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Secure Seas Program

Secure Seas is a maritime security assistance initiative that aims to bolster the capabilities of Eastern Caribbean nations to deter threats associated with Transnational Organized Crime.  The program, managed by U.S. Southern Command, provides boats, communications systems and training to nine Caribbean nations.

GRENADA (May 15, 2012) -- Pictured is one of two vessels delivered to Grenada in May 2012 as part of the U.S. maritime security assistance initiative called Secure Seas.
More Secure Seas multimedia is available at Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (registration required for download):   Secure Seas photos  |  Secure Seas video


The Secure Seas program, began in 2012, falls under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), a regional security partnership initiative first announced by President Obama during the Fifth Summit of the Americas in 2009.  Secure Seas aims to facilitate a collective maritime security approach in the Eastern Caribbean and enable participating nations to effectively work together to counter the regional threats posed by Transnational Organized Crime.

The provided capabilities are intended to compliment the participating nations’ ongoing patrol efforts and yield a persistent, regional partnership to address shared security concerns.

The Secure Seas program is an expansion of a previous program that provided similar capabilities to Central American and Caribbean partner nations from 2007 to 2010 (Enduring Friendship program).

The program is being managed by U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), headquartered in Miami, Fla.  The U.S. Coast Guard is overseeing acquisition of assets.

Based on each nation’s needs, Secure Seas could provide:

  • Interceptor boats

  • Command & Control equipment and support

  • Robust communications equipment, both ashore and onboard systems

  • Forward Looking Infrared systems for the boats

  • Training and technical support

  • Maintenance, repair parts and spares package

  • Boat trailers and heavy-duty pick-up trucks

The boats and installed command, control and communications systems (C3) provide each nation a distinct edge in detecting, tracking and pursuing suspects and facilitate interoperability between nations.   SOUTHCOM will also provide a C3 system to the Regional Security System.  The new capabilities also improve each nation’s ability to respond to other threats, maritime emergencies, and natural disasters in their territorial waters.

Nations receiving Secure Seas capabilities

  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • St. Kitts & Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent & the Grenadines
  • Guyana
  • Regional Security System (Command and Control System only)

Regional Security: Why Secure Seas is important

U.S. and regional leaders believe security investments like Secure Seas will yield long-term security progress in a region that faces many transnational threats, which range from drugs to the illicit trafficking of humans and weapons.

Other Resources

U.S. State Department's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs

U.S. Embassy Barbados and Eastern Caribbean



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