ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Crewmembers from Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., hosted delegates from the island of Aruba, part of the kingdom of the Netherlands, during an International Port Security program reciprocal engagement tour, Wednesday.
Lt. Cmdr. David Otani, the liaison officer for the the tour, accompanied the delegation to Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington D.C. to discuss security policies and implementation.
While in St. Petersburg, the delagation met with sector staff, toured Coast Guard Cutter Venturous, a 210-foot medium endurance cutter, and visited a cruise ship terminal. This was Aruba’s second visit to the U.S. as part of an IPS program engagement. Previously they went to Sector San Juan in 2010.
“In partnership with our maritime trading partners, the IPS program seeks to reduce risk to U.S. maritime interests, including U.S. ports and ships, and to facilitate secure maritime trade globally,” said Otani. “Our goal is to facilitate bilateral discussion, promote sharing of maritime security information and encourage other countries to visit the U.S., so delegates may observe first hand security measures implemented within.”
IPS program engagements and discussions are instrumental to the Coast Guard having confidence in the effectiveness of a port state’s implementation of the ISPS Code and other international maritime security standards and to enhance port security measures beyond the minimum requirements of the ISPS Code.
“We seek to improve port security in foreign ports to provide mutual benefits to the United States and our maritime trading partners,” said Otani.
For more photos from the visit, click the picture.