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Pennison to Head LMR Strategic Security Council - Monday, July 7, 2014

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 security.

"It’s 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 leadership role.”

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.


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