Defense Contractor Launches Intelligence-Led Maritime Security Program

Published Jul 11, 2012 3:50 PM by The Maritime Executive

Open Ocean provides integrated ship security services

Chenega Federal UK Ltd announced the launch of Open Ocean, its intelligence led, integrated maritime security service.  Led by a defence and commercial engineering professional, Murray Hammick, the service is designed to provide shipowners, operators and managers with a comprehensive program to meet their transit security needs.  The launch is being held aboard the HQS Wellington.

The launch of Open Ocean coincides with the onset of the "Pirate-Season" when the monsoon winds shift to allow the small pirate vessels to take up station astride the busy shipping routes in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. Piracy is a multi-billion dollar problem to the world's shipping operators and threatens the welfare of seafarers around the globe.

“Open Ocean has been developed with input from ship owners, insurance underwriters, flag registries and other maritime professionals to provide an integrated response to the needs of the shipping industry faced with the ever growing problem of having to ensure the security of their crews and ships,” stated Hammick, Managing Director of Chenega UK Ltd.  “Open Ocean is not merely about putting armed teams on ships; rather, it is about stepping back and taking a long-term and strategic view of what it is that individual ship-owners and operators need in order to allow them to carry on their business without interference by unlawful gangs at sea.”

Open Ocean has been working with shipowners to identify their needs and requirements.  Mike Powell, a Master Mariner, former Global Head of Tanker Operations for Glencore’s ST Shipping & Transport and Global Head of Voyage Operations for BP Shipping, has contributed his expertise to the development of the Open Ocean system.  “By addressing the problem as a complete system, Open Ocean brings efficiencies, economies and effective measures to bear down on the problem of piracy,” observed Powell.  “In doing so, Open Ocean frees up shipping operators to focus on moving vessels and cargo around the world in response to their customer's requirements.”

Open Ocean offers a full range of operational capability through intelligence, logistics and operations while meeting national government standard contracting and governance procedures.  It’s primary goal is to minimise the risk of a ship being seen by pirates, focussing on intelligence as the key to risk avoidance.  It provides a fully integrated risk management program with a single point of contact and contract.  Further, it is backed and supported by Chenega Corporation, a highly respected national security and technology corporation

Reflected Hammick: “Open Ocean is, above all, an intelligence led operation which views the use of armed teams as a weapon of last resort-albeit a very necessary fallback option in many cases. Open Ocean allows customers to choose from a range of services from intelligence and routing advice, ship surveys and hardening, through to the deployment of some of the most highly regulated maritime security teams in the industry.”

Powell added:  “Unlike many security providers, Open Ocean is backed by the Chenega Corporation with its significant financial and technical capabilities.  In my experience, it is the logical choice for large and small operators looking for a serious contracting partner able to provide the highest standards of service but also able to support operational capabilities with technical developments in the areas of communications and surveillance.”