Securing the northern maritime border through maritime domain awareness
Westling, Jeffrey C.
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Since September 11, 2001, both the United States and the Canadian governments have established plans and initiatives to improve maritime domain awareness (MDA) in their nations' ports and maritime approaches. Agencies entrusted with maritime homeland security for the United States are challenged to push detection, identification, and surveillance of maritime threats away from the U.S. shoreline. In the Great Lakes region, the proximity of the U.S.--Canada border complicates these efforts. A system-wide approach to homeland security on the Great Lakes is needed. Creation of a formal U.S.--Canada joint organizational entity with full-time representation from each federal agency, state, and province adjoining the Great Lakes would establish a binational MDA common operating picture while facilitating a timely, effective flow of information, intelligence, and resources. This research project describes the unique maritime homeland security issues confronting the Great Lakes, discusses requirements to achieve complete MDA and establish a common operating picture (COP), and reviews several models currently utilized for binational and port-centric collaboration. Finally, it recommends combining the port-centric concept of interagency operations centers required by the SAFE Port Act of 2006 with binational collaboration into a system-wide approach for a Great Lakes Maritime Operations Center.
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