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Press Release | Sept. 15, 2023

Florida Keys Area Maritime Security Committee members join forces for Full-Scale Security Exercise

KEY WEST, Fla. – Members of agencies forming the Florida Keys Area Maritime Security Committee completed a full-scale security exercise in the Port of Key West, Thursday.    

The exercise focused on a simulated a mass rescue operation in coordination with a local passenger ferry.  

During the exercise, agency members practiced rescue and recovery of people in the water, transport, and care of those who were critically injured, accounting for all brought ashore, verifying security increases at local waterfront facilities, and crisis communications.

Participating agencies included:    

  • Coast Guard Sector Key West
  • Coast Guard Station Key West
  • Coast Guard Investigative Services
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation     
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air Marine Operations
  • Naval Air Station Key West
  • National Weather Service Key West
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Monroe County Emergency Management
  • Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
  • Monroe County Fire and Rescue
  • Key West Port Director
  • Key West Police Department
  • Key West Fire and Rescue
  • City of Key West Transit
  • Lower Keys Medical Center

"This was a great opportunity to work with all of the stakeholders throughout the Florida Keys to practice responding to a complex security incident,” said Capt. Jason Ingram, Coast Guard Sector Key West commander. “It is the tremendous partnerships between federal, state, and local agencies in Monroe County that allow us to respond together, quickly and effectively, to emergencies of any size and nature.” 

"An exercise scenario like this,” said Key West Emergency Manager Division Chief Gregory Barroso, “ensures that we are ready in the case of a real emergency. It’s especially vital here in the Keys that we provide a quick and efficient response to any kind of disaster. This week’s exercise was a success in that it allowed us to work as a team with our partner agencies."

The exercise resulted in lessons learned to help members of the responding agencies improve their ability to respond to a real-life scenario. It is one of many exercises that members of the Florida Keys Area Maritime Security Committee conduct throughout the year to verify and improve their emergency response capabilities with port partners. 

- USCG -