Coast Guard to take over management of Project Seahawk from Justice Department

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Coast Guard, acting on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security, will take over the day-to-day operations of Project Seahawk currently under the supervision of the Department of Justice beginning Thursday.

Project Seahawk is a multi-jurisdictional task force compromised of federal, state and local law enforcement officers. The task force is responsible for preventing and disrupting illicit activity in the port of Charleston and minimizing the port’s vulnerability to a terrorist attack or criminal exploitation.

“We don’t expect to make any immediate changes to Seahawk’s daily operations,” said Capt. Michael McAllister, commander, Coast Guard Sector Charleston. “We will continue to rely on the valuable participation of a host of federal, state and local agencies to make our team’s port security efforts successful in the future.”

In 2008, Congress identified Project Seahawk as one of the nation’s best models for port security interagency operations and provided funding to the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard to stand up similar centers in other high priority ports in the United States.

Project Seahawk was established prior to the 2003 creation of the Department of Homeland Security and has been primarily federally funded through Department of Justice. Congress is considering the DHS’s budget request for Project Seahawk for fiscal year 2010, which begins Thursday.

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