Port Agencies to Respond to Terrorist Threat During Exercise

LOS ANGELES (D11 Public Affairs) – Harbor residents of Los Angeles and Long Beach will see increased law enforcement activity this Wednesday and Thursday as area emergency responders participate in a 2-day U.S. Coast Guard lead counterterrorism exercise. The exercise is designed to test the Area Maritime Security Plan that was mandated by the Maritime Security Transportation Act of 2002 (MTSA).

The exercise will take place in both the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and include simulated bombings that law enforcement and fire agencies will respond to in real-time. The U.S. Coast Guard, FBI, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments, Long Beach Police and Fire Departments, Los Angeles Port Police, Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach along with maritime industry will be participating in the joint agency exercise. Port facilities will also be testing their own security plans in response to a Coast Guard ordered increase of the Maritime Security (MARSEC) level.

“This exercise is the culmination of a triennial exercise cycle that gives port agencies and maritime industry the opportunity to test interagency coordination, communications, and plans,” said Lt. j.g. Andrew Muñoz spokesman for Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach. “The lessons learned from this exercise will be used to update the Area Maritime Security Plan and agency response plans.”

The Area Maritime Security Committee meets quarterly and is lead by the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port and FBI. The committee is composed of representatives from federal, state, and local first responders, maritime industry, and organized labor. The purpose of the committee is to maintain the Area Maritime Security Plan and coordinate exercises to test the plan.

The exercise is scheduled to begin the morning of Wednesday, June 25 and go through the afternoon of Thursday, June 26.

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