Following the terrorist attacks in 2001 the Maritime Transportation and Security Act (MTSA) was passed and a series of port security measures were undertaken. NAWE has been a supporter of these many measures to defend against attacks on our maritime transportation system. Measures include: the Coast Guard's Facility Security Plans (FSP), the TSA's Transportation Worker Identification Cards (TWIC), and CBP's Radiation Portal Monitors (RPM) and Non-Intrusive Inspection Equipment (NII). (Cyber security is addressed in a separate issue within the NAWE program.) NAWE members have been engaged at the national level in DHS' National Maritime Security Advisory Committee and at the local level in the Coast Guard's Area Maritime Security Committees (AMSC).
In recent years CBP has not received adequate funding to support its activities and sought authority from Congress to accept contributions from its "partners." This authority has been granted and it appears that this program will be utililized again and is being considered for CBP human resources as well as RPM/NII maintenance and replacement. NAWE continues to monitor this effort, especially in light of the fact that these "partners" are subject to DHS regulation.
NAWE argues that DHS/CBP should establish the funding baseline available for capital and human resources used in performing port security duties. This ensures that a fair and level playing field among competitors for partnerships exists. Where public-private partnerships are formed, the private sector partner ought to have the flexibility to develop new technologies that facilitate more efficient and effective port operations.