Δευτέρα, 7 Οκτωβρίου 2013

David Stone : Μιλώντας για ασφάλεια στη θάλασσα.

7.10.13

H σελίδα μας πιστή στη προσπάθεια για καλύτερη ενημέρωση και έρευνα σε βάθος, φιλοξενεί σήμερα Δευτέρα 7 Οκτωβρίου σε αποκλειστικότητα, συνέντευξη του κ. David Stone, προέδρου της IAMSP και ιδιοκτήτη της ΑPPDS στο συνεργάτη μας και ειδικό σύμβουλο σε θέματα ασφάλειας Αλέξανδρο Νίκλαν.
Η εταιρεία του στο ναυτιλιακό τομέα, παρέχει συμβουλές και λύσεις για την Άμυνα και την Ασφάλεια των εγκαταστάσεων. Ειδικεύεται στην παροχή υπηρεσιών υποστήριξης από εμπειρογνώμονες έχοντας ένα παγκόσμιο δίκτυο συνεργατών και δραστηριοποιείται ενάντια στη  παράνομη διάδοση φορητών όπλων αλλά και στην τακτική εκπαίδευσης για τις θαλάσσιες επιχειρήσεις ασφαλείας.

David Stone MA MSc BSc is the president of the IAMSP and owner of APPDS based out of London UK and Mombasa Kenya. APPDS provides one-stop consultancy and procurement solutions for Defence and Security establishments. It also specializes in providing expert support services to the various Defence and Government Sectors through its UK and global network of associates.


Within the maritime sector, APPDS has been a leader in the maritime security community, through its efforts against the illegal proliferation of small arms and light weapons. David has also been active in the development and vetting of maritime security courses that include a broad theoretical base and front-line tactical training for maritime security operators.

dstone@iamsponline.org

http://www.linkedin.com/in/appds



A.Niklan:  Good morning Mr. Stone.
We wish to thank you for honoring us with this interview and share your knowledge about Maritime security with the public. It is a security sector which is not clear to the common public, as the areas related to it. To some it is all about armed security guard(s) onboard a ship, preventing hostile actions, to other is just a way to escape unemployment and make some money. Which is the truth? What is in fact maritime security?
D. Stone: Firstly, Good Morning Alex & thanks for inviting me. To answer your question is not easy as the majority of people only know about the anti-piracy efforts in the maritime domain due to the scourge of piracy off the coast of Somalia, Gulf of Aden, Horn of Africa and now the West coast of Africa. Maritime Security is in fact the security of all critical infrastructure in the maritime domain, also anything else that has to do with maritime security e.g., IUU***, chemical and toxic waste dumping and the protection of a state’s infrastructure be that ports, marinas or Oil & Gas platforms.



 A.Niklan:  Would you mind explaining to us what IAMSP is all about and what are its main roles, related to maritime security?
D. Stone: The IAMSP (International Association of Maritime Security Professionals) was founded in 2010 with the intention of standardizing and of obtaining International recognition of the profession of “Maritime Security Operative” within the Maritime Security Domain, Anti-piracy etc.
 As we all know, in the beginning there was, and are still no internationally accredited training regimes for the role of MSO in the private industry. The Association was founded basically to help PMSC’s* use standards that had been checked by an International board of professionals in the, legal use of RUF’s****, minimum manning standards, risk assessments of vessels and to guide the PMSC’s* on how to take care when buying, transporting, embarking & disembarking weapons needed for the protection of vessels, informing them of port state laws, flag state laws and International laws. As laid down in UNCLOS.
Also the reason for the foundation of the IAMSP was to try to weed out the “cowboys” in the industry as it was seen that a vast number of companies in the field were working without the slightest knowledge of what they were doing, having considered that they had probably worked in Iraq – Afghanistan protecting convoys they though that it was the same thing. The quality and mentality of some of the operators and companies, in the early days, were one of shoot anything that presents a threat without even knowing if it was actually a threat.
As the IAMSP stands on the principle that professionalism is based on a person’s efforts and not a companies as such, we started to accept individual memberships for the IAMSP, it was only later that we decided that corporations (companies) could also sign up for this model based on individual membership of a company’s Key Operatives (Full time employees). Our motto is “Advancing Professionalism within the Maritime Security Domain”. I will not go into too much on this as I would need about 20-30 pages to go into any depth on the subject. For any individual that is interested in our work they can check the website at www.iamsponline.org and if they are working in the maritime security domain they can, on request, join the association. Members enjoy many benefits such as free Elearning courses for the proof of continuing education, all standards that are produced by the IAMSP, webinars on themes of interest for the MSO.


