A team of International Port Security (IPS) program instructors from the United States Coast Guard delivered a technical course on the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code to key officials and stakeholders March 23-28.
The International Port Security Program seeks to reduce risks to international and U.S. ports and ships and to facilitate secure maritime trade globally. These reciprocal visits are designed to strengthen Guyana’s port security system and global maritime security, while enhancing our mutual interest in shipping between the United States and Guyana.
More than 35 members of the Guyana Coast Guard, the Guyana Revenue Authority, and the Custom Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) participated in the IPS training. They explored issues such as the role of the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), ship security, surveillance and monitoring, cargo handling supervision, and best practices from other locations.
This course complements a course offered in February 2014 that addressed piracy and other aspects of port security. Together, these engagements form part of a broader United States Coast Guard training and assistance program for Guyanese port security officials being carried out in partnership with Guyana’s Maritime Administration Department.
After the training came to an end, participants took part in an IPS graduation ceremony on March 28. Guyana Coast Guard Commander Otto Porter remarked that the program had been mutually beneficial, specifically citing the value of having representatives from multiple stakeholders in attendance to learn how port security processes can be integrated among a variety of personnel and agencies.
The partnership between the United States and Guyana on port security takes place under the auspices of the broader and more comprehensive regional security partnership known as the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), which was announced by President Obama at the 2009 Summit of the Americas and jointly launched with Caribbean countries in Washington in 2010.
The CBSI includes a wide array of programs addressing maritime/aerial security cooperation, law enforcement capacity building, counter-narcotics efforts, border/port security, firearms interdiction, crime prevention, and at-risk youth. (US Embassy)