SANTA RITA, Guam — Jose D. Leon Guerrero Commercial Port, also known as the Port of Guam, is among several Western Pacific entities that receive federal grants under the Port Security Grant Program ( PSGP) of 2022 to ensure supply chain resilience in Guam and the Mariana Islands.
Guam will receive $564,218 from the PSGP. The PSGP is one of four Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency grant programs that focuses on strengthening the nation’s critical transportation security infrastructure.
The objective of the PSGP is to provide the necessary funds not only to state partners, but also to local, territorial and private sector partners to strengthen security measures and the resilience of critical maritime infrastructures and to strengthen threat preparedness.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Marine Administration also awarded Guam $5.7 million in grants under the U.S. Highway of the Sea program in early October. The Jose D. Leon Guerrero commercial port is Guam’s only deepwater port and receives approximately 90% of the island’s imports. It offers facilities and services to vessels of all registers and strives to become the world-class container terminal port in the Western Pacific region.
“We are thrilled for our Port of Guam partners, and these awards are timely. The region we operate in is referred to as the Blue Continent of the Pacific, emphasizing that the ocean connects hundreds of diverse communities,” said Captain Nick Simmons, Commander of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia and Harbor Master. “The eyes of the world are on this region, and it has never been more evident how vital our ports are to our way of life – our economic security and our prosperity.”
The PSGP is vital to maintaining a modernized and secure port supporting the uninterrupted flow of commerce. Regional health, security and prosperity are inextricably linked to the maritime flow of goods and services, particularly realized in the Pacific islands. This program is one of the ways the U.S. Coast Guard works with private and public sector partners to protect the regional maritime transportation system from disruption, cyber-enabled or otherwise.
“October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which may seem vague but requires our attention. We need to protect our critical infrastructure from all threats, including those in the digital realm. We are adding capabilities here in the industry, including including a cybersecurity expert, a critical capability to better support our regional partners,” Simmons said.
In late September, members of the U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Area Guam, Government of Guam, and industry partners conducted a successful annual large-scale maritime security training exercise in the port of Guam. This exercise prepares Federal, Territorial and Industrial Area Maritime Security Committee partners to respond to security threats affecting Guam’s maritime transportation system and surrounding critical infrastructure. The scenarios included:
• Simultaneous cyber incidents in multiple port facilities.
• Coordinating response efforts during an island-wide loss of communication.
• Simulated response to suspected terrorist activity.
• Changes in the level of maritime security.
• Establishment of a Unified Command to manage the various intervention efforts.
“Recently the Port invited us to celebrate its 47th anniversary,” Simmons said. “The main event was a mixed team tractor-trailer pull for the weather. There were seven teams and the Port Police won the top prize. What cheered me up the most was seeing our members of the Coast Guard stepping in to make a difference when a few teams needed another person. This mirrors what we know to be true here, this thing only works if we come together as a team to cross the finish line.
More information about the Port Security Grant Program, including who can apply, deadlines, and program requirements, can be found at the FEMA Grants Webpage at Port Security Grant Program | FEMA.gov. Additionally, information regarding past PSGP grant recipients can be found on the FEMA Grant Programs Management Newsletter webpage at Grant Programs Management Newsletters | FEMA.gov.
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