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Attention-getting warnings for the port security


Mr. Alp Kırıkkanat, Director of the Security Systems Department, Paragon Incorporation, share his insights into port security highlighting its close relation to training, budget and experience. Employing additional personnel and training them properly, seems to be more complex than providing security systems for security at ports, he notes.

The assymetric warfare has been continuing since 11 September 2001, Twin Towers Attack        in New York according to many security experts and analysts. Is that true ? I think no. I can only say that it is essential that everyone woke up on 11th of September though it is thought that. However there are many examples of asymmetric warfare from the world history before 11 September 2001. But the meaning and the results of the 2001 attack are enough to affect the national and international policies of the states and international organizations.

The security of the entry and exit points of the country and security importance initially came to the agenda again after the attack. The ports are also one of these important points. In this context; the security management generally covers the loss prevention, the security risk management and the security policy implementations. It means that we should focus on how and where we are going to protect the critical assets taking into account the measures.

The many measures taken at many ports remind one-legged or one-armed pirates. While the physical measures at the land area are at the high level, it is obvious that there are not any efficient measures for the threats from the air zone and the sea surface/underwater or there are some partial deficiencies at these areas. We can state the main problem as the reluctance to invest in the equipments and the personnels. The security systems on each area for the ports are very expensive. For instance, it is expressed that the port security system valued over only 53 million US dollars to safeguard customer cargo, port users, as well as transnet’s own port assets, staff and contractors at the Port of Durban of South Africa in 2016.

As a matter of fact, nobody can deny the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code of 2004 dictations as to provide the developments of the port security. The physical security should be able to draw upon expert assistance in relation to the methods used to cause a security incident and assaults. All these methods should be thought and stated in Port Facility Security Assesment. If there is not any specially allocation for the adequate pay to install the systems, it does not matter and the result will not change though you determine the methods.  

It is the great importance to determine which methods can be used to attack to cause a security incident within the scope of the above mentioned considerations. The each of many terrorist groups have disparate military capabilities and strategies. The security systems must cover their all intendments and there should not be any cripppling measures. The main problem at this point is to determine the threats and the measures for the possible threat ridden area of the air zone, sea surface or underwater beside the land area by the constrained budget. Although you know all the assault methods, you need to have the Diver Detection Sonars, the Harbour Surveillance Systems and the Drones or the Counter Drone Systems.

The another problem is to employ the additional personnel trained well and is more complex than providing the security systems. The extra systems may cause increasing the incumbents number. Even though you detect a contact from your diver detection or drone system, you may need to dispatch the incumbents who are in charge of the intervention in the threats.

Finally the security is directly linked to training, budget and experience. The intelligently and flexible planning by paying atttention to the budgetary goals and the cost estimates will provide the good consequences for the measures against the assymetric attacks to cover all areas determined as the threat ridden area for the port security.

Written by Alp Kırıkkanat, Director of the Security Systems Department of the Paragon Incorporation

The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.

About Alp Kırıkkanat

Most of his professional life time was on board minelayers, minesweepers, auxiliary and frigate.  Starting from electronics maintanance officer to final step security manager in Turkish Navy.  Also served as the project officer, the teacher and the inspection manager at many headquarters. Latest position was the security manager of Istanbul Shipyard Command. Finally, retired in 2011 in order to take part in private sector with his all experiences. He is in charge of the Security Systems Department of the Paragon Incorporation.

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