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Leaders study port and military community template for national or large scale crisis

LONG BEACH, Calif., March 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Public, military and private sector leaders met to discuss how the Port of Long Beach (PoLB) model of a surface and subsurface situational awareness network can be a template for other ports to help increase America's resilience during the first 72 hours of a national or large-scale crisis.

Hosted by the PoLB, the ReadyCommunities Partnership (RCP) Military Base and Port Community Resiliency symposium was attended by over 60 stakeholders to outline their best practices that harness readily available commercial off-the-shelf technologies to reinforce a situational awareness network that includes suppliers, contractors, vendors, military, law enforcement and first responders.  The main theme was an interest to harness private sector resources to augment the local public sector response capacity. 

"America's resiliency depends upon the commitment to forge public/private partnerships at the local level" stated Doug Drummond, PoLB Board of Harbor Commissioners President. "That commitment is evidenced here today by your working together to help other communities build on what we've learned and practice."

The symposium continues a national series organized by RCP that highlights the importance of America's strategic military base and port communities to national resiliency and how public/partnerships are essential in a climate of increased competition for diminishing resources. 

PoLB's Assistant Director of Security CAPT. Steve Ruggiero (USN Reserve) described plans and progress to further develop its maritime domain awareness picture through collaboration with its partners including the Port of Los Angeles, longshoremen, law enforcement, first responders, and the private sector.  Ruggiero said "The uninterrupted operation of America's 513 ports and 136 military installations is essential to America's economy and resiliency."

RCP advisory board members, Hon. Jim Geringer, ESRI and Tanya Lin-Jones, Sprint reinforced the opening remarks of PoLB executive director Al Moro by emphasizing the value of leveraging existing private sector capabilities to help the military and public sector augment their preparedness and response capacity.

"We work with multiple agencies, corporations and communities each year with our rapid Sprint Emergency Response Team to help stand-up interoperable, short-term, critical communications abilities in exercise settings or in real world disaster support," said Ms. Lin-Jones.  "Communications is the foundation of response and recovery and it's all about building a network of local partners to bridge gaps and practice communicating to prepare for crisis." 

Using ESRI's Virtual Port solution as an example of how technology with open standards and data exchange interfaces can help military base and port communities build a crisis decision-making platform," Gov. Geringer added. "Multiple jurisdictions must work together, in routine times, so that in a time of crisis they can immediately shift to the 72 hour response and recovery initial efforts.  That capability is at the heart of resiliency." 

U.S. Coast Guard Los Angeles–Long Beach Sector Commander, Capt. James D. Jenkins provided the keynote address, stating that "The PoLB has a strong security apparatus with great partnerships, capability and capacity – and its partnerships are built on trust-based relationships and continued interaction working towards a common purpose of keeping it safe and secure and commerce flowing." 

Participants who discussed the best practices of the PoLB model included Richard S. Baratta, PoLB Director of Risk Management; LTC Alex Deraney, US Army Corps of Engineers LA District; David Malin, Port of Los Angeles Emergency Manager; CAPT. Martin Hardy, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach; CAPT. Michael Graychik, LA Port Police; Steve Raganold, Long Beach Fire Department & Port Battalion Chief; Renee Stokes, DHS Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team; Leslie Luke, LA County of Emergency Management; and CAPT. John M. Carroll, USN Reserve and NCAGS Commanding Officer, Pacific Hub, US 3rd Fleet San Diego.

In recognition of the increased competition for limited resources, RCP's national director Rosalie J. Wyatt described the importance of identifying private sector capabilities for filling local-level public sector needs and gaps.

Participants who presented technology-driven solutions included Peter Navesky, US Army Corps of Engineers; CAPT. Kip Louttit, Marine Exchange Southern California; Luis Diaz del Rio, SatLink (Spain); John Carroll, Intelligent Power & Energy Research Corporation; Kurt Worden, Nova Power Solutions; Daniel Connole, Germane Systems; Paul Wood, Pax Mondial; David Sawczuk, URS Federal Services; Margaret Arbini-Madonna, American Red Cross; and Brent Woodworth, LA Emergency Preparedness Foundation.

CIPRR Chairman Jeb Carney described SeaLogic Incubator as a transformative way to foster public/private sector solutions to complement local initiatives in response to situational awareness challenges.

RCP's 2014 National Service and Sacrifice Award for "Innovation and Partnerships" was presented to the Port of Long Beach by Jim Geringer, ESRI and Dan Connole, Germane Systems and was accepted by PoLB Harbor Commissioners Doug Drummond and Rich Dines, and CDR Ruggiero.

The US Coast Guard Sector LA-LB Maritime Transportation System Recovery Unit was recognized with RCP's 2014 National Service Award for "Collaboration and Partnerships" presented by Tanya Lin-Jones, Sprint and Dan Connole, Germane Systems and accepted by CAPT. James D. Jenkins, LCDR Jim E. Hiltz and Security Specialist John Albrough.

Corporate sponsors included ESRI, Sprint, SatLink, Germane Systems and Pax Mondial.  Planning committee members included Rosalie J. Wyatt, chair; CDR Ruggiero, co-chair; Rachel Hamer and Elaine Young, PoLB, Anne Hutton, USACE; Cosmo Perrone & Associates; Chief Raganold; and Kurt Worden.  RCP National Director Rosalie J. Wyatt moderated the event. 

The RCP Military Base and Port Community Resiliency Initiative Hon. Chairman is Sen. Mary L. Landrieu and the Initiative Hon. Co-Chairman is Hon. Asa Hutchinson.

SOURCE ReadyCommunities Partnership/CCROA

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