The Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Service in collaboration with the United States Coast Guard International Port Security Programme held a Port Facility Security Assessment (PFSA), Port Facility Security Plans (PFSP) seminar at the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) conference room from April 2-4, 2019.
The seminar commenced with brief opening remarks from the Commander of the SVG Coast Guard, Mr. Brenton Cain. In his remarks Commander Cain stated that there are five (5) International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) compliant ports in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the SVG Coast Guard is the designated authority.
He further stated that the SVG Coast visit the ports as often as possible to do port assessments, make notes and put mitigating factors in place. The Coast Guard Commander said that the seminar will run for three (3) days with two (2) days in the classroom and one day set aside for practical sessions.
He stated that the aim of the seminar is to build capacity among the stakeholders, identify threats and vulnerabilities and develop mitigating security measures to further enhance maritime security within the ports.
Port Facility Security Assessment (PFSA) and Port Facility Security Plan (PFSP) Seminar is a workshop which aim to provide a cadre of port security professionals with the requisite skills to manage all tasks associated with creating and updating PFSAs and PFSPs.
Topics of the seminar include the required components and suggested formats for PFSAs and PFSPs. Participants gained a full understanding of PFSA and PFSP content and participated in practical exercises that reviewed these documents, with the goal of ensuring functional PFSPs are developed and maintained based on realistic PFSAs.
The facilitators were Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Christina Jones of the United States Coast Guard who has more than 16 years of experience in maritime security. Since 2015, she has been working with the Coast Guard Atlantic Area in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Within the International Port Security Program she serves as a Head of Delegation for port security assessments and as a lead instructor for capacity building missions around the world.
Her responsibilities include assessing antiterrorism measures implemented at foreign ports by reviewing their security practices, increasing international awareness of maritime security, and championing best practices to improve maritime governance.
Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Don Davis who has over 24 years of military and private sector experience specializing in port security, maritime law enforcement, incident response, and crisis management.
Lieutenant (LT) Marq Robinson is a member of the Capacity Building Division within the International Port Security program of the US Coast Guard in Portsmouth, VA. LT Robinson has 14 years of experience with a background in Law Enforcement.
Participants from stakeholder organizations such as; the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force Port Police, The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Fire Service, The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Service, Eastern Caribbean Flour Mills, Sol Parkland Inc., St. Vincent and the Grenadines Port Authority and Rubis participated in the seminar.
The seminar culminated on Friday April 4, 2019 with the awarding of certificates to the participants.