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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Haiti: Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) in operation

Missed this earlier, but the U.S. Maritime Administration announced in an advisory - ACTIVATION OF US NAVAL COOPERATION AND GUIDANCE FOR SHIPPING
Date Issued: Feb 02 2010
To: MARINERS
Subject: HAITI: ACTIVATION OF US NAVAL COOPERATION AND GUIDANCE FOR SHIPPING

1. THIS MARAD ADVISORY PROVIDES GUIDANCE FOR TRANSITTING TO OR FROM HAITI AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
2. IN PERIODS OF CRISIS, CONFLICT, NATIONAL EMERGENCY OR WAR, NAVAL AUTHORITIES MAY DIRECT THE MOVEMENT OF MERCHANT SHIPS (INCLUDING ROUTING AND DIVERSION) SO THAT THEY MAY BE BETTER PROTECTED FROM CRISIS CONDITIONS AND HOSTILIITES AND NOT INTERFERE WITH POSSIBLE ACTIVE NAVAL, JOINT OR COMBINED MILITARY OPERATIONS OR BE BETTER PREPARED TO ASSIST WITH HUMANITARIAN RELIEF EFFORTS. THE NCAGS ORGANIZATION IS THE PRINCIPAL US RESOURCE TO CARRY OUT THIS FUNCTION.
3. NCAGS PROVIDES NEAR REAL TIME INFORMATION OF THE MERCHANT SHIPPING PICTURE TO OPERATIONAL COMMANDERS. THIS HELPS ENSURE THE SAFE PASSAGE OF MERCHANT SHIPPING AND THE SAFETY OF NAVAL VESSELS.
4. SHIPPING COMPANIES ENGAGED IN DISASTER RELIEF TO OR FROM HAITI AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC OR ENGAGE IN INTERNATIONAL TRADING WITH THESE COUNTRIES ARE REQUESTED TO HAVE VESSEL MASTERS PROVIDE A REPORT TO THE SHIPPING COORDINATION CENTER, NAVAL OCEAN PROCESING FACILITY DAM NECK, VA PRIOR TO ENTERING THE REPORTING AREA.
THE REPORTING CENTER CAN BE CONTACTED 24/7 BY PHONE (US)
***
REQUEST ALL MERCHANT VESSELS MAINTAIN THEIR AIS TRANSMITTERS IN TRANSMIT MODE (I.E., LEAVE TURNED ON) IN THE VICINITY OF HAITI IN ORDER TO ENSURE VESSEL SAFETY AND TRAFFIC SEPARATION.
SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT. NAVAL COORDINATION WITH MERCHANT SHIPPING IS ADVISORY ONLY. MERCHANT SHIP PARTICIPATION IS VOLUNTARY.
5. COMMUNICATIONS REPORTING GATES (CRG) HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED TO COINCIDE WITH THE OPERATIONS AREA BOUNDED BY: 018N TO 020N, 072W TO 075W. FOR THIS VOLUNTARY 96 HOUR NOTIFICATION, REPORTING VESSELS ARE REQUESTED TO TRANSMIT DATA IN THE FOLLOWING FORMAT:
SECTION A – SHIP DATA:
(1) SHIP'S NAME.
(2) INTERNATIONAL CALL SIGN.
(3) TYPE OF VESSEL.
(4) FLAG OF REGISTRY.
(5) IMO NUMBER.
(6) PORT OF REGISTRY.
(7) LENGTH OVERALL.
(8) VESSEL'S WIDTH.
(9) MAXIMUM DRAFT FOR PRESENT VOYAGE.
(10) VESSEL’S GROSS TONNAGE.
(11) SPEED:
(a) SERVICE SPEED.
(b) MAXIMUM SPEED.
(c) MINIMUM SPEED.
(12) SIGNIFICANT APPEARANCE OF VESSEL FOR OPTICAL RECOGNITION.
(13) MMSI (MARITIME MOBILE SERVICES IDENTITY) NUMBER.
(14) NAME OF COMMUNICATION STATION BEING COPIED.
(15) INMARSAT TELEPHONE NUMBERS.
(16) INMARSAT FAX NUMBERS.
(17) INMARSAT TELEX NUMBERS.
(18) INMARSAT DATA NUMBERS.
(19) OTHER COMMUNICATION MEANS INCLUDING E-MAIL ADDRESSES.
SECTION B- VOYAGE DATA
(20) INTENDED MOVEMENT – DESCRIPTION OF PASSAGE
(21 LAST PORT/COUNTY OF CALL INCLUDING ACTUAL DATE AND TIME OF DEPARTURE FROM LAST PORT.
(22) NEXT PORT OF CALL INCLUDING ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL (ETA) AT NEXT PORT OF CALL.
(23) CURRENT POSITION.
(24) DATE/TIME AND POSITION ENTERING THE REGION.
(A-X)) WAYPOINTS OF INTENDED TRACK THROUGH AREA OF OPERATIONS (DATE/TIME-LATITUDES/LONGITUDES).
(25) POSITION AND DATE/TIME OF DEPARTING THE REGION.
SECTION C – OPERATOR DATA:
(26) NAME OF SHIP OWNER/OPERATOR INCLUDING ADDRESS OF SHIP OWNER, NAME OF CHARTER (IF ANY) AND ADDRESS OF OPERATOR/CHARTERER.
(27) EMAIL ADDRESS OF THE ABOVE.
(28) TELEPHONE NUMBER OF ABOVE.
(29) FAX NUMBER OF ABOVE.
SECTION D – CARGO DATA
(30) QUANTITY AND NATURE OF MAIN/RELEVANT CARGO.
(31) SHIPPERS OF MAIN/RELEVANT CARGO(NAME AND ADDRESS).
(32) ORIGIN OF MAIN/RELEVANT CARGO.
(33) CONSIGNEE OF MAIN RELEVANT CARGO.
(34) FINAL DESTINATION OF MAIN/RELEVANT CARGO.
(35) [RESERVED].
6. IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE VOLUNTARY 96 HOUR NOTIFICATION, MASTERS OF VESSELS BOUND FOR HAITIAN PORTS ARE REMINDED TO COMPLY WITH HAITI PORT AUTHORITY (APN) 72 HOUR ADVANCE NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENT. THE FORM AND INSTRUCTIONS CAN BE FOUND AT THE APN WEBSITE AT: HTTP://WWW.APN.GOUV.HT/IMAGES/TELECHARGEMENTS/NOTIFICATIONDARRIVEE.DOC.

