POSTED April, 2012
LCDR David Reinhard and LT Joel Ferguson, the Executive Officer and Operations Officer (respectively) of the United States Coast Guard Atlantic Strike Team (AST) accompanied by LT Irvin Jones from the National Strike Force Coordination Center were recently abroad in the Middle East strengthening the National Strike Force’s (NSF) relationship with both the U.S. Navy and member nations of the region’s Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC). "This was a great and unique opportunity to work closely with U.S. Navy Supervisory of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) to showcase our capabilities and work towards a coordinated plan for combined operations in an international setting." Said LCDR David Reinhard.
The Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia and Fifth Fleet Annual Oil and Hazardous Substance Spill Preparedness Workshop and Table Top Exercise was hosted by the U.S. Naval Support Activity in Bahrain. The event provided an exceptional forum to standardize response operations between officials from the various MEMAC member states, private companies, and the U.S. Navy. Member nations included Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Djibouti, and Iraq. Topics of discussion and instruction included proper Navy and regional discharge notification procedures, a Bahrain Petroleum Company response capability brief, a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration spill modeling brief, and several scenario driven group discussions.
LCDR Reinhard provided an National Strike Force capability brief. Special emphasis was placed on funding mechanisms needed to obtain NSF support through either the U.S. Department of State or through the Military Interagency Procurement Request (MIPR) process through the U.S. Navy. The MIPR process would permit the Atlantic Strike Team to deploy abroad in order to support Navy On-Scene Coordinators if the need arose.
LCDR Reinhard also highlighted previous AST international deployments and spoke about the AST’s ability to provide Incident Management Specialists to the U. S. Navy during response operations.
“Establishing relationships with Department of Defense responders and representatives from MEMAC increases the National Strike Force’s visibility in the region. Realistically, no one is going to call an agency they have never heard of to assist in an emergency response overseas. Just being here and speaking to the conference attendees both formally and informally greatly increases our customer’s conceptual linkage between what the NSF is and how we can provide exceptional response assistance - when the time comes.”, said LT Joel Ferguson.
“The World’s Best Responders: Any Time, Any Place, Any Hazard.”