Coast Guard to facilitate a homeland security and pollution response exercise in the Florida Keys

KEY WEST, Fla. — The Coast Guard is scheduled to facilitate a multiagency homeland-security-related incident exercise and major pollution-response exercise next Wednesday and Thursday in Key West.

The homeland security exercise will take place Wednesday and is based on the Area Maritime Security Training and Exercise Program (AMSTEP). The AMSTEP is focused on building relationships within the Federal Maritime Security domain to write, review and update the Area Maritime Security Plan in addition to supporting other transportation entities that rely upon the port being secure. As the Federal Maritime Security Coordinator, the Coast Guard has the lead in coordinating such exercises.

The pollution response exercise will take place Thursday and is based on the Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP). PREP is focused on evaluating the Area Contingency Plan by assessing the local environmental response posture in the event there is a major environmental threat incident. The Area Contingency Plan is a set of plans designed to give guidance and coordination in the event of environmental threat incidents and is based on the National Response Plan.

Capt. Pat DeQuattro, commander of Coast Guard Sector Key West, serves as the Federal Maritime Security Coordinator during homeland security incidents and as the Federal On-Scene Coordinator during environmental threat incidents.

These exercises will be used to evaluate multiagency preparedness, awareness, prevention and response to a homeland-security-related incident or a major pollution event near Key West.

Participants of the exercise include:

  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • City of Key West
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
  • National Weather Service
  • Customs and Border Protection
  • U.S. Naval Air Station Key West
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • National Park Service
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • Monroe County Emergency Operations Center
  • Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
  • Monroe County Health Department
  • Key West Police
  • Key West Fire Department
  • Tourism Development Council
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • National Response Corporation
  • Keys Energy
  • Key West Pipeline
  • Southern Waste Services
  • Coffins Marine Services

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