guard up," Allen said, adding that the small size of the agency allows it to be a leader in making the changes.

A major challenge for the Coast Guard since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has been juggling the agency's mission of preventing drug trafficking and illegal migrations with the added homeland security missions, Allen said.

"We need to keep our eyes on those balls too," he said. "Our challenges are technical, political, mission-based."

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.