Moran Shipping, NMLEA, & NASBLA Form Strategic Alliance

By The Maritime Executive 09-13-2011 07:43:21

In the continuing effort towards the fight on terrorism and the ability to provide heightened awareness, training and education on the maritime home front, the National Maritime Law Enforcement Academy announced a new strategic alliance with two of the top maritime organizations in the country.

In a ceremony held in Washington aboard the Presidential Yacht, U.S.S. Sequoia, representatives from the NMLEA were joined by members from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the Moran Office of Maritime and Port Security (MOMPS) to create the new security and training alliance.

United States Coast Guard, Senate and Congressional members that back a public private alliance to make our waters, ports and harbors safer were also in attendance.

To enhance their programs, NASBLA and MOMPS worked on creating the alliance with the NMLEA as a way to enhance and to add to their programs.  A major part of that is the ability to offer the state-of-the-art online training program PortStar through the NMLEA.

The PortStar online training system is the fruits of a $6.2million Department of Homeland Security grant program in conjunction with Florida State University and is the nation’s only comprehensive maritime security curriculum with flexible delivery options and online training management.

The unique features of the PortStar program, combining the creative use of technology, flexible delivery methods and expert support, coupled with pricing strategies designed to ensure substantial savings for subscribers and exceed all U.S. Coast Guard and MARAD requirements.

In addition to their advanced and improved tactical operations, the NMLEA also provides training and education in critical incident response to catastrophic events, as well as providing the PortStar online training program.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit organization based in Lexington, KY that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety and delivers professional training and development to maritime law enforcement and first responders at the federal, state and local levels of government.. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories.

The Moran Office of Maritime and Port Security MOMPS provides a wide range of security services - exercises, security plan management, inspections, analytical work, fisheries enforcement, anti-piracy, force protection and many other innovative services and equipment – that are not currently offered in the Maritime Security arena. Their approach provides real-time cost-effective solutions with boots that are always on the ground and ready to act in all 361 U.S. ports and globally. 

Executive Summary: Portstar Project

The Academy

The National Maritime Law Enforcement Academy is a non profit organization headquartered in Washington D.C.  Through its extensive network of highly experienced professionals with superior credentials in security, intelligence, law enforcement and maritime operations, NMLEA has been a leader in providing education and training for law enforcement personnel and others in the critical infrastructure industries located on or near the maritime environment.  In addition to advanced/improved tactical operations, NMLEA also provides training and education in critical incident response to catastrophic events invoking the National Incident Management System (NIMS). 

In the wake of 9/11, seaport security received long neglected, critical consideration.   The United States has 361 seaports and more than 3200 waterside facilities handling 99% of U.S. overseas trade by volume (61% by value), accounting for approximately 25% of U.S. GDP.  The U.S. Congress began by enacting the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.  Subsequent legislation, as well as regulatory and administrative rule-making provide the framework for required seaport security training in the U.S.  Internationally, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization adopted the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, providing substantially similar training requirements for the 160 nations presently signatory to the ISPS.  
In October, 2005 the Department of Homeland Security awarded a grant to The Florida State University (FSU), Learning Systems Institute to design an online and instructor-led port security training program that would effectively enable federal, state and local law enforcement, and port facilities to comply with the statutory and regulatory requirments.  

The PortStar Project

NMLEA has partnered with EDG to launch the PortStar System commercially after the conclusion of the grant period, August 1, 2010.  NMLEA has secured the exclusive right to market, distribute and provide training under the PortStar System, both domestically and internationally. 

The unique features of the comprehensive PortStar System, combining the creative use of technology, flexible delivery methods and expert support, coupled with pricing strategies designed to ensure substantial savings for subscribers - who must provide minimum training certification - will ensure immediate, favorable market penetration. 

In addition, pursuant the Safe Port Act of 2006, DHS is required to allocate $235,000,000 to port authorities, facility operators and state and local government agencies to enhance port security.  DHS places a high priority on training and restricts those grant monies to MARAD/ Coast Guard approved curricula and instructors, minimum requirements that the PortStar System meets and exceeds.

In addition, in anticipation of potential delays in payment by those subscribers relying on federal grant monies, additional sources of short term financing will be available after formal launch of the PortStar Project.


There is no more noble cause than to strive to better prepare those who serve and protect our citizens and way of life here in the United States, and those who share our ideals and hopes of freedom and peace.  NMLEA remains committed to enhancing education and training, and thus increasing the level of security, at maritime facilities here and abroad.  This program will enable the successful launch of a truly necessary element of our national security strategy, a program that has been certified, tested and proven effective.