John L. Pennison, Deputy Port Director of the Plaquemines
Port Harbor and Terminal District has been named President of the Lower
Mississippi River Port-wide Strategic Security Council (PSSC).
The PSSC was established by the five lower
Mississippi River deep-water ports in 2002 to provide cohesive security around the
combined 300-mile port system. The Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal
District, Port of St. Bernard, Port of New Orleans, Port of South Louisiana and
the Port of Baton Rouge comprise the busiest port complex in the world.
Enhancing individual port security and
aligning the region with coordinated port security is the mission of the
organization. Ports continue to improve visual and radar surveillance of
approaches to the ports and facilities utilizing specialized detection and
response equipment. Utilizing similar emergency command and control centers, such
as Command One recently delivered to the Plaquemines Port, has enhanced coordination.
Regional training and exercises, along with consistent credentialing and
communications helps to keep operations in sync providing the highest level of
"Its an honor to have been selected to
lead the Security Council, said Pennison, a 10 year veteran of the PPHTD. "I
have seen many enhancements to port security throughout the 5 port complex and
we will continue to strive to make our ports safe for our employees, shippers
and constituents who reside in close proximity to port facilities, he added.
The coverage area extends up
to two miles on either side of the river and encompasses over 200
Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA)-regulated facilities within the
ports security layer. Ports use both local and federal resources to pay for
security improvements and equipment and part of the role of the PSSC is to
insure that ports are aware of grant funds and their intended use, as well as
application requirements and procedures.
"I am extremely proud of John and the work
he has done not only for our port, but for the entire region, said Sandy
Sanders, Executive Director of the Plaquemines Port. "As we work on building out
our port, security will always be a priority. John has a reputation for working
well with his peers and I certainly understanding why they chose him for this
The PSSC is an Area Maritime Security
Council established by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 and
provides an industry/government framework working along with the US Coast Guard
on security issues in the ports.