Securing the Homeland – From the Seas

Go Lean Commentary

Continuing with the series on Security Intelligence, this commentary – 2 of 3 from the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean – focuses on the Caribbean Sea and adjoining waterways. It addresses how we can optimize Security Intelligence (Naval/Coast Guard and police-crime issues) emanating from the seas so as to better secure our Caribbean homeland. All the other commentaries in the series covered these details:

  1.   Securing the Homeland – From the Air
  2.    Securing the Homeland – From the Seas
  3.   Securing the Homeland – On the Ground

Each commentary relates to the Caribbean security apparatus being promoted in the Go Lean regional empowerment effort. They consider the short-term, mid-term and long-term needs of our communities.

cu-blog-securing-the-homeland-from-the-seas-photo-4The 1,063,000 square miles of the Caribbean Sea are very important to our economic wellbeing, in addition to the banks and straits surrounding other islands in the Atlantic Ocean like the Bahamas, Bermuda and Turks & Caicos Island. There are fishery issues, commercial shipping, mineral extraction, pipelines, cruise lines and personal boat-based tourism (yachting, sailboats, etc.) issues. Island-hopping is an important activity for visitors.

The promoters of the book Go Lean … Caribbean wants to protect these activities and the homeland in general. We want to ensure that all our stakeholders – residents, tourists, trading partners – are safe and secure within our borders, on our waterways and within our Exclusive Economic Zone. This would fulfill our implied Social Contract, where citizens surrender some of their natural rights in exchange for additional protections from the State. The normal Social Contract would authorize the Caribbean member-states to deploy Naval operations and Coast Guards. The Go Lean roadmap extends the Social Contract further, empowering the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) and its security apparatus … for a CU Navy.

cu-blog-securing-the-homeland-from-the-seas-photo-5For Security Intelligence related to the seas, the focus is not only on human “bad actors”; sometimes the nemesis is Mother Nature.  As related previously, the Caribbean region must be ready for when “Crap Happens“. The qualifying incidences include events and hazards that pose a ‘clear and present danger’ to everyday life for Caribbean communities. So in addition to terrorism-related events like piracy and economic crimes like fishery encroachments, the Caribbean security apparatus must also include an Emergency Management operation. This covers the communities for “911 dangers” like “Search and Rescue” plus regional catastrophes; which includes natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes/tsunamis, volcanoes, floods, etc.), industrial incidents (chemical & oil spills), and sea-bourn bacterial & viral pandemics; think “red tides”.

The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation. This implementation would allow for the establishment of a technical efficient Navy – bleeding with cutting-edge systems and technologies – incorporating the existing Navies and Coast Guards of all the member-states. This allows for greater leverage and economies-of-scale.

Naval operations are costly to maintain; it is prudent to spread this large cost across the wider (wholesale) base of 42 million people in the 30 member-states. In addition to the pure economic metrics, the Go Lean roadmap also allows for smart, efficient and agile deployments; (lean = agile). But the focus of this commentary is not so much on naval hardware (ships, sub-marines, piers and docks), as it is a focus on software: Intelligence Gathering & Analysis, un-manned vessels, positioning and surveillance systems, like radar, GPS and e-LORAN.

These executions are a BIG deal, not just for the world of nautical arts  & sciences, but also for the Caribbean historicity. Nautical failures have always plagued Caribbean maritime operations. In a previous blog-commentary, the practice of “Shipwrecking” was exposed, reflecting a bad community ethos that permeated the region at the time. The encyclopedic details are as follow:

Shipwrecking was the practice of taking valuables (cargo) from a shipwreck which has floundered close to shore; this evolved into what is now known as “marine salvage”. While wrecking is no longer economically significant, this practice was in itself an industry as recently as the 19th century in some parts of the world, and a mainstay in many Caribbean economies. The Caribbean islands, waterways and ports have to contend with a lot of hidden water hazards, like reefs. So this industry thrived on the uncertainty of shipping, (before better navigational tools and systems), but also created their own pro-wrecking incidents and threats, like false lighting and sabotage.

This history helps us to appreciate the need for good nautical intelligence.

  • Where are the ships/vessels?
  • Where are they going?
  • How do they plan to get there?

