Coast Guard to participate in maritime incident pilot program in Niantic, Conn.

NEW YORK – The U.S. Coast Guard and Transportation Security Administration (TSA), along with other state and federal agencies, will be participating in a table-top maritime incident exercise at Camp Rell in Niantic, Conn., Tuesday.

The exercise is the first of its kind, combining both the AMSTEP and I-STEP into a pilot training program designed to address a major disruption of land and sea transportation in the event of a large maritime disaster.

“This joint exercise program pilot seeks to determine better clarity regarding measurements of success pertaining to short-term and long-term recovery of the nation’s ports and its inherent intermodal surface and rail connections following large scale disruptions to the Maritime Transportation System,” said Scott Bates, a Port Security Specialist with the Office of Counter Terrorism Anti Terrorism and Defense Operations, based in Washington. D.C.

The incident will be based on one of the three TSA planning scenarios listed in the Area Maritime Security Plan. The Long Island Sound exercise is the first in a series of three such trainings, with the other two exercises scheduled to take place in Boston and Baltimore later this year.

“The purpose of the training is to improve the effectiveness of multi-agency coordination of recovery activities following a Transportation Security Incident, and strengthen port, state and federal partnerships,” said Capt. Dan Ronan, Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound’s Captain of the Port. “These types of exercises prove invaluable in that we can see where we excel, what needs improvement and where our cooperative efforts can use some tweaking.”

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