Maritime anti-terrorism at the crossroads of national security and homeland defense.
As the vessel clears the Gold Star Bridge, it is met by two Coast Guard vessels, a patrol boat and a small boat, which assume escort duties that are aimed at enforcing the naval vessel protective zone around the submarine.
When the submarine approaches Race Rock, the vessels are alerted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Multi-Threat Analysis Center and Coast Guard Maritime Intelligence Fusion Center of a potential threat. Terrorists, who have access to small boats, may be in the vicinity.
Both the submarine's commanding officer and the Coast Guard patrol commander will be faced with questions should the terrorists mount an attack on the sub.
On the surface, the roles in this scenario are clear-cut. They are based on a series of messages between commander Fleet Forces Command, and Coast Guard Atlantic and Pacific Areas since September of 2001. The Coast Guard, as the patrol commander, would engage and neutralize an attempted attack. The submarine commander, as tradition and regulations have dictated since the days of sail, would exercise a right of self-defense and respond accordingly to protect his boat.
Yet, this simple scenario illustrates an issue that has been studied and discussed extensively for the past two years, noted officials. Discussion has ranged from the highest levels of both the Defense and Homeland Security Departments, to the offices of the National Security Council, to the halls of Congress, and within the U.S. Northern Command's headquarters. At issue is how do the homeland defense and homeland security duties contribute to enhanced protection of national assets in the territorial seas of the United States.
The lack of an official joint homeland defense vs. homeland security interoperability definition has added to the debate.
Homeland security, for example, is addressed in the National Strategy for Homeland Security, as "a concentrated national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur," while homeland defense is defined on the Northern Command's website as the "protection of U.S. territory, domestic population and critical infrastructure against military attacks emanating from outside the United States."
From training and conducting preparations for deployments, to operations, to developing common doctrine and tactics, techniques and procedures, anti-terrorism is a focus of synergy. It is an area where the Sea Services--Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard--are joined at the hip on any given day It is an area that stands to provide a workable foundation to start the facilitation of a resolution of homeland defense vs. homeland security.
A September 17, 2001, message that was written by the four primary operational commanders in this scenario--Coast Guard Atlantic Area, Commander Atlantic Fleet, Coast Guard Pacific Area and Commander Pacific Fleet--provided a foundation for homeland defense and homeland security interaction by articulating the procedures for high value unit protection and escort.
The Coast Guard and Navy have jointly defined high value units as "USN/NATO Aircraft Carriers, submarines and Military Sealift Command (MSC) Sealift/Pre-Positioned vessels carrying ammunition or other critical cargo."
This definition along with standing joint processes puts in motion the first of several critical homeland defense/homeland security links.
This anti-terrorism team effort, which provides protection to Navy, happens anywhere from 30 to 40 times a month, from Naval Station Bangor in the Pacific northwest to Naval Station Norfolk on the East Coast. Both services are operating on agreed upon operational orders.
The number of activities that are contributing to the synergy of anti-terrorism efforts seems is growing. One of the biggest, and most visible areas is training.
Perhaps the best example is the U.S. Coast Guard Special Mission Training Center, located along the North Carolina coast, at Camp Lejeune. Hosted by the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard runs this center, and has several special warfare combatant craft qualified Navy expert instructors on staff. Focused on maritime security operations, Coast Guard personnel instruct not only members of their own service, but also Navy personnel, preparing them for possible real-world deployments in the United States and overseas. The courses taught at the center have crossover benefits. The over-the-horizon rigid hull inflatable boat and transportable port security boat courses are equally important to all services. The inflatable boat, for example, is a significant "power projector" for the Coast Guard, especially in law enforcement.
The Center for Anti-Terrorism and Navy Security Forces is another example of homeland defense/homeland security anti-terrorism intersection. Designated as one of the Naval Personnel Development Command's new learning centers, the command has the responsibility to develop and deliver individual learning solutions to meet fleet forces command and type commander anti-terrorism mission requirements. The new command's mission includes development and maintenance of the new five-vector model for the master-at-arms rating to chart career milestones, growth opportunities and the skills required for professional development. The center is also developing individual skills learning solutions to supporting the merger of the afloat and ashore anti-terrorism training continuum.
Besides training, cooperation was evident in the realm of force protection. For example, USCGC Dallas, a 378-foot high endurance cutter, home ported in Charlestown, S.C., and eight island-class patrol boats were identified for deployment and began a very short-fused process to prepare using guidelines from commanders of the Fifth and Sixth Fleets.
Dallas, and the cutter's operational commander--Coast Guard Atlantic Area--knew that training was needed immediately to meet the Sixth Fleet commander's requirements. This training would need to be executed as quickly as possible, since current Coast Guard onboard anti-terrorism requirements are not quite as robust as the Navy's.
The center for anti-terrorism and Navy security forces understood the training issues and worked with Coast Guard Atlantic Area and the cutter's senior leadership to help fill the gaps, which in retrospect could be considered a proof of concept for future interoperability.
Feedback from both the Dallas and the patrol boat crews was that the training support provided by the center helped to prepare the cutter to meet all fleet requirements. This is proving to be a step forward in the synergy that occurs daily in the execution of the anti-terrorism mission.
Coast Guard officers are now routinely invited to Navy courses to discuss such topics as service capabilities, the naval vessel protection zone, maritime safety and security teams, and Navy/Coast Guard use of force policies.
More efforts are under way which will bridge homeland defense and homeland security. Both Navy and Coast Guard leaders are addressing this critical challenge. This coordination proved to be valuable guidance during the strategic on-load phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom in which more than one piece of intelligence was briefed between the homeland defense and homeland security providers, which ensured both forces had the best possible maritime domain awareness. The common objective of anti-terrorism can help serve as a bridge without blurring operational, tactical or legal issues.
Capt. Bill Daniels, a 1977 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, is the commanding officer of the Center for Anti-Terrorism and Naval Security Forces. Joe DiRenzo, a 1982 Naval Academy graduate, is a Coast Guard Atlantic area anti-terrorism coordinator.
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|Author:||Direnzo, Joe, III|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2005|
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