These simple questions can mean life-or-death. We have the unfortunate experience, just this past year, of the cargo ship El Faro, that sank of the coast of the Bahamas in the middle of a quickly developed storm, Hurricane Joaquin. See details of the incident in the VIDEO here and the full news story in the Appendix below:



VIDEO – Search for survivors of cargo ship that disappeared during Hurricane Joaquin –

Posted on October 5, 2015 – U.S. Coast Guard Captain Mark Fedor addresses journalists about the search for survivors of El Faro, the cargo ship that disappeared during Hurricane Joaquin. The Coast Guard now believes the ship has sunk, but the search continues for survivors. Video by Walter Michot (

This type of incident should NEVER happen again under the CU regime. Modeling the Air Traffic Control eco-system, the CU mandate is to know the geo-position of every vessel (of a certain tonnage) in the Exclusive Economic Zones of the Caribbean Seas.


How do we gather this intelligence from the Caribbean Seas? Considering that maritime satellites are already in place, and weather forecasting is already a mature ‘Art & Science’, here are 3 additional deployments embedded in the Go Lean roadmap slated for the Caribbean Seas region:

Lighthouses This 300 year old technology of a physical lighthouse is now anachronistic. With satellite-based GPS, there is no need for a flashing light to distinguish a coastal destination. This is not the case for virtual lighthouses, where a unique radio signal may constantly ping so as to establish the location. The location is established by triangulating 3 distinct signals. The CU will install e-LORAN virtual lighthouses all along coastlines in every Caribbean member-state. These sites will identify their locations and also gather radar & surveillance data of all passing vessels, then report the data back to the Unified Command & Control Centers for Maritime Operations. See encyclopedia details on e-LORAN in the Appendix below.
Buoys Modeling the successes of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US, the CU will deploy advanced buoys that broadcast atmospheric data in short range burst to nearby vessels, plus transmit the data back to Maritime Operations Centers. The American example provides for dynamic data from these buoys to be uploaded to searchable websites, like this example here: See Photo of Buoy website below.
Unmanned vessels While there is a jockeying for position in the race for unmanned self-driving cars on land and unmanned aerial drones in the air, there is also an “arms race” for autonomous ships. A strategy of a wide network of connected unmanned boats conducting continuous surveillance on the Caribbean Seas will enable tactical management within the Unified Command & Control structure. See Photo of Ghost Ships below.


Ghost ships - Autonomous cargo vessels without a crew

Gathering nautical intelligence does not have to be a covert activity. This could simply be the law: every vessel – over a certain tonnage – must register with Caribbean maritime authorities when entering our waters. We must have a physical or virtual transponder to recognize them on regional radar and surveillance systems.

The previous submission in this blog series describes that the regional security pact must be instituted with a legal treaty – Status of Forces Agreement – at the launch of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. This treaty also enables the establishment of the CU Navy and an accompanying Marine Expeditionary Force to facilitate the region’s security interest. In addition, the roadmap details the width-and-breadth of a complete Intelligence Gathering & Analysis Apparatus. Nautical data – of every ship/vessel in the area – adds to the intelligence gathering.

Imagine the presence – on radar – of a ship that has not registered its transponder – suspicious.

The Go Lean book asserts there is a constant ‘clear and present danger’ on the Caribbean waters. There is the need for remediation and mitigation. This point is pronounced early in the Go Lean book with the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 11 – 12) that claims:

v.    Whereas the natural formation of our landmass and coastlines entail a large portion of waterscapes, the reality of management of our interior calls for extended oversight of the waterways between the islands. The internationally accepted 12-mile limits for national borders must be extended by International Tribunals to encompass the areas in between islands. The individual states must maintain their 12-mile borders while the sovereignty of this expanded area, the Exclusive Economic Zone, must be vested in the accedence of this Federation.

x.    Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices … to assuage continuous threats against public safety.

xii.   Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

xvi.  Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes, including piracy and other forms of terrorism, can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

The CU Security/Defense Pact establishes the Homeland Security Department with jurisdiction over the 30 member-states and the Exclusive Economic Zone. Even though there will be the need for collaboration with the formal Armed Forces of the US and their Coast Guard, the CU must take the lead for the region’s security apparatus, in support and defense of the region’s economic engines. In fact, the Go Lean roadmap stresses its prime directives with these 3 statements:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy and create new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines and the Caribbean homeland.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The requirement for the Status of Forces Agreement, to empower our security apparatus, is “Step One, Day One” in the Go Lean roadmap. The Go Lean book details the series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to provide the proactive and reactive public safety/security in the region and the Caribbean Seas:

Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – Consequences of Choices Lie in Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Privacy –vs- Public Protection Page 23
Community Ethos – Intelligence Gathering Page 23
Community Ethos – “Crap” Happens Page 23
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederating a non-sovereign permanent union Page 45
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Coast Guard & Naval Authorities Page 75
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Ground Militia Forces Page 75
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Emergency Management Agency Page 76
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Page 88
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Start-up Foreign Policy Initiatives Page 102
Implementation – Start-up Security Initiatives Page 103
Implementation – Start-up Benefits from the EEZ Page 104
Implementation – Ways to Foster International Aid Page 115
Planning – 10 Big Ideas – #3: Consolidated Homeland Security Pact Page 130
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better – Safer Page 131
Planning – Ways to Improve Failed-State Indices – Escalation Role Page 134
Planning – Lessons from the American West – Needed Law & Order Page 142
Planning – Lessons from Egypt – Law & Order for Tourism Page 143
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy – Quick Disaster Recovery Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Justice – Piracy & Terrorism Enforcement Page 177
Advocacy – Ways to Reduce Crime – Regional Security Intelligence Page 178
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Homeland Security Page 180
Advocacy – Ways to Mitigate Terrorism – Combat Piracy Page 181
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Intelligence Gathering & Analysis Page 182
Advocacy – Ways to Improve for Natural Disasters Page 184
Advocacy – Ways to Improve for Emergency Management Page 196
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Technology Page 197
Advocacy – Ways to Develop Ship-Building Page 209
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Fisheries Page 210

Other subjects related to security and governing empowerments for the region’s defense have been blogged in other Go Lean…Caribbean commentary, as sampled here: Lesson from China – SouthChinaSeas: Exclusive Economic Zones ‘Crap Happens’ – So What Now? Meteorology Realities for Modern Tropical Life Sum of All Fears – ‘On Guard’ Against Deadly Threats ‘Significant’ oil deposits changes Exclusive Economic Zone Security Needs Managing a ‘Clear and Present Danger’ Dreading the ‘CaribbeanBasin Security Initiative’ Intelligence Agencies to Up Cyber Security Cooperation America’s Navy – 100 Percent – Model for Caribbean Status of Forces Agreement = Security Pact 10 Things We Want from the US – #4: Pax Americana

The promoters of the Go Lean … Caribbean book has only one goal: to make this homeland a better place to live, work and play. This also means stability and safety on our waterways.

The Caribbean is arguably the best address of the planet, with some of the best waterscapes; but there are societal defects as well. These must be remediated and mitigated. Our primary economic driver is tourism, including cruise tourism. There have been incidents in the past within the cruise industry, where the implementations of this Go Lean/CU roadmap would have helped to maintain business continuity. See samples/examples of previous incidences in the link here:

To succeed in the region’s execution of Homeland Security on the waterways, we must lead first with nautical intelligence.

To succeed in the region’s execution of Emergency Management, we must lead first with nautical intelligence.

A safe, secure homeland and a safe, secure Caribbean Sea is important for how we live, how we work, and how we and others play here in the Caribbean. So the issues in this Homeland Security series is of serious concern. This allows for our vision of an elevated society to be fully manifested in good times and bad. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix eLORAN

Loran or “long range navigation” was a hyperbolic radio navigation system developed in the United States during World War II. After some evolution, Loran-C was the navigation standard for a number of decades. This system allowed a receiver to determine its position by listening to low frequency radio signals transmitted by fixed land-based radio beacons. [It has now been mostly de-commissioned] due to the expense of the equipment needed to interpret the signals, compared to civilian satellite navigation – GPS – systems introduced in the 1990s.

