EXERCITIUM - EUROPEAN HANDBOOK OF MARITIME SECURITY EXERCISES AND DRILLS
Ports are complex places, covering a wide area with many kilometres of quays and involving hundreds of companies and thousands of people. There are just as many points and times when security may be compromised, either through human error or through malicious intent. We cannot afford not to be thoroughly prepared for such occasions. We can do this only by having detailed Security Plans and by exercising these plans in realistic settings. While theoretical knowledge is important, we have to practice the relevant skills so that we know they will work in an emergency. It is therefore no coincidence that European Regulation 725/2004 requires under ISPS Code Part В para. 18.5 and 18.6 that drills and exercises should be held on a regular basis. Drills have to be conducted at least every three months, testing individual elements of the Security Plan. Exercises should be carried out at least once each calendar year. They test communication coordination, resource availability and response of the several services involved in security. These exercises may be full-scale or live, tabletop simulations and seminars or combined with other exercises, such as emergency response or other state authority exercises. This Regulation points the way for ports and port facilities to learn the necessary practical skills, to test the feasibility of their plans and to be ready for the moment that the plan actually has to be put into operation. These security drills are extremely important because they enable us to gain live experience of the importance of networks between people collaborating across the boundaries between levels and organisations.
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