High Tech Comes to Port of Hueneme

The Port of Hueneme was buzzing with unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles at the second annual Maritime Advanced Systems & Technology Laboratory (MAST) and Expo held on June 10, 2015 and attended by 150+ exhibitors and guests.

Port Hueneme, CA June 12, 2015


The Port of Hueneme was buzzing with unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles at the second annual Maritime Advanced Systems & Technology Laboratory (MAST) and Expo held on June 10, 2015. The Port welcomed more than 150 attendees and exhibitors to this annual event. The MAST Laboratory is a collaborative research facility located at the Port of Hueneme dedicated to fostering leading edge technology innovation for the Port and maritime environment.

The event coincided with the conclusion of a three-day regional Coastal Trident Security exercise focused on Shipboard fire scenarios. The fire scenario included more than 100 firefighters with the Oxnard and Venture County fire departments. The MAST Lab was established under the leadership of the Port with the support and partnership of the Naval Post Graduate School's Center for Asymmetric Warfare and the Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County (EDC-VC) as a cooperative research and development program. The Laboratory leverages the unique geographical, operational, and environmental assets inherent at the Port of Hueneme and provides collaborative stakeholders with a sustained platform for research, experimentation and testing. Yesterday's Lab and expo provided an opportunity for various stakeholders to showcase their research and technologies.

Port Commission President Jess Herrera opened the event with a morning presentation commenting, "The combination of the MAST program and the Coastal Trident 2015 exercise is an extraordinary and unique program unequalled anywhere. The collaboration of local agencies and organization committed to the hard work necessary to make this possible underscores their dedication to keeping our cities and ports safe and out of harm's way."

As before, this year's Expo occurred in collaboration with the Coastal Trident Regional Maritime Security Program to explore threats to maritime commerce, port and maritime operations, and critical maritime infrastructure. The expo kicked off at 0830 with a key note address on Regional Maritime Safety and Security by the Assistant Director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), David Fukutomi. Following Mr. Fukutomi there was a panel discussion on "Technology Vision for Maritime Safety and Security." The panel's moderator Mike Pettit (Ventura County's CIO) questioned speakers including Brian Dilley (Ventura Fire Chief) (SB County Sheriff), CDR Casey Hehr (USCG), Dennis Sliva (VC Sheriff), William Posage (USCG), Ms. Debra Powers Chair of Naval Counter-IED knowledge and Special Agent Bob Scheerle with the FBI. The panel was followed by a "Hot Wash" brief of the Coastal Trident Exercise, a VIP tour and Technology Demonstrations.

Hueneme's Port CEO and Director Kristin Decas commented, "Exercises such as this highlights the high level of cooperation between the region's emergency responders and our local business community. There's a clear nexus between many of the cutting edge technologies on display here today and their usefulness for these stakeholders."

Christina Birdsey, the Port's Director of the MAST program, said, "We're really excited to make our unique environment available through the MAST Lab and providing entrepreneurs and companies with a test and research platform that might not otherwise be available to them. We encourage all entrepreneurs whether in logistics, environmental protection or safety and security to take advantage of our MAST lab, we believe these partnerships will ultimately improve the maritime and port domain."

Exhibitors with projects at the Expo included. Amerimacs, Flamesniffer, Infratab, Liquid Robotics, Metra Weather, New Zealand Trade Enterprise, NorthSouth GIS, Ocean Aero, Perceptronics Solutions, Safe Environmental Engineering, Sci Fly / Scale matrix, Smartronix, Stellar Biotechnologies, Virtual Airboss, Marine Advanced Research, and Veracity Systems. They were joined by the US Coast Gurad, EDC-VC, the Port of Hueneme, Naval Post Graduate School's Center for Asymetric Warfare and Ventura County's Fire Hazardous Materials Department.

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