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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Port Security: Navy maps harbor, channel

Shades of COOP Units: Navy maps harbor, channel :
Underwater vehicles floated Wednesday along the Corpus Christi Ship Channel and Inner Harbor just below the water’s surface, mapping the floor.

The three-dimensional images captured will serve several purposes, including port protection.

The exercise was conducted by the Navy in collaboration with the Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security and Port of Corpus Christi. The channel and harbor are importing shipping gateways for commercial and military cargo.

The topography collected during this week’s exercise will help Homeland Security in the event of a terrorist attack on the channel. The images would help pinpoint where mines might be.
COOP Units? A Cold War concept that seems to be coming back -at least in its goals, if not as units:
Dr. Truver does mention in passing in a couple of his articles that the Navy Reserve used to have units - Craft of Opportunity (COOP) units- that were once engaged in bottom mapping operations in several ports. However, he also notes that the COOP units are now no more. As Dr. Truver puts it:
It has been years since the Navy, as part of its Cold-War port-breakout concepts, conducted routine bottom surveys and mapping of “Q-Routes” to assure safe egress of warships and auxiliary vessels in support of national strategies and war plans.

The Royal Navy has already embarked on such an effort in several U.K. ports. Some experts have proposed resurrecting the ill-fated mid-1990s’ COOP — Craft of Opportunity — program and have Navy Reserve units conduct periodic surveys and sonar mapping of bottoms.

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