The Coast Guard Commandant says we need a new approach to counter the risks of the small vessel threat in our ports and on our waterways.
In keeping with the traditions of the sea-going services, I generally start my day with a hot cup of coffee. For the past several years, I have been drinking from a mug with the crest of the USS Cole (DDG-67) on it. I received it as a gift when I was the Coast Guard's Seventh District Commander in Miami, Florida, and the Cole visited Fort Lauderdale prior to her deployment and port call in Yemen. It's a fine mug but more important, the Cole 's legacy provides me with a clear reminder of one of the gaps in our nation's maritime homeland security strategy: the potential exploitation of small vessels by terrorists and smugglers of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), narcotics, illegal immigrants, and other contraband.