The USCG Security for Ports

The US Coast Guard (USGCeffective )'s efforts have greatly reduced the dangers to seaports. The USGC has the responsibility to safeguard the security and safety of the ports as the country's marine first responder. The agency's methods for reducing attacks at the harbor include raising threat awareness and putting preparedness and prevention measures in place to deal with potential hazards. In order to provide important connections between the Department of Defense and DHS, the agency closely collaborates with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). To ensure security and economic success, the USCG promotes trade while protecting marine resources.Entirely, USCG roles, missions, and objectives drive at maritime surveillance, interdiction and security operations. USCG has endorsed promising practices that offer a magical solution to the security of the port community. This monumental task provides adequate protection to seaport against terrorist attacks.

Key words: US Coast Guard, maritime surveillance, security operations, interdiction

USCG Security for Ports

In the age of increasing globalization and to rapid technological advancement, there are growing threats at the seaports that negatively affect nations. The US is a maritime nation, and thus, its economic prosperity and interest are linked to the safety of the seas. The USCG strategic initiative of enhancing security at the ports yield supportive, and subordinate goals as well as provision of the purpose and focus to the personnel. The developed guiding principles direct the achievement of national goals in the maritime surveillance, interdiction and security operations to protect citizens. USCG is mandated to prevent terrorist attacks in the US maritime Domain, reduce the vulnerability of the ports and protection of the nation’s critical infrastructure and centers. Also, the USCG protects the marine transportation system along with minimizing damages from attacks. Indeed, the alignment of these strategic objectives has fueled the enactment of well-defined measures to aid in the realization of the results. The enduring capabilities, as well as the robust partnership among the stakeholders, lead to the greater unity of effort for an ultimate solution.

Notably, the US ports have registered reduced attacks. The creation of threat awareness among the personnel has significantly aided in the massive decrease of these threats. This idea heavily depends on sharing of information that demonstrate high cooperation between the private and the public sectors. In the 2013 Homeland Security report, it is indicated that the ports forces undertake coordination and collaboration initiatives as well as protocols aimed at detecting and monitoring port-related security risks (Department of Homeland Security, 2013). Notably, the greatest promising initiative involves the establishment of are maritime security committees (AMSCs) (US Coast Guard, 2014). The committee comprises of local, state and private representatives who identify the seaport vulnerabilities. In respect to the USCG, the committee provides forums for information sharing concerning. Preventive measures are grounded on the premises of a strong and able defense to inhibit attacks. The practices include improvement of the physical security and infrastructure at the ports and enacting processes to limit entry at the seaports. Moreover, Zukunft (2016) indicates that technological detection and inspection systems are used as well as enforcement of law-related activities. Interagency of the operational centers is also a vital measure that creates a coordinated strategy at the seaports. Development of “closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs), and sensors designed to detect chemical along with radiological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction reduce attacks” (Zukunft, 2016). The preparedness of the USGC measures demonstrates a well-defined capability to respond to threats. Additionally, training of the seaport personnel is an approach that has rapidly increased security and reduced attacks.

Efforts Employed by USCG to Conduct Security Operations, Interdiction and Maritime Surveillance

An increase in maritime domain awareness is one of the strategies employed by USCG to conduct security. The agency drives at building and leveraging awareness for among its personnel to equip them with comprehensive knowledge of security operation. Here, it develops detailed events, conditions, and timely measures that inhibit physical impossibility of patrolling, certifying, inspecting, and validation processes. USCG does this through the combination of the unparalleled level of information shared and target intelligence which permits the organization to sharpen its focus in the operational activities. In view of this, the maritime surveillance and interdiction use processes targeting at the collection of data for the provision of effective assessment of security. This helps in the dissemination of actionable intelligence actions that are appropriate to the local, federal and international stakeholders (Fong, 2008). This guides the plan for conducting risk-based decision-making and coordination of agency efforts to deliver an umbrella of goals for achievement of the missions.

The organization has also dwelled in conducting enhanced maritime security operations through the establishment preparedness measures. These layered maritime threshold strategies ensure its readiness. Vigilance to address readiness direct prompt response against terrorism along with other critical missions like the safety of marine’s natural resource and protection of national defense. This is why the coast guard has established a new benchmark of its operations and fully leveraged the synergies that are inherent in the multi-mission character. Preparedness has led to endurance, flexibility, and sustainability accommodating local and regional needs in broad geographic areas. The agency scales its level of operational procedures and resources to facilitate cargo inspection and protection. This ensures that the organization is fully capable of conducting emergency responses. The implementation of the layered defense consisting of full range security in overseeing US ports enables the agency to address the internal and external threats in a broad geographical spectrum. Hence, it executes comprehensive reconnaissance, surveillance, tracking, and interdiction processes. Procedural seams including commanding and controlling interfaces among numerous agencies adequately protect terrorist exploitation at the ports. Threat and vulnerability assessment is done to the U.S. maritime ports, coastal shoreline and the sea lines of communication (United States Coast Guard, 2012). This prepares its attempts to minimize damages as well as recovering from any future terrorist attacks. In respect to this, the agency carries out planning and training to respond to the threat. The integrated responses make USCG work with other local, federal and state organizations to build inclusive national incident management system.

