Coast Guard hosts binational group of Great Lakes leaders for strategic emergency preparedness discussions

CLEVELAND — About three dozen Great Lakes agency leaders from the U.S. and Canada participated in a binational multi-agency meeting, at the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building in Cleveland, to discuss various emergency preparedness and security issues concerning the Great Lakes region on Thursday.

The meeting, titled “Strategic Surprise: Sharing Solutions for the Great Lakes,” featured a presentation by renowned homeland security expert Dr. Stephen E. Flynn, co-director of the Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security at Northeastern University, and facilitated discussions by Dr. Joe DiRenzo III, the deputy operational planning and anti-terrorism coordinator for Coast Guard Atlantic Area.

The event was hosted by Rear Adm. Michael N. Parks, 9th Coast Guard District commander.

“Today was a great opportunity to strengthen our strategic partnerships and discuss our shared commitment to assessing and managing risk throughout the Great Lakes region,” said Parks.  “Binational cooperation is key to ensuring the safety, security and prosperity of our citizens and resources.”

“To wait until the next disaster — whether it’s natural or man-made in nature — to forge these partnerships would be a disservice to citizens and visitors to the U.S. and Canada.”

The meeting attendees included: leaders from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Canadian Consul General; U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Border Patrol and Office of Air and Marine; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Ohio National Guard; Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Wisconsin Air National Guard; Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Transportation Security Administration; Coast Guard Investigative Service; U.S. Attorney’s Office; and senior leaders from the 9th Coast Guard District, Coast Guard sectors Detroit, Buffalo, Milwaukee and Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and Coast Guard Air Station Detroit.

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