Tuesday, April 27, 2010

U.S. Coast Guard - Terrorist Watch

The U.S. Coast Guard paid a visit to the Irvine Spectrum Rotary Club to inform the members and guests about the potential for terrorism, specifically to the Los Angeles and San Pedro ports. Coast Guard officer, Commander Matlin and Auxiliary Coast Guard member, Captain Jacobs (also the former president of the Whittier Rotary Club) spoke about the importance of civilian vigilance in keeping an eye on the 95,000 miles of shoreline, 300 thousand square miles of waterway, 6,000 bridges and 361 ports of call in the United States.

Captain Jacobs shared the need for everyone out on the water to work as partners in fighting terrorism via small crafts and boats. Captain Jacobs also displayed the primary goals of terrorism: to weaken and disrupt daily life and cause a nation to live in fear. He also stated that since 9/11 many Americans have lived with their heads in the sand, refusing to recognize the threat of terrorism.

America shares three international borders with Canada, Mexico and Russia (via Alaska), making the U.S. a target for small vessels, which provide access to IEDs, weapons of mass destruction, small arms, biological and nuclear weapons. Jacobs stated, “We need to develop the Israeli / British mind-set toward terrorism – it is part of our life.” In addition, the U.S. needs to develop a fast recovery that defeats the terrorist objectives, as terrorists gain power by disrupting our way of life. As we found out this past weekend, there are individuals here who wish to do Americans harm.

“Trust your gut,” says Jacobs. After viewing a short movie and message from the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Jacobs gave the Club the following number to call if anyone sees suspicious activity in the water: 877-24WATCH. However, if you see something very concerning, call 911. For more information on how you can be a partner with the U.S. Coast Guard go to: http://www.uscg.mil/top/missions/M_Security.asp