The California Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime), a campus of The California State University, today announced it has received a three-year, $1 million grant from the Governor's Office of Homeland Security. The money will be used to guide the development and implementation of statewide standards for maritime security training, drills, and exercises for vessels, port facilities, harbors, maritime companies, and other organizations involved in moving freight to and from our nation's harbors.
"If you're training someone as first responder, the federal Office of Domestic Preparedness has training and assessment standards, but there's one little problem: they don't address maritime settings in a comprehensive multifaceted way," said Dr. Don Zingale, vice president for academic affairs at Cal Maritime. "There hasn't been a lot of attention paid to the breadth and depth of maritime domestic preparedness training needs, either at the federal or the state level. We are pleased that our Governor's Office of Homeland Security has not only recognized this need, but has also chosen Cal Maritime to guide the efforts that will establish statewide, multidimensional maritime security standards for training, drills, and exercises."
Zingale added that the grant will provide necessary operating funds as well as support the appointment of a maritime security director and associate director for the campus, both of whom are expected to be in place by fall. In addition to the standardization efforts, Cal Maritime project personnel will assist the Governor's Office of Homeland Security in related maritime security undertakings as appropriate.
The $1 million grant award falls on the heels of another major maritime security related announcement for the campus. Last month, Cal Maritime received the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration's (MARAD) approval on new security training courses offered through Cal Maritime's Continuing Education Department. Cal Maritime -- which developed the three-day courses for vessel security officers, port facility security officers, and company security officers -- is only the second training organization in the country to be certified by MARAD as meeting the requirements of the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) and the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) International Ship and Port Security Code (ISPS).
"Our goal is to be a one-stop shop for maritime security training needs, which are based on standards that we helped develop," added Zingale.