Office of Security

The Office of Security (MAR-420) supports the U.S. maritime transportation system, the U.S. Merchant Marine, and other elements of the U.S. maritime industry by facilitating the development and implementation of effective maritime security policies, procedures, practices, statutes, and training to protect U.S. citizens and maritime interests from maritime security threats including piracy, terrorism, criminal activity, and cyber-attack. We provide maritime security information and advisories for U.S.-flag vessels, serve as the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) principal coordinator for maritime domain awareness matters, function as the DOT lead within the interagency Maritime Operational Threat Response crisis response and coordination process, serve as a key facilitator between maritime industry and government agencies, and provide expert maritime security advice and assistance on issues involving the global maritime transportation system.

MARAD Advisories

MARAD Advisories rapidly disseminate maritime security information, warnings, and advice on time sensitive matters pertaining to U.S.-flag vessel operations. MARAD Advisories are distributed by the Office of Security to vessel masters, ship operators, and other U.S. maritime interests; are transmitted via satellite to ships at sea; and are published on both the Maritime Administration’s web site and in the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Weekly Notice to Mariners.

Maritime Domain Awareness

The Office of Maritime Security serves as the support staff for the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) Executive Agent (EA).  MDA is the effective understanding of anything associated with the maritime domain (e.g., navigable waterway, maritime-related activities, infrastructure, people, cargo, and vessels) that could impact the security, safety, economy, or environment of the United States. As such, the Office of Maritime Security supports and promotes creative initiatives to enhance MDA to facilitate the safe and secure flow of commerce in accordance with the National Maritime Domain Awareness Plan of the National Strategy for Maritime Security.

From a transportation perspective, the Office of Maritime Security actively seeks ways and means to insure a resilient, integrated U.S. maritime transportation system.  We work collaboratively with industry as well as local, State, tribal, territorial, and other federal agencies to develop and encourage best practices and innovative methods to protect our ports, vessels, and mariners so they can reliably and resiliently meet the economic needs of our Nation.  We also strive to serve as a catalyst among maritime interests to develop an environment in which partners can embrace and achieve a common objective of obtaining and sharing appropriate information to enhance commerce in support of a secure and reliable maritime transportation system.

Office of Maritime Security MDA coordination activities include participation in the National Maritime Intelligence Integration Office (NMIO) Interagency Advisory Group (NIAG), the CANUS (Canada-US) MDA Roundtable, and several other interagency and international MDA bodies involved in enhancing understanding and cooperation on MDA issues.

(Click here for Additional MDA information and resources)

Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act Training Provider Certification Program

Under the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) of 2010 (Public Law 111-207), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Coast Guard, and MARAD cooperatively established model training standards covering crime prevention, detection, evidence preservation, and reporting of criminal activities in the international maritime environment.  The Act allows MARAD to certify security and safety training providers who provide training consistent with the model standards.  Under this MARAD certification program, organizations wishing to have cruise vessel security and safety training programs certified by MARAD as consistent with the model standards may voluntarily submit their programs to MARAD for review.  This voluntary certification program will assist organizations in ensuring the safety and security of cruise ship passengers traveling to and from American ports.

Click here for information on how to become a MARAD Certified CVSSA Training Provider and for additional information about MARAD’s CVSSA Training Provider Certification Program.

Anti-Piracy / Anti-Terrorism

As required by the Piracy Suppression Act of 2012, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) developed the curriculum on Training for Use of Force Against Piracy.  This curriculum was approved by both the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security and was certified by the Secretary of Transportation in 2013.  The maritime industry is encouraged to incorporate this curriculum when providing instruction to United States mariners.  Recent history has demonstrated that a properly trained and ready security force is one of the most effective means for commercial vessels to prevent a successful pirate attack.

Click here to view the training curriculum, Training for Use of Force Against Piracy.

Click here to view additional counter piracy resources.

Maritime Security Training

This program was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard on September 30, 2014. For information, click here.

Port Security Grant Program

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) supports the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the allocation of federal grants to State, local, and private sector maritime industry partners as a means to enhance port security throughout the United States.  This program involves a Federal and private shared-cost arrangement administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  For additional information on the Port Security Grant Program, click here.

Cyber Security

Maritime Cyber Security represents another area of focus for the Maritime Administration (MARAD).  The Office of Security works with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and others to share cyber security resources and best practices with the U.S. maritime industry and shares maritime industry’s cyber security concerns with appropriate government agencies.

See the links below for more information on maritime cyber security.


Cameron T. Naron
Director, Office of Security
(202) 366-1883

Kimberly Brown
Office of Security
(202) 366-9363

Quintin Ellis
Office of Security
(202) 366-5906

Christopher Owsianiecki
Office of Security
(202) 366-0223