Maritime Safety and Security Teams:
The half day OPSTAR exercise called for a simulated attack and occupation of an Off Shore Oil Platform within the Santa Barbara Channel and included a no-notice level III activation of the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management as a ‘stress test’ of its infrastructure and technology capacity. The exercise was designed to test regional security and communications protocols and the ability to thwart terrorist attacks on local assets and interests. The exercise took place in Ventura County utilizing security assets at the Port of Hueneme.
|Platform Grace, off the coast of Ventura County|
The Port of Hueneme participated yesterday in the first security drill since the rollout of the Port’s new Maritime Advanced Systems and Technology Lab (MAST) program hosted an Offshore Platform Security Threat Awareness and Response Program exercise (OPSTAR) conducted by the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Asymmetric Warfare and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The research and experimental use of sophisticated radar, video, satellite and telecommunications technologies assisted in the multijurisdictional planning and coordinated communications efforts of the various participating agencies as well as provided maritime domain awareness supporting tactical events taking place on the Offshore Platform, from various points of view including the deployment of maritime special operations forces.
The exercise was deemed a success with the Coast Guard’s LA/LB sector Captain of the Port Captain Jim Jenkins saying, ”This exercise provided a great opportunity for the Coast Guard to work with our security partners at the Port of Hueneme. Our Maritime Safety and Security Teams exercised their capabilities in the scenario while acquiring control of an Offshore Oil Platform, accessing it from the air and the sea."
The Center for Asymmetric Warfare:
The Center for Asymmetric Warfare brought an impressive array of technology to support the security and command and control teams during the event.
The Center for Asymmetric Warfare (CAW) was established in 1999. CAW is a U.S. Navy entity dedicated to supporting U.S. military forces, as well as local, state, and federal organizations, in countering and controlling the effects of asymmetric warfare, and in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Their focus is on training & education, technology evaluation and the execution of complex, multi-agency exercises, expanding on our maritime/port security heritage.
Naval Postgraduate School
In 2008, the CAW joined the Naval Postgraduate School as a satellite division, located at NAS Point Mugu, CA and is aligned under the Research Department. As part of the Research Department, the CAW has the flexibility to operate across the 4 institutes and 4 schools that make up NPS. It also allows the CAW to capitalize on the expertise of their many distinguished alumni, faculty and students that can perform as interns.
The Port of Hueneme:
Port of Hueneme CEO and Executive Director Kristin Decas said, “We are excited to host exercises such as OPSTAR 2013, they advance our newly developed MAST program by fostering ideas, innovation and leading edge technologies for the advancement of ports and the maritime environment.”
- Photos courtesy of Center for Asymmetric Warfare
- Center for Asymmetric Warfare website http://www.cawnps.org/
- Port of Hueneme, California (PRWEB) November 29, 2013