We have all probably read that five Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSST) are to be dissolved. There is good background in a recent article in The Navy League’s magazine, “Sea Power”.
For those that would like a little more background on the potential threats, here are some links to historical employment of irregular naval warfare:
- Italian Naval Special Forces
- British X-craft
- The Limpet Mine
- Swimmer delivery vehicles/human torpedoes
- USS Card
- Vietnam-era incidents
There were many more attacks in Vietnam. So called “sapper” attacks were fairly common.
GPS and development of technology for underwater work and recreation have made these capabilities much easier to achieve.
I’ve heard statements to the effect that others can do the mission better, but I don’t see anyone else stepping up to do the job, at least not in US ports other than Navy bases.
I have very mixed feelings about the underwater port security mission. It is really almost an impossible job to do with a high probability of success. There are too many potential targets, not unlike trying to protect subways or buses from suicide bombers. It’s a job the needs to be done, but it is most likely to be recognized only when there is a failure.