With the perceived vulnerability of global navigation satellite system (GNSS),[47] and their own propagation and reception limitations, renewed interest in LORAN applications and development has appeared.[48] Enhanced LORAN, also known as eLORAN or E-LORAN, comprises an advancement in receiver design and transmission characteristics which increase the accuracy and usefulness of traditional LORAN. With reported accuracy as good as ± 8 meters,[49] the system becomes competitive with unenhanced GPS. eLORAN also includes additional pulses which can transmit auxiliary data such as DGPS corrections. eLORAN receivers now use “all in view” reception, incorporating signals from all stations in range, not solely those from a single GRI, incorporating time signals and other data from up to 40 stations. These enhancements in LORAN make it adequate as a substitute for scenarios where GPS is unavailable or degraded.[50]

United Kingdom eLORAN implementation
On 31 May 2007, the UK Department for Transport (DfT), via the General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA), awarded a 15-year contract to provide a state-of-the-art enhanced LORAN (eLORAN) service to improve the safety of mariners in the UK and Western Europe.
Source: Retrieved September 13, 2016 from:


Appendix – News Article: Despite warnings, lost Florida ship steamed into Hurricane Joaquin

By: Alex Harris and David Ovalle

OCTOBER 5, 2015 – When the cargo ship El Faro left Jacksonville for its regular run to Puerto Rico, its owners considered a tropical storm named Joaquin drifting near the Bahamas nothing that the rugged 790-foot vessel and its experienced 33-member crew couldn’t handle.

The forecast changed as soon as the massive ship set sail but its course — the shortest, straightest shot across the Atlantic to offload containers — never did.

In the face of increasingly ominous warnings about Hurricane Joaquin from the NationalHurricaneCenter, tracking data shows that the El Faro steered almost directly into the strengthening eye of a major hurricane, a decision that appears to have contributed to one of the worst cargo-ship accidents off the U.S. coast in decades.

On Monday, the U.SCoast Guard confirmed the worst fears of families awaiting word in the ship’s homeport of Jacksonville: The massive ship, missing since a last communication Thursday, sank. Its hull spewed so much Styrofoam packing debris from within its bowels that a Coast Guard officer said the waters off the Bahamas resembled a golf course driving range dotted with balls.

One corpse was found Sunday night, as well as an empty and badly damaged 43-seat lifeboat. There were unidentifiable human remains inside a “survival suit,” which helps crew members float and avoid hypothermia.

Despite the Coast Guard’s grim discoveries, the search will continue for possible survivors. The questions about what happened to the ship have only begun.

While much remained unclear, some commercial shipping experts said federal investigators, who will produce the final report on the El Faro’s fate, will almost certainly focus on the call to risk navigating through a hurricane rather than the captain or company deciding to take the safer, but longer route down along the more protected Florida coast.

“He was going to cross the storm at some point. In my opinion, it makes no sense to do that. When you’re a ship, you want to avoid the storm at all costs,” said Capt. Sam Stephenson, who teaches emergency ship handling at Fort Lauderdale’s ResolveMaritimeAcademy.

“A lot of questions will be about what the company and the captain knew and when, and what action was taken,” Basil Karatzas, of Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co., told the Wall Street Journal.

The 790-foot ship departed from Jacksonville on Tuesday when Joaquin was still a tropical storm. The American-flagged El Faro, which means The Lighthouse in Spanish, had a crew of 33 — 28 Americans and 5 from Poland. The captain, Michael Davidson of Maine, was a veteran. The ship was due to arrive in San Juan on Friday.

In a statement on its website, TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, which owns the ship, said that when the crew set sail on Tuesday, the weather called for a tropical storm, not a hurricane.

“Our crew are trained to deal with unfolding weather situations and are best prepared and equipped to respond to emerging situations while at sea,” the company wrote. “TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico authorized the sailing knowing that the crew are more than equipped to handle situations such as changing weather.”

But by 11 p.m. that night, with the El Faro still not far from Jacksonville, forecasters warned that Joaquin had already hit 70 mph and would become a hurricane by the next morning. Forecasters also noted that Bahamian waters were warm and wind shear was mild, conditions that can fuel intensification. Some computer models saw Joaquin growing fiercer fast. “It should be noted, that the UKMET, GFS, and ECMWF models all significantly deepen Joaquin during the next few days, and the NHC forecast could be somewhat conservative.”

That’s exactly what happened. By 8 a.m. Wednesday, with the ship still hours from the northern Bahamas according to data from, the NHC declared Joaquin a hurricane with 75 mph winds. Forecasters also cautioned that additional strengthening was expected. Over the next 12 hours, Joaquin exploded, wind speed leaping with every NHC advisory. By 11 p.m. Wednesday, it was a Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds.