A.Niklan: What is your opinion about maritime security at Greece? According to our knowledge, maritime security companies at Greece face numerous challenges which include law implications, action restrictions, and even training problems for their personnel. Would you care to share an opinion about this?

D. Stone: Well Alex, the problems that companies in Greece have are actually problems that companies have worldwide.

·                 -  The legal aspects are as follows, You have company “A” registered, for example, in Greece, the law for Security operatives to work in Greece are laid down in its laws, but as the PMSC’s* are not working in Greece the specifics required for a security license do not apply. They are working outside of the state’s authority.

·                    - They are though working, or should be, within the laws on human rights as laid down in the Geneva Convention and any breach, if reported, would mean that they are liable for their actions.

·                       -  The vessel that the company is working on is flagged, for example, in Liberia; this means that whilst onboard the vessel Liberian laws apply to ALL onboard.

·                          - The protection of the vessel is mostly done by armed security teams. This is also problematic as the buying of the type of weapons need for the security detail cannot be bought in Greece. They must be bought from another country and stored outside of Greece or, and here we approach the legally grey area, rented. The rental of weapons of war, automatic weapons and weapons of large caliber is illegal. Many companies choose to take a so called “guardian’ with them that is responsible for the weapons. The problem here lies within the logical definition “responsibility” how can one (1) person be responsible for 3-4 rifles 24 hours a day ?


·                          -Training here in Greece, as elsewhere is problematic, as there are no Internationally accepted training regimes for PMSC’s* this has led to an abundance of so called “Maritime Security Schools” some very basic, 2 day course – others doing a maximum of one (1) week. It’s one thing to do a refresher course for a professional ex-military person that has at least the knowledge about firearms and another to take a person that has only done his national service and try to train these people as security personnel. I know that some companies will take one experienced person and two that have extremely little, or even no, experience and place them onboard.

Why, because these people are cheaper than fully experienced security personnel. In Greece there are shooting ranges for pistols but none for rifles of caliber 7.62x51 or even 7.62x39. Shooting on the move (Tactical training) is forbidden in Greece. All these factors make it difficult to find the right persons with the relevant experience. This problem is prominent in Greece. How can you train someone properly if the ranges do not exist for the weapons being used? Considering the fact that now all security personnel must have a “Maritime Security Arms competency” certificate, many Greeks will go outside of Greece to obtain them. This is a loss of money for the Greek economy and rather typical of the draconian laws that exist in Greece concerning its arms laws.


A.Niklan:   In the last years we have seen a raise on attacks at oil platform rigs. This causes an international dispute regarding security and safety authority since those platforms is usually in national and not international water. Oil companies prefer to use private security contractors, usually from the maritime security sector, while States contradict that with several law reports (usually domestic ones) and claim that the only Authority should be their coastguard/navy. What is your position on this?
D.Stone: This is a decision for the relevant states that have the O&G installations in their territorial waters. It is legally their decision what kind of armed security they have & most will say they as a state are responsible, whether one likes it or not.
If the rig is outside the contiguous zone (24nm) and in the EEZ***** of that particular country there is usually an agreement reached that private security can be used.



A.Niklan: In some security expert circles there is a rise on discussions for using non-lethal weapons in all security fields which will prevent unnecessary injuries and killings by accident. Their argument is that especially in maritime security, non-lethal weapons will prevent casualties of hostages but also of pirates. However the opposing side says that non-lethal weapons are not easy to confront assault rifles and vest armor that sometimes pirates wear. Would you say that non-lethal weapon usage is only a romantic point of view? Or should Maritime security companies start considering such an option for their personnel?

