SOURCE: TSA

May 08, 2008 14:10 ET

Port of Anchorage Workers Begin Enrollment for Federal Security Credential

ANCHORAGE, AK--(Marketwire - May 8, 2008) - Port and longshore workers, truckers and other maritime employees at the Port of Anchorage began enrolling today in the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The program's goal is to ensure that any individual who has unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels has received a thorough background check and is not a security threat. Nationwide, more than 1.2 million workers with unescorted access to secure areas will apply to the program.

"The start of enrollment is one more step in our effort to prevent persons who are a threat from gaining access to secure areas of port facilities," said Maurine Fanguy, TWIC program director for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). "We appreciate the support of our partners in Alaska for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."

The Port of Anchorage is the 104th port to begin enrollment. Ultimately, TSA will establish fixed enrollment centers at 147 ports nationwide and will deploy mobile enrollment centers to dozens of other locations as needed.

Enrollment launch dates and locations for enrollment centers that are currently open in Alaska include:

Juneau    April 30 TWIC Enrollment Center            Hours of Operation
                   3200 Hospital Dr., Suite 202      M-F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Kodiak    May 5 -  Temporary TWIC Enrollment Center  M-F 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
          June 5   c/o KPD Shelikof Facility
                   405 Marine Way

Anchorage May 8    TWIC Enrollment Center            M-F 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
                   619 E. Ship Creek Ave., Suite 310

Enrollment will begin in Nikiski and Valdez in the coming months.

"TWIC will be a crucial part of our multi-layered, risk-based approach to maritime security," said Rear Adm. Gene Brook, commander of the Coast Guard 17th District. "The program will strengthen security and access control at ports and on hundreds of other maritime facilities and vessels."

The agency encourages workers in Alaska to pre-enroll for TWIC online at www.tsa.gov/twic or the Coast Guard's Homeport site, http://homeport.uscg.mil. Pre-enrolling speeds up the process by allowing workers to provide biographic information and schedule a time to complete the application process in person. This eliminates waiting at enrollment centers and reduces the time it takes to enroll each individual.

For more information regarding TSA, please visit our Web site at www.tsa.gov.