At least one crew member expressed concern. “Not sure if you’ve been following the weather at all,” crew member Danielle Randolph wrote in an e-mail to her mother, according to the Washington Post, “but there is a hurricane out here and we are heading straight into it.”

By 7:30 a.m. Thursday — about when the ship would have been hitting the hurricane wind field of a storm on the cusp of Cat 4 — the El Faro reported losing power and taking on water. According to TOTE, the company that owns the ship, the crew reported successfully pumping the water out. The weather conditions kept the ship leaning a “manageable” 15 degrees to the side, according to TOTE. That was the last communication from the ship.

At a Monday press conference, Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor said that would have left the ship, unable to make headway, at the mercy of 100-knot winds and waves estimated at 50-feet high. Hulls can crack when suspended between waves. Container ships, which can be top-heavy, also are prone to capsizing. Unless the hull is found, how the El Faro went down may always be a speculation.

It’s unclear if that will happen. The ship, packed with 391 containers above deck and 294 below, sank in an area where the Atlantic runs 15,000 feet deep.

The conditions of a major hurricane — where wind and waves can be blinding — also make the process of abandoning ship dangerous. But Coast Guard rescue teams haven’t given up hope of finding survivors. Fedor said a person could survive four to five days in the 80 degree water.

“These are trained mariners,” he said. “We’re not going to discount someone’s will to survive.”

Because El Faro is an American-flagged vessel, the investigation into the sinking will be led by the National Transportation Safety Board and aided by the Coast Guard. Fedor said the Coast Guard will likely launch an independent investigation as well.

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Jacksonville, a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, also called for a congressional inquiry. She planned to meet with El Faro family members Monday afternoon.

TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico did not respond to calls for comment. But in a statement released Monday, President Tim Nolan expressed gratitude to the Coast Guard and dismay at the situation. “We continue to hold out hope for survivors,” he said. “Our prayers and thoughts go out to the family members and we will continue to do all we can to support them.”

But some commercial shipping experts question whether there was a push to try to cut it too close around a developing storm. The data shows El Faro steaming along toward the Bahamas at 18 to near 20 knots — close to its maximum speed.

Giving Joaquin a wider berth and traveling south down the Florida coast might have added 200 miles, and anywhere between six and 10 hours of travel time, Stephenson said. “Prudence plays a large role in this situation.”

Capt. Mark Rupert, who worked the Jacksonville-to-Puerto Rico route for over a decade on cargo ships, agreed the route nearer to Florida was the safest option. Trying to outrun the storm by heading east could lead a ship right into the system’s nastier side.

Rupert and Stephenson said a loss of power would have led to cascading problems, breaking cargo free, worsening violent lurching in waves and adding to any list from taking on water.

“When you don’t have propulsion, you can’t do anything. You’re at the mercy of the sea,” said Rupert, a veteran shipping captain who now works as a harbor pilot in Fort Lauderdale. “It’s kind of terrifying to think of what the crew would have went through in their final minutes.”

Stephenson said the fact that the remains of a crew member were found in a survival suit also tells a story. “They knew the ship was going down.”

In the Bahamas, meanwhile, donations continued to pour as officials worked to assess the extent of the damage in its southern and central islands from Hurricane Joaquin. The government still has not confirmed any deaths from the storm. But Rev. Keith Cartwright of the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands told the Miami Herald that according to Bahamian officials, a man died when the roof of his home on Long Island collapsed as a result of high winds

Downed utility poles and flooded runways continue to pose challenges, though Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade and his team were able to land in Acklins and CrookedIslands Monday as they traveled to assess the situation.

“Please help the people at ColonelHillAirport to get to Nassau before sunset. They need airlift. 46 persons and counting,” Greenslade Twitter account read. Colonel Hill is in CrookedIsland.

Prime Minister Perry Christie also continued his tour of the devastation and his appeal for assistance. He pledged that no resources would be spared in providing assistance in the Joaquin’s aftermath but said the country cannot do it alone.

“We are going to need help,” Christie told the government news station ZNS Sunday after his second visit to Long Island in 24 hours. “We made a commitment to go all out, to bring relief in the shortest possible time, to bring restoration in the shortest possible time. We have now spread our teams around the affected areas.”


Source: Retrieved September 13, 2016 from:

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