7. NATO HAS RELEASED A NON-CLASSIFIED PUBLICATION “ATP – 2 (B) VOL II – NAVAL CO-OPERATION AND GUIDANCE FOR SHIPPING MANUAL (NCAGS)- GUIDE TO OWNERS, OPERATORS, MASTERS AND OFFICERS.” THE VOLUME IS AVAILABLE FOR ALL MARINERS TO DOWNLOAD AT: HTTP://WWW.SHIPPING.NATO.INT/.
8. REQUEST ANY HAITI HUMANITARIAN CARGO BE SHIPPED WITHIN STANDARD 20-FOOT TEU CONTAINERS TO FACILITATE OFF-LOADING AND TRANSPORTATION. REPORT ANY SPECIAL OFF-LOADING NEEDS OR REQUIREMENTS SUCH AS REQUIRING USE OF CRANES PRIOR TO ARRIVAL.
9. FOREIGN VESSELS INBOUND TO HAITI ARE HIGHLY ENCOURAGED TO USE AGENTS LISTED ON THE AUTORITE PORTUAIRE NATIONALE (APN) WEBSITE (WWW.APN.GOUV.HT).***
For those of you unfamiliar with NCAGS, see here for some background.

NCAGS has been known by a couple of different names since it began - including Naval Control of Shipping (NCS) and was part of the system established to set up convoys to resupply forces abroad. The goal in more recent times has been to help deconflict commercial and military shipping in regions where operations might cause interface issues. A good description (now found at the link above):
Co-operation between the military and civilian sectors, rather than control, is the way ahead. NCS has now developed into new project known as Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (a mouthful which is also known by its more user friendly acronym ‘NCAGS’). NCAGS is dedicated to providing advice, guidance and assistance to enhance the safety of merchant ships and support military operations – on a global scale. It is an ambitious, but realistic, project.(from a speech by Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, 24 Oct 2002)
The U.S. and many allied navies maintain officers (generally reservists) trained in NCAGS operations.

Why invoke NCAGS? Take a look at the image above which shows the roadstead at Port-au-Prince. The red arrow points to the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) and the 3 circles (more or less) indicate other ships, both U.S.Navy and USNS involved in the recovery operations. As you might see, those 4 ships take up a good deal of space and the arrival of other ships, unless carefully planned might create some sea space conflicts.

Why 20 foot containers? (TEU means 20 foot equivalent units, by the way)
Because they fit on the U.S.Navy barges:

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