Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

September 5, 2007

Nuclear Defense Reaches Out to Small Boats

Filed under: Port and Maritime Security,Radiological & Nuclear Threats — by Jonah Czerwinski on September 5, 2007

This is a placeholder post for lack of time today. DNDO and the Coast Guard announced today the West Coast Maritime pilot.  This effort builds upon the Securing the Cities initiative and the recent feat by DHS to outfit and train all Coast Guard boarding teams with nuclear detection capabilities. 

Seattle and San Diego made the list for this pilot due to the massive flow of small boats making use of these domains, the significant military installations there, and the proximity to international borders.

The main purpose of this new pilot is to create more effective coordination among the defensive efforts at the international, national, and state/local levels by creating a framework for the deployment of detection capabilities, training, response protocols, and alarm resolution.  Following is an excerpt from today’s announcement:

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) announced today the West Coast Maritime pilot program that will provide maritime radiation detection capabilities for State and local authorities in Washington’s Puget Sound and California’s San Diego areas. The three-year pilot program involves the development of a radiation detection architecture that reduces the risk of radiological and nuclear threats that could be illegally transported on recreational or small commercial vessels. The pilot will be conducted in close coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection.

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1 Comment »

Comment by William R. Cumming

September 6, 2007 @ 2:20 am

Curiosity killed the cat! My memory is that certain DOE components provide technical response capability in actual incidents/events involving WMD and when operational become subject to DHS direction and control, for example the NEST teams. What do we know of the formal arrangements between DHS and DOE for this operational transfer when needed, the verification of DOE capabilities by DHS of the assets, and when actually deployed the persons, units, organizations, in both DOE and DHS that provide everything from command and control, to plume evaluation, PARs (Protective Action Recommendations), entry and re-entry decisions, decontamination, monitoring, and of course the always necessary perimeter control for access and egress, and finally cleanup? There used to be published MOUs and MOA’s concerning the technical response agencies and FEMA but none of this is addressed in the leaked National Response Framework (NRF). Is this the black hole of response?

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