TWIC compliance date announced for Alaska

ANCHORGE, Alaska – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) compliance and enforcement date for the Western and Southeast Alaska Captain of the Port (COTP) zones will be Feb. 12, 2009.

As of Feb. 12, 2009, individuals requiring unescorted access within designated secure areas of facilities regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act will need to have a valid TWIC. The compliance date for mariners remains April 15, 2009.

All Credentialed mariners, including operators of un-inspected passenger vessels commonly referred to as six-pack operators, as well as port and long shore workers, truckers and other maritime workers in Alaska need to enroll in the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program.

The program’s goal is to ensure that any individual who has unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels has received a thorough background check and is not a security threat.

“TWIC will be a crucial part of our multi-layered, risk-based approach to maritime security,” said Coast Guard Capt. Mark Hamilton, commander Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, Captain of the Port Western Alaska. “The program will strengthen security and access control at ports and on hundreds of maritime facilities and vessels.”

Valid proof of identification and a background check of the applicant will be required prior to issuance of a TWIC. The TWIC is a biometric identification card that features an embedded chip that contains the bearer’s photograph, fingerprints, and a personal identification number. The TWIC is just one part in a layered port security system.

To date, 6,539 transportation workers have applied for a TWIC in Alaska. TWIC applicants are reminded to return to the enrollment centers to activate and pick up their TWIC following initial enrollment. If you have any questions or need to enroll for a TWIC, please schedule an appointment by logging on to twicinformation.com or calling toll free at 1-866-DHS-TWIC.

Individuals can enroll at the TWIC enrollment center in Anchorage located at 619 E. Ship Creek Ave Suite 310, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. TSA operates four TWIC enrollment centers in Alaska including Anchorage, Juneau, Nikiski, and Valdez.

In addition to Anchorage, several mobile enrollment centers have been opened in Ketchikan, Sitka, Dutch Harbor, Petersburg, Wrangell, Skagway, Cordova and Haines. The mobile enrollment centers have been opened for short durations during the initial enrollment phase and many will reopen for the activation phase.

The Port of Anchorage is the 97th port out of the 147 ports nationwide that have been enrolling workers for their TWIC credential.

Individuals in Alaska are able to pre-enroll for TWIC online at www.tsa.gov/twic or the Coast Guard’s Homeport site, homeport.uscg.mil.

Pre-enrolling speeds up the process by allowing individuals to provide biographic information and schedule a time to complete the application process in person. This eliminates waiting at enrollment centers and reduces the time it takes to enroll each individual.

For more information regarding TSA, please visit www.tsa.gov.

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