Secretary Napolitano highlighted the Department's progress in 2011, emphasizing the major steps the Department has taken this year to enhance America's capabilities to secure the nation's borders and ensure maritime security.
- DHS and DOS announced the creation of an annotated version of the B-1 visa—issued to foreign citizens visiting the U.S. for business purposes—that will make foreign maritime workers eligible to apply for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). The TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric identification credential that maritime workers must obtain in order to be eligible for access to secure areas of maritime facilities. Over two million workers have enrolled in the TWIC program to date.
- DHS issued the Small Vessel Security Strategy Implementation Plan, providing guidance to reduce the potential risks posed by the nearly 17,000,000 vessels that weigh less than 300 gross tons, including recreational and commercial craft that operate routinely in close proximity to critical infrastructure and large commercial vessels and facilities.
- The USCG began production of the fifth National Security Cutter, representing an important step forward in the Coast Guard's efforts to recapitalize its aging surface fleet and generating more than 1,000 American jobs per year.
- DHS unveiled an unprecedented cross-component Maritime Operations Coordination (MOC) initiative to enhance the Department's coordination capabilities when responding to threats against the U.S. and its interests. This initiative - which will strengthen planning, information sharing, and intelligence integration for maritime operations among the USCG, CBP, and ICE - was jointly signed by USCG Commandant Admiral Robert Papp, Jr., CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin, and ICE Director John Morton.
- DHS and FLETC signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Regional Maritime Law Enforcement Center at the Port of Los Angeles to provide training for federal, state and local agencies involved in maritime operations and strengthen security at regional ports and waterways.
- In August 2011, the Coast Guard conducted a full scale exercise on the Great Lakes, bringing together 70 partner agencies - federal, state, local, U.S. and Canadian - to respond to a simulated terrorist attack on a ship on the Detroit River between Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario.
- The Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement leads the interagency effort to address the emerging threat of fully submersible vessels which are drug smuggling submarines that are often difficult to detect and monitor. This year CNE and S&T launched the “Submersible Interdiction Technology Challenge,” a program designed to engage government-affiliated scientists in creating a viable technology that can safely compel a submerged vessel to the surface and keep it from resuming operations.