©1999 - 2013
Edward D. Reuss
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 The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point , New York was the site of the Maritime Academic Security Training Seminar (MASTS). “The purpose the these seminars is to educate in areas of Maritime Domain Awareness, vulnerablilty of United States ships, maritime platforms and maritime interests worldwide, and also regarding vulnerabilities of strategic sites such as ports, infrastructure, bridges, tunnels and other sites.   Finally, to facilitate critical evaluation of possible defenses against terrorist attacks within the US Maritime Domain.”

 This seminar was attended by law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, Secret Service, the NYPD, the Great Neck Police Department, and other local police agencies.   The US Congress has enacted the Maritime Transportation Security Act in recent sessions and now has enacted the Safe Port Act of 2006.   This Act was signed into law on October 13, 2006

Read about the Safe Port Act 2006:

The attention of the Nation has turned to the security of our ports after five years of intense security measures in our commercial airline industry.  Thus, the need for seminars such as this. 

I had the opportunity to attend this seminar with Lieutenant Michael Ryan, NYPD Personnel Bureau, NYPD, who is the Coordinator of the Retiree Mobilization Plan (RMP). The NYPD Chief of Personnel Rafael Piniero and Captain Theresa Tobin, Commanding Officer of the Staff Support Services, were also in attendance.   We were greeted by Captain David B. Moskoff,  MSMMA, who conducted the seminar.   We also met Professor Dapne Fotiades who is on the Staff at the USMMA.

Capt Moskoff, USMMA with Chief of Personnel Rafael Piniero, NYPD

LtoR: Captain Moskoff, Chief Pineiro, Capt Tobin, Lt Ryan

Ed Reuss with Professor Dapne Fotiades, USMMA

Part of the training at the US Merchant Marine Academy prepares Cadets to serve at sea in the area of their academic discipline.   A Bridge simulation room enables experienced mariners to train the cadets in virtual reality settings.  An Engine room also replicates an actual engine room on board ships.  

Capt John Hagedorn, USMMA demonstrates the Bridge Simulation

Chief Engineer Patrick Lancaster explains the Simulated Engine Room. Det Edward M Reuss, NYPD (Retired) in background.

The seminar was held in Ackerman Hall.  
Governor Eliot Spitzer has appointed  Michael Balboni to be Deputy Secretary for Public Safety , the senior security and law enforcement official in his new administration. Mr. Balboni addressed the seminar and stressed the importance of port security.   He recalled the service of the United States Merchant Marine during World War II and subsequent conflicts.

NY State Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Michael Balboni

The seminar featured presentations that reanacted scenarios regarding possible terrorist attacks on our ports.   Anyone who attended the seminar would agree that the security of our ports demands our full commitment. 

LtoR: Dep Sec Michael Balboni and Lt Michael Ryan at the USMMA Seminar

The Cadets of the Merchant Marine Academy reflected pride in their academy by their military bearing and deportment.  We were driven to and from the various academic halls by some of the cadets.  I had the opportunity to meet Midshipman Christopher Megregian who is in his senior year at the USMMA.

Midshipman Christopher Megregian USMMA


 To read more about the security problems effecting our ports and shipping, read the
recently published book: SECURING GLOBAL TRANSPORTATION NETWORKS.  The authors: Luke Ritter, J. Michael Barrett, and Rosalyn Wilson are experts in logistics and transportation issues.   Read about the latest in security technology of containers and cargo.  The use of “smart” containers with electronic seals or container security devices such as RFID (radio frequency identification) or GPS tags whereby security can track and manage container shipments and keep them secure while in transit.
To order this book click on the icon of the book.

I have a personal interest in the United States Merchant Marine. My father sailed with Esso Standard Oil on the tanker SS RW Gallagher.  He was torpedoed and sunk on July 13, 1942.  I wrote a story about the service of the US Merchant Marine.

Read about US Merchant Seamen who lost their lives during WWII
Click here:



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