The USCG has enacted measures to close port security gaps that make the seaports vulnerable to attacks. This aids in strengthening the security of the area and reduce the susceptibility of attacks. Given this, the Coast Guard conducts assessments to identify these gaps in the system, personnel, and processes to minimize high-consequence events for national defense (Linton, 2011). Commensurate level of maritime security forces ensures that coordination plans are attesting to adequate guard. Additionally, technology advanced surveillance, as well as sensor systems, are utilized to enhance security and forms an integral part of the security implementation plan.

The USCG also builds critical security capabilities for surveillance, interdiction and operational security. It has developed the required capabilities to improve its core competence together with recapitalizing the security of coast guard operations. This enables it to conducts pervasive surveillance, provide maximum support and respond to threats at the ports. Most importantly, the coast guard has expanded the C2 system in serving the Maritime Homeland Security (MHLS) mission to improve responsiveness, unity efforts and the overall effectiveness (Vardjan & Porekar, 2012). The maritime forces interface with many agencies and departments in facilitating a “two-way communications and operational-intelligence sharing for current tasking” (Department of Homeland Security, 2015). Notably, the C2 system for Maritime Homeland Security function with flexibility in providing timely direction and adequate information for sound decision-making. The system leverages national, commercial, civil and the international capabilities in intelligence collection through interdiction and provision of layered warnings and defense. Proper interoperability and connectivity in the maritime command is a key factor. Moreover, the USCG has recapitalized on Deepwater47 forces in efforts to enhance maritime security capabilities with the “Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSST) and Sea Marshals” (United States Coast Guard, 2014). USCG has acquired additional surveillance system in the expansion of national incident management command system. A vital factor in the achievement of the security baseline is embedded in the organization’s multi-year initiatives to look out for cutters, aircraft, and coastal boats to enhance security. As a result, the network-centric command facilitates unified defense and the recruitment and training exercise helps in emphasizing attitudes, tactics, and skills needed to reflect the priority of the missions to expand surveillance, patrolling, tracking and interdiction.

The organization also has leveraged partnerships to mitigate security risks. It organizes and sustains a public-private partnership as well as enhancing corporation in the organization. It strengthens security relations existing among state, federal and local organizations in the creation of a global defense against maritime terrorism. This increases an active participation in the intelligence security operations shielding the nation from this threat. Again, USCG is actively involved in the establishment of multi-lateral and agreed protocols to safeguard the ports (Fong, 2008). Emphasis has been directed at working with the International Maritime Organization to establish international maritime security regime measures that complement the initiatives. Efforts directed at warranting the readiness of the operations involves preparing, equipping and training of its forces for efficiency in conducting surveillance and to executing assigned tasks functionally.


The strategic mission of the USCG directs at ensuring security and safety of the nation's ports. It, therefore, prevents attacks at the ports emanating from terrorism, sabotage, and subversion. Certainly, counterterrorism preparedness and responses require comprehensive, integrated measures of law enforcement. The measures include the closure of security gaps, building of security capabilities as well as training of the personnel. Threat detection tactics such as sensors detection for radiological and nuclear weapons and CCTVs reduce seaport attacks. Increase in maritime security awareness and preparedness measures has helped on enhancing security.


Department of Homeland Security. (2013). America’s 21st century Coast Guard: Resourcing for safety, security and stewardship. Retrieved on September 26, 2017 from

Department of Homeland Security. (2015). United States Coast Guard Has Taken Steps to Address Insider Threats, but Challenges Remain. Retrieved on September 26, 2017 from

Fong, R. (2008). Review of Maritime Security: An Introduction. Journal Of Homeland Security And Emergency Management, 5(1).

Linton, E. (2011). Coast Guard Reliability-Centered Maintenance. Naval Engineers Journal, 123(1), 25-30.

United States Coast Guard. (2014). Doctrine for the U.S. Coast Guard. Retrieved on September 26, 2017 from

United States Coast Guard. (2012). Operation. Washington, DC. Retrieved on September 26, 2017 from

Vardjan, M., & Porekar, J. (2012). Maritime Surveillance Scenario Simulator. International Journal Of Modeling And Optimization, 449-454.

Zukunft F. Paul. (2016). Coast Guard Mission Needs Statement. Homeland security. Retrieved on September 26, 2017 from

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