USS Cole Incident And Terrorism Concerns Impact Security For U.S. Navy Ships At Public Events & Festivals
The 100th anniversary of the Portland Rose Festival will witness some important security change from earlier years. This year, like the very recent years since 9/11, when U.S. Navy ships come to dock at Portland docks along the downtown waterfront serious security efforts will protect the ships including Coast Guard patrols with machine guns, frogmen who inspected the docks for any unusal items, and boat traffic will only be allowed up the river by Coast Guard escort only.
Some of the ships are veterans of the War On Terror that will dock in Portland. And the Navy is mineful of the attack on USS Cole that took place in Yemen back in October 2000 in which some smiling and waving terrorists on a small boat appeared to be friendly, then blew their boat up alongside the Cole and made a large hole in the Norfolk, VA based destroyer class ship, killing 17 U.S. Sailors.
Both the War On Terrorism and the USS Cole attack have forever changed U.S. Navy security for the better, even in a friendly port like one in Portland, all the security concerns seem wise. The public will still be allowed limited tours of some of the ships.
Since 9/11 no major incident of terrorism has taken place on U.S. soil, while worldwide terrorism, especially in the Mideast have dramaticly worsened each year since the beginning of the 2003 Iraq War. In Iraq, security concerns would be far higher for U.S. Navy ships than in a friendly U.S. port, however the War On Terrorism has no doubt made permanent changes to security at all levels for the U.S. which will never relax. But so far this new security in the U.S. has broken up several plots including this past week's JFK Airplot scheme by for Al Qaeda wannabe's.
Security is no where as tight in the U.S. as it is in Israel. But any incidents would certainly tighten up security even more for the U.S. Israel effectively prevents all but a very few terrorism incidents over the last 10 years by the world's best public security efforts. This improved security has certainly paid off in enhanced public protection and fewer incidents.
Security for events like the Portland, Oregon Rose Festival vary with the times. During WWII, large scale parades were called off to prevent a Japanese attack on a large civilian crowd, although such events never took place. The enhanced waterfront security is simply a sign of the times in response to today's concerns during the current War On Terror and simply good prevention, worth more than 1lb. of cure.