Riviera Beach, Florida – March 10, 2017 – On Monday, March 13, 2017, South Florida’s Regional Domestic Security Task Force will conduct Operation Guardian, a full day of training, safety and security exercises at the Port of Palm Beach.
The eight agencies participating in the Operation are: the Department of Homeland Security, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Riviera Beach Police Department, West Palm Beach Police Department, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Miami-Dade Police Department and Miami Police Department.
Every seaport is required to conduct full-scale security exercises once every 18 months and drills once every 90 days, according to the Maritime Transportation Security Act. By conducting Operation Guardian, the Port of Palm Beach strengthens its resolve in upholding its mission to prevent, deter, respond and recover from acts of terror or aggression, while giving assets within the region the opportunity to train on complex and rigorous missions.
In addition to the hundreds of personnel from eight law enforcement agencies, 120 actors will also be on-site to assist in executing the various training scenarios. The agencies will conduct hostage situations and active shooter sequences in the Maritime Office Building (MOB). Actors depicting a protest will be staged in front of the Maritime Office Complex (MOC), along the cruise terminal entrance. Additional training scenes, such as an assault on a vessel and a hijacking of a city bus, will also be conducted at the Port.
Even the newest Port Commissioner on the Port of Palm Beach Board will lend her acting skills to the Operation. Commissioner Katherine M. Waldron will pose as a hostage during one of the assault exercises in the MOB.
“Operation Guardian is a splendid example of eight agencies working alongside each other to enhance the security of our Port,” noted Manuel Almira, PPM, Executive Director of the Port of Palm Beach. “These exercises will reflect the best possible training effort to secure our Port facilities.”
Missions for Operation Guardian are scheduled from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm on Monday. The primary staging area for specialty vehicles and personnel conducting the Operation is the Jim Barry Light Harbor Park, located at 1800 Broadway in Riviera Beach. Those vehicles will transit to and from the Port along Broadway. Aviation and maritime assets over land and water, in and around the area of the Port, are also expected. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s vessel, Grand Celebration, will not be docked at the Port during these exercises on Monday.
About Port of Palm Beach
Port of Palm Beach is a full-service, diversified port, offering cruise and cargo services to more than 30 onsite tenants and users. At 162 acres, the port’s efficiency is unparalleled, processing more than $7 billion in commodities, 2 million tons of cargo and 480,000 cruise passengers annually. More than 2,850 people are employed by the Port of Palm Beach and its tenants, making it one of the largest employers in Palm Beach County. Through the contribution of more than $185 million in business revenue and $17.5 million in tenant-contributed state and local annual tax revenue, the Port of Palm Beach is one of the largest economic engines in South Florida. For more information, visit www.portofpalmbeach.com.