MLL to Join US Maritime Stakeholders in Second Annual Joint US Agency-Industry Counter-Piracy Summit

MLL to Join US Maritime Stakeholders in Second Annual Joint US Agency-Industry Counter-Piracy Summit

Maersk Line, Limited (MLL) will join other U.S. maritime stakeholders in the second annual Joint U.S Agency-Industry Counter-Piracy Summit in mid-December.

Representatives from the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Homeland Security, Defense and Justice will join industry officials in a piracy simulation designed to strengthen overall coordination between all stakeholders by rehearsing for an actual pirate hijacking situation. Attendees will explore roles and responsibilities for responding to pirate attacks against U.S. flag vessels. They will also discuss current policies, protocols, procedures and decision-making processes and identify areas for improvement. The event is organized by the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute (HSSAI), a federally funded research and development center, in conjunction with the U.S. Maritime Administration and Coast Guard.

“Joint simulations like these are vital to anti-piracy efforts. When we work through a situation before it happens, we’re aligned and more prepared if it were to happen,” remarked Captain Gordan Van Hook, a retired Navy Captain now serving as a Senior Director at MLL. “From the first inter-agency exercise, government personnel seemed to find value in our lessons learned, and we gained a better understanding of the government’s modus operandi in these events. It seemed that all parties came away more confident in the face of a potential piracy incident.”

MLL will represent the U.S. maritime industry perspective again at this year’s simulation. Last year, MLL was invited to participate in the first of these events, held at The Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) in Maryland. This year’s interagency anti-piracy simulation continues MLL’s practice of informing maritime policy makers and stakeholders on issues of piracy prevention, response, and resolution.

Anti-piracy is a real and ongoing issue for MLL. In April 2009, its ship, the MAERSK ALABAMA, was boarded by Somali pirates, and the ship captain was taken hostage.

MLL also contributes its insights to broader policy areas, such as Indian Ocean policy through the Stimson Center. Our crews still face the threat of piracy; MLL vessels sail near the Horn of Africa, a pirate hotspot, so MLL remains engaged with government organizations thwarting piracy.

Naval Today Staff , December 06, 2011