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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
Telephone: 843-577-8121 • Fax: 843-577-8127 • e-mail: EDhand@scspa.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5/20/2008

Port of Charleston Selected for Pilot Seaport Security Training Module

Charleston, SC - The S.C. State Ports Authority is wrapping up a pilot seaport security training program at the Wando Welch Terminal this week.

The Port of Charleston was selected as one of two test sites for a pilot course, which, once certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will provide a comprehensive curriculum on the knowledge and skills required by those in a secure maritime environment. Florida State University's (FSU) Learning Systems Institute (LSI) was awarded a grant by the DHS to design, develop, and implement a turnkey training and performance system to support national port security efforts by reaching all port stakeholders.

The initial courses for Law Enforcement Officer, Law Enforcement Supervisor, and Port Employee began in March at the Port of Charleston. Participants offered real-time, relevant feedback to the course designers for inclusion in the final version of the courses being tested this week. After Thursday's final Port Employee course, and certification by DHS, these courses will be made available nationwide at no charge to the training program's users. Each lesson is designed to stand alone and be taught in 15 to30 minute blocks. The courses address all training requirements specified by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), Coast Guard, and the SAFE Port Act of 2006. Participating in the courses were SCSPA Port Police, Georgia Port Authority Port Police, Project Sea Hawk and Coast Guard. In addition to the three courses being piloted at the Port of Charleston, the comprehensive program will include training for: Security Officer, Security Officer Supervisor, First Responder, Port and Facility Management, and Facility Security Officer. Observing throughout the training are MARAD, DHS, and FSU senior officials.