Maritime Security Table Top Exercise

The objective of this activity is to assist in developing Jamaica’s capabilities to implement and enforce maritime safety and security legislation and to counter piracy and armed robbery against ships. Under this activity, a team of IMO staff and experts will conduct a table top exercise to determine how best to support Jamaica’s efforts to enhance its coast guard function capabilities for improved maritime security, safety and environmental responses.

The exercise is intended to stimulate discussions and to demonstrate the need for co-operation amongst government departments and agencies, using a range of evolving scenarios to determine respective roles, responsibilities, processes and procedures, and how these may develop, both with respect to routine business, and during an incident. Such scenarios will enable the identification of areas where there may be gaps in current policies, plans, processes and procedures, and where IMO and other agencies might be able to provide better assistance to Jamaica in the future. The exercise will last two days and will allow time for networking and question and answer sessions.

The exercises present a series of possible scenarios which are deliberately varied, ranging from concerns which are easy for a single official to solve, through to others which may well demand more involvement from several departments and which may also require difficult compromises if a solution is to be found. The aim of these scenarios is to use their varied complexity to enable an appropriate senior national committee to develop its decision-making abilities, from basic challenges to complex multi-agency involvement.

Each scenario will start with a simple statement of a situation facing Jamaica`s authorities. It will be progressed by a series of prompts as necessary to keep the exercise moving.

It is important to note that the intention is not to test participants on whether their approach is either right or wrong, as that kind of clarity does not typically exist for these types of events. This reflects the real world and the fact that different countries have different systems and priorities as well as different methods of solving a particular problem together with varying national views of the relative importance of various matters. Rather, each exercise is intended to shine a line on current contingency planning and inter-agency co-operation to identify best practices, as well as possible gaps and mitigation strategies. The generic results of the exercise will inform the development of an improved contingency planning exercise.

All information specific to the country and departments and agencies participating in the exercise will remain confidential.

At the start of the meeting, participants will be requested to provide a brief description of their position and the role of their department or agency in maritime matters.It would be helpful if this could include information related to which other national departments and agencies they work with most closely on both policy and operational matters. These brief presentations should be informal (i.e. no PowerPoint presentations or formal speeches are necessary). Officials will then be guided through various scenarios led by an IMO consultant and a senior member of IMO staff.

At the end of the exercise it is envisaged that conclusions and outcomes will be drawn which will help highlight areas that warrant further development.