“Our focus is not naval stuff; it’s maritime stuff,”
he said. “What trends can emerge out of the mari
time domain or the maritime transportation system?
Those could be asymmetrical terrorist threats using
ships as weapons or shipping nasty cargo like WMD
[weapons of mass destruction] or weapons or illicit
drugs, human smuggling and so forth. We do a lot of
unclassified outreach and engagement across the feder
al interagency, across state and local law enforcement,
with academia, with private industry — mainly the
maritime sector — and international partners to pro
mote information sharing of maritime data to enhance
global maritime security.”
The three major departments with stakes in MDA
have appointed executive agents for the effort. The sec
retary of the Navy is the Defense Department’s (DoD’s)
executive agent for MDA; likewise the commandant
of the Coast Guard for DHS, and the maritime admin
istrator in the Maritime Administration, or MARAD,
for the Department of Transportation (DOT). Each of
these agents have appointed principals down the chain
of command for the MDA ESC.
“Our job, as we come together, is to make sure that
we appropriately share that information with each
other and we bring down all the policy, legal, statutory
barriers to information sharing to improve on mutual
MDA,” Beaton said of the MDA ESC.
Each of the principal stakehold
ers has different priorities in MDA.
“DHS and the Coast Guard con
centrate, primarily but not entire
ly, on maintaining secure national
borders and offshore approach
es,” Blaney said. “This includes
the Exclusive Economic Zone of
the continental U.S., Alaska and
Hawaii, and our territories through
out the world. Since our policy is to
act on issues as early and as far
from the United States as possible,
we concern ourselves with events
and people that may be thousands
of miles from the U.S. One area
where the Coast Guard differs from
some of our partner agencies is that
we consider MDA essential for the
effective prosecution of all of the
Coast Guard’s missions, not just
“From my perspective, I actively
seek ways and means to ensure
a resilient and integrated U.S.
maritime transportation system,”
said Kimberly D. Brown, maritime
domain officer for MARAD and its MDA ESC deputy.
“We work collaboratively with industry, government
agencies, academia and international partners to devel
op and encourage best practices and innovative meth
ods to protect our nation’s ports, vessels and mariners.
We strive to serve as a catalyst among diverse maritime
interests to promote the sharing of appropriate infor
mation to enhance commerce, maritime security and
reliability of the maritime transportation system.
“Since 2014, MARAD and the MDA ESC have
embarked on a number of informationsharing initia
tives that bring a more ‘wholeofgovernment’ approach
to the table when addressing maritime threats, espe
cially when addressing issues of symmetric or asym
metric threats,” Brown said. “A more streamlined and
efficient U.S. Maritime Alerts and Advisory Process has
been formulated to more rapidly inform U.S. maritime
interests of global threats in the maritime domain.
The Maritime Administration ensures that MARAD,
DOT and privatesector stakeholders are appropriately
informed of relevant MDA resources and new devel
opments. Upon request by other DOT or interagency
partners, we engage with maritime industry partners to
ascertain their views and MDA needs.”
Brown said MARAD meets with the security officers
of ports and shipping companies to discuss their needs.
Cyber security was the focus of one recent meeting.
29 WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / DECEMBER 2016
A security officer stands the watch at the Port of Long Beach, Calif., the
second-busiest container port in the United States after the Port of Los
Angeles, which it adjoins. The Maritime Domain Awareness Executive Steering
Committee has embarked on a number of information-sharing initiatives to
bring a “whole-of-government” approach for addressing maritime threats to
protect the nation’s ports, vessels and mariners.