JIS News

Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), Rear Admiral Peter Brady, says that Jamaica stands to benefit from increased collaboration with the United States (US) navy and coast guard to strengthen security on the seas.
Rear Admiral Brady was speaking at a maritime security seminar held recently at the Hilton Kingston hotel, which was organised by the US Naval Forces Southern Command Maritime Liaison Unit for Latin America (MARLU LATAM) in association with the MAJ.
The event aimed to heighten the awareness of industry players about some of the regional challenges and threats and to foster better public/private participation and cooperation between the shipping industry and regional maritime forces.
“This is a new initiative of the US navy to reach out across to the shipping industry in order to network, and for us to ably prepare ourselves for maritime security threats, which… are a reality and do exist,” Rear Admiral Brady said.
Noting some of the critical security challenges affecting the island’s maritime industry, he mentioned the inability to receive timely ship alerts and communicate pre-arrival information, and the general inadequacy in communication across the relevant government agencies.
The MAJ Director General is hopeful that the strengthening of relations between the US Navy Southern Command and Jamaica will put a significant dent in the drugs for guns trade between Jamaica and Haiti.
“We hope that with the improving relationships with the US navy and coast guard, we will be able to understand the problem some more and be able to apply some corrective measures,” he stated.
In the meantime, newly appointed Commander of the Southern Command, Fourth Fleet, Rear Admiral Victor Guillory, has promised to lobby for greater capability on the ships deployed throughout the region to counter illicit trafficking.
“I want you to rely upon me to be one of the contributing partners to respond in the region as quickly as we can with all of the forces we can provide from the sea. I know the capabilities exist and we’ll get them down here,” he pledged.
The US Navy Commander is optimistic at the prospect of building linkages with the relevant local authorities to ensure safer seas.
He said that the Fourth Fleet will be focusing on exchanging information and promoting cooperation among the US navy, the regional forces and the shipping industry.
Topics covered at the seminar included Global Maritime Information Sharing Initiatives and Programmes; Trends in Illicit Maritime Trafficking; and Global and Regional Maritime Policy Update.
Participants included representatives from the Department of Public Prosecution, Shipping Association of Jamaica, and Caribbean Maritime Institute; freight forwarders, custom brokers and agents; the military; as well as graduate students pursuing courses in security.

Skip to content