D.Stone: Alex, to this I can only say never take a knife to a gun fight. The pirates are heavily armed, even to the extent of .50 cal rifles. They are not interested in a fire fight if the vessel has an armed security team onboard but will most definitely attack if they have the slightest inkling that only Less than lethal / Non-lethal weapons are on board. Let’s not confuse this with defensive measures for the vessels though as there are some good defensive measures for the vessel. For information on these measures look at BMPIV


A.Niklan:  In Greece, these recent years there was a small period of time, where people under the pressure of financial crisis started to make applications at maritime security companies, in order to get some extra money, by working as armed security guards onboard ships. What would be the key points according to your opinion that someone should have under mind while he is applying for such a position? Is a job that anyone could do?

D. Stone:Alex, this is not a job for anyone. I have at least 100 CV’s per day asking for work, from that 100 I would say that 5 have a chance of finding work with my company. It is an unfortunate situation in Greece with the economic situation forcing people to basically lay their lives on the line for 50$US a day, as that is what is being paid for these kind of people by unscrupulous companies this is not specific to Greece, poorly qualified persons get less pay in any business. Personally I will not hire anybody that does not have all the necessary papers and experience also under 30’s need not apply.





A.Niklan: As many people know, today Middle East region is under a “hot crisis” where some ships might get attacked by rebels, Islamists and pirates. All of course have their own reasons to do this and States there with their armies and police try to prevent this, but sometimes the only protection between a ship and its crew are the professionals and the actions taken by the Security company, to prevent a serious issue. Would you be able to give us an overview of what a company and personnel should do onboard when this happens?

D. Stone: Alex, up until now and in this present period, apart from the two attacks in the Suez Canal, there have been no attempts by extremists to hijack or destroy vessels. This does not necessarily mean it will not happen, considering that the critical infrastructure of each country is based on large supplies by ship. It could be that in the future they will become targets by extremists as well as pirates. Logistically seen, it is extremely hard for a pirate or anybody for that matter to hit a vessel from a skiff bobbing in the water at 300mtrs. This skiff should have already been seen on the radar by the ship’s crew and / or the security detail long before it gets within 500mtrs and the necessary actions taken both by the crew and security detail. The crew should be in the citadel and with only the necessary crew still on the bridge. The security team will then take whatever action is necessary to stop and deter the attack. This should include an escalation of force until the skiff/s break off the attack or, if they do not then lethal force will and should be used.

A.Niklan: Maritime security as it seems is an area which has been in great demand especially by countries like China which show a great interest while Chinese shipping companies have a growing exporting industry and the easiest way to move their goods is by sea. Same demand seems to be taking place by some Latin countries like Brazil for example. How do you think, the maritime security future would be?

D. Stone: Obviously Alex, if the cargo is high value then the shipping company will have a security detail on board, probably at the request of the insurance company. This also goes for vessels transiting HRA’s** but also if the threat of terrorist attacks becomes more of a reality then I see most vessel having a detachment of armed personnel permanently onboard.
As far as the other aspects of Maritime security are concerned, protection of critical infrastructure, Ports, Marinas, fisheries protection (considering the IUU*** threat), Toxic waste protection, vessels dumping or flushing tanks within territorial waters, all these fall under the topic of Maritime Security and I foresee an outsourcing of these services to the private sector as they are certainly a lot cheaper than governmental services.

A.Niklan: Mr. Stone thank you again for your valuable insight on these matters regarding maritime security and we really hope that most people enjoyed our conversation as we did. Thank you very much again for your time.


Terms:
PMSC*           =          Private Maritime Security Company
HRA**            =          High Risk Areas.
IUU***             =          Illegal Unreported Unregulated
RUF****          =          Rules on the Use of force
EEZ*****         =          Exclusive Economic Zone


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