Maritime exercise validates essential capabilities

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 26, 2020

NEW ORLEANS — The Port of South Louisiana and the Port of St. Bernard recently conducted their 11th Lower Mississippi River Maritime Security Operations Center Functional Communications Exercise.

Led by Cdr. Eric Acosta (operations) and Lester Millet III (planning), the exercise tested and validated the following target capabilities: Communications, ICS (Incident Command System), Incident Command and Control of the MSOCs, along with Intelligence Analysis / Production.

The very successful 2020 exercise comprised 262 entities, along with 335 individuals, stretching from Lower Mississippi River mile marker 10 near Venice to mile marker 245 near Baton Rouge. Additionally, 104 vessels were contacted within the requested security zone.

Tim Thomasson and his Team at Public Safety Management Group, LLC served as the Exercise Evaluator and will be preparing a detailed After Action Report, identifying major strengths, along with recommended corrective measures for the USCG Sector Area Maritime Security Plan that will be kept on file at Sector New Orleans.

Leaders Acosta and Millet recognized the following agencies for their support and participation: InfraGard Louisiana Members Alliance; Public Safety Management Group (Tim Thomasson); USCG Sector New Orleans; USCG MSU Baton Rouge; USCG District 8 GOM AMSC; FBI New Orleans (Cyber Taskforce & WMD Directorate); NCTC (National Counterterrorism Center); DHS TSA; DHS Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); DHS CISA PSA New Orleans; U.S. DOT FAA; Louisiana State Police LA-SAFE; MTS-ISAC (Maritime Transportation System ISAC); LSU Stephenson Technology Corporation; Tulane School of Homeland Security Studies; CAMO (Coastal & Marine Operators); City of New Orleans NOHSEP; Government of Haiti.

The exercise also saw participation from Emergency Preparedness and Sheriff’s Offices from St. John the Baptist Parish, St. Charles Parish, St. James Parish and St. Bernard Parish.