[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Government in collaboration with the United States Coast Guard carried out the country’s national level maritime port security exercise and evaluation.
The exercise is intended to test and evaluate the response, efficiency and preparedness of the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Fire Service, the Guyana Ambulance Service and the Guyana Coast Guard should there be an attempted act of terrorism in the country’s internationally recognised port facilities.
The exercise was conducted at SOL’s port in Agricola. Dwain Nurse, Chief Port Security Officer, explained that it was a national exercise required by the International Port and Security Code. The codes states that all ports handling international ships are required to conduct such an exercise at least once a year, but not exceeding eight months.
The exercise focused on the transporting of arms to Berbice for a “criminal” in Agricola who had infiltrated the officers at the base. The moving of weapons by water method was chosen by the “criminal” due to increased patrols on the East Bank Demerara and West Coast Berbice.
The evaluation phase of the exercise would see the US Coast Guard Service and the Guyana Government assessing the outcome and fine tuning the methods of application of the agencies participating.
Eric May, of the US Coast Guard, International Port Security Programme explained that they were invited by Government to evaluate the exercise. Noting that it was going well, he added that since the implementation of the Code, a security plan was required by all ports which must be tested.
He noted that testing Guyana’s plan, in addition to Government’s response is the best move with Government capturing the lessons learnt and improving the process.
Upon successful completion and evaluation of the simulation exercise, Guyana would now be declared prepared strategically to handle security emergencies at all international port facilities. [Extracted and modified from GINA]