Simulation exercises are proving to be a valuable tool to assist countries and port authorities to prepare for a wide range of potential threats and security situations. An interactive port facility/port security officer workshop in Panama City, Panama (13-14 December) presented a series of possible scenarios which were deliberately varied, from the easiest problems to solve, to others that may require greater participation and analysis to reach a solution.
Participants discussed the needs, possibilities and opportunities to improve collaboration between them and other responsible actors for port and maritime security in Panama, both at the port level as well as at the national level. The outcome is improved capacity for better prevention and response. Analysis and evaluation of results will be carried out to inform future strategies, with recommendations summarised in a final report, shared with the Panama Maritime Authority and all ports in the country.
This pilot simulation exercise during the workshop was jointly delivered by IMO and the Organization of American States Inter American Committee Against Terrorism (OAS-CICTE). This activity will assist member states in the development of the capacities of their Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) for the application and enforcement of local legislation in relation to the different threats or situations related to maritime and port security that the PFSOs face daily in ports where they develop their activities. The intention is to roll out the course in other Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS), through a collaboration between CICTE and Inter-American Committee on Ports (CIP) of the OAS and IMO.