Coast Guard and TSA Holding Homeland Security Exercise

GULFPORT, Miss. – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U.S. Coast Guard will sponsor an exercise today in Gulfport, MS to evaluate the ability of the local port community, including public governmental agencies and private industry, to respond to and recover from a terrorist-related incident.

The exercise will test components of the local Area Maritime Security Plan that addresses coordination and communications between maritime stakeholders; regulated facilities; and local, state, and Federal agencies. Scenarios will range from how officials react to discovering a suspicious cargo container to an explosion at a seaport rail yard.

This exercise is part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Training Exercises Program (PortSTEP), which is designed to improve the preparedness of maritime transportation security communities nationwide. The Gulfport exercise is one of a series of PortSTEP exercises the Coast Guard and TSA are holding around the country.

“Protecting this port is a team effort,” said Coast Guard Captain Edwin Stanton, the Captain of the Port for Gulfport, MS. “This exercise will test how well we are prepared to work together, and will help us identify areas for improvement.”

In addition to TSA and the U.S. Coast Guard, the FBI, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Mississippi Department of Homeland Security, and Gulfport Fire and Police Departments will also participate in the PortSTEP exercise.

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