Coast Guard participates in multi-agency port operation

5th Coast Guard District NewsPORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard, along with other federal, state and local agencies, conducted a joint Multi-Agency Strike Force Operation at Hampton Roads port facilities Monday through Wednesday.

The operation discovered multiple containers that were improperly placarded and had structural deficiencies. Each container was placed on hold until the deficiencies were rectified, and the operation also resulted in one truck driver being taken into custody and arrested for an outstanding warrant. Three trucks were also removed from service after they were deemed unsafe for operation.

Agencies participating in this operation included: the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, National Cargo Bureau, Transportation Security Administration, Virginia International Terminal Port Police, Chesapeake Police Department and the Newport News Police Department.

The partnering agencies inspected intermodal shipping containers and trucks as they left the marine terminals with shipments from both domestic and international locations. Inspections included verifying proper truck and container documentation; structural integrity of shipping containers; licensing; customs and fuel tax compliance and hazardous material markings; packaging and segregation. The operation was coordinated between agencies employing their individual jurisdictions side by side, so shipments could be simultaneously inspected for compliance with all applicable requirements.

The agency members inspected containers at the Norfolk International Terminal and APM Terminals. The focus of the operation was to promote awareness and to verify compliance with federal and state intermodal container, truck, air, rail and hazardous material safety regulations. Similar operations are conducted Coast Guard wide throughout the year.

The Coast Guard employed several mission specific teams and resources throughout the operation, such as: container inspectors, a Vessel Boarding Security Team, a Maritime Security Response Team and the Coast Guard Investigative Service. The joint initiatives also included TSA, DHS and local law enforcement officers from the Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response operations team.

Individual agencies regularly conduct inspections of containers and trucks leaving the Port of Hampton Roads, but this operation is one in a series of similar initiatives conducted in ports nationwide since September 1998 that is designed to reduce the inspection time delay for shippers.

“The teamwork and coordination of the agencies involved in this operation is another example of how our collective enforcement efforts ensure the resiliency and security of the Port of Hampton Roads,” said Capt. Mark Ogle, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads.

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