Posts Tagged SAMI

Maritime Security: SAMI Announces Voluntary Liquidation

The CEO of SAMI, Peter Cook said, “There has not been a successful hijacking of a commercial vessel in the High Risk Area since May 2012 and this is principally due to the increasing competence and professionalism of the private maritime security industry. This is the task SAMI set out to achieve and we have done it.”

Big news in the MarSec industry. SAMI or the Security Association for the Maritime Industry is liquidating. Like the article mentioned below, it is because of a huge decline in membership.

Although, there are some grumblings out there about SAMI being ineffective. Like for example, for the Seaman Guard Ohio incident, SAMI has not been able to do much for those men and the company, and you hear that amongst the community out there.

Either way, I still think SAMI has been pretty useful for getting everyone together and figuring out what needs to happen for regulating this industry. I mean the maritime security industry was the first PMSC group to have an ISO, so that is pretty cool.

Five years ago, piracy was pretty bad and numerous companies came onto the scene to answer the call. Some were good, and some were bad, and others had no business being involved with this stuff. But at the end of the day, PMSC’s saved the day out on the high seas.

It was groups like SAMI who decided to get organized and point the industry in the right direction with their voice, backed up by a membership of companies and insurance groups interested in the same thing. So for that, I thank SAMI and Peter Cook for putting in the effort.

As the readership knows, I actually dedicated a page to SAMI companies, just so folks had a resource to go to for finding MarSec companies. I will keep the page up until the SAMI website is gone. The companies that continue to provide MarSec will still be around. –Matt


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Peter Cook, CEO of SAMI.

SAMI Voluntary Liquidation
APRIL 18, 2016

“The Security Association for the Maritime Industry Ltd Announcement of Voluntary Liquidation”
After 5 distinguished years of representing the private maritime security industry the Directors of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry Ltd (SAMI) have made the decision to put the company into voluntary liquidation.
SAMI was formed when piracy and hijackings off the coast of Somalia prevailed, but since the first members joined in April 2011 much has changed. The CEO of SAMI, Peter Cook said, “There has not been a successful hijacking of a commercial vessel in the High Risk Area since May 2012 and this is principally due to the increasing competence and professionalism of the private maritime security industry. This is the task SAMI set out to achieve and we have done it.”
The industry has also evolved and consolidated significantly; our membership has fallen from its peak of 180 to less than half that figure. Consequently the Association is no longer financially sustainable in its current configuration.
The SAMI Secretariat has worked tirelessly, on behalf of its membership, to represent them in as many influential forums as possible around the world and to establish an effective regulatory structure for the use of armed guards on board ships in the pirate-infested waters of the Indian Ocean.
It is globally recognised that SAMI has had a very positive influence on the development of the use of armed guards on board ships in the North-West IndianOcean. As noted by a former commander of the naval task force EUNAVFOR, the private maritime security industry “has a 100% rate of success”, thereby, protecting many thousands of seafarers from pirate attacks and the horrors and deprivations of being held hostage. SAMI has also reassured ship owners, charterers and marine insurers of a high standard of professionalism from the Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) providing a measured and proportionate response to deter pirates from attacking ships transiting the High Risk Area.

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Industry Talk: The Slavonic Corps–A Russian PMSC In Syria

“A large field between Lattakia and Tartous, surrounded by barbed wire. That is where our battalion and the Syrian reservists were stationed. It used to be a racecourse. We were housed in the former stables. By October there were 267 people from the ‘Slavonic Corps’, split into two companies. One company was made up of Kuban Cossacks, the other had people from all over Russia; there were 10 or 12 men from Petersburg. The bosses said that the numbers of the corps in Syria was expected to reach up to 2,000 men.”
In addition to assault rifles, the battalion received machine guns and grenade launchers. They had anti-aircraft guns, 1939 models. The mortars were from 1943. Crews were formed for the four T-72 tanks and some BMP (infantry fighting vehicles). The question of how appropriate the weapons were, for the task of protecting “facilities,” came up quickly, even from the most gullible, and was addressed. “Did you come to fight or to guard? Whoever guards is on eternal kitchen patrol.” Those were the words of the commander’s reply. The manager of the project was Vadim Gusev, known to many as the deputy director of Moran Security Group.

This is a unique story that I wanted to get out there for folks to check out. My post about Assad approving the use of PMSC’s was a record post on FJ, and stories like this are very interesting to the community. I also wanted to put this out so that those who were involved with this contract in Syria can respond. The last couple of weeks I have been asking around on FB and nothing has come up. I suspect that it is mostly a language deal and that Russians have not been hanging on English based FB groups. So hopefully this post will get their attention via Google Search.

Basically, this company was contracted to guard ‘and’ do other things in Syria, for the Assad side. Apparently the contractors recruited by this company were victim to the whole bait and switch game, and as soon as they got on the ground, the company changed the contract to a more kinetic operation . So the company I believe is at fault for not being honest in their recruitment from the get go, and not preparing their people for this kind of contract. As  a result, the Slavonic Corps had a poor showing in Syria, it was poorly led and managed, and the contract signed with the client was poorly written. The result was a company running out of Syria with it’s tale between it’s legs, and creating a bunch of unpaid and pissed off contractors. Here is a quote about recruitment:

This was never understood. “When they spoke to us in Russia, they explained that we were going on a contract with the Syrian government, they convinced us that everything was legal and in order. Like, our government and the FSB were on board and involved in the project. When we arrived there, it turned out that we were sent as gladiators, under a contract with some Syrian or other, who may or may not have a relationship with the government… That meant that we were the private army of a local kingpin. But there was no turning back. As they said, a return ticket costs money, and we’ll work it off, whether we like it or not.” As they told the Slavonic Corps troops, the job came down to maintaining control over the centre of the oil industry, in the town of Deir ez-Zor. In order to be in control of it, we had to reach it. More than 500 kilometres across territory occupied by government troops, by the opposition or by completely unknown forces.

Crazy, but this sounds way too familiar from my experience in contracting. But I am not going to let the contractors that signed up for this off that easy. These guys did not do their due diligence before accepting the contract. It sounded like the recruiters attracted a lot of desperate and naive folks who really wanted to believe this was a good deal. I wonder if the Russians have a forum or Facebook group to go to, so they can ask questions to their community about companies like the Slavonic Corps or the Moran Security Group? Because if they would have had a SOCNET or a Feral Jundi or an Eeben Barlow, they could have gotten some second opinions that would have squared them away.  Here is a great quote from another Russian PMSC called the RSB Group, about the idiocy of this contract:

In the words of the professional: This is a crazy scheme
After asking Vyacheslav Kalashnikov several times to speak on the subject of Syria, and having received no answer, Fontanka turned to the head of Russia’s largest private military company, the “RSB Group,” for comment. Oleg Krinitsyn is certain: the Syrian story of the Slavonic Corps was a crazy scheme from the start.
“The widely advertised campaign to recruit mercenaries for Syria initially sounded like a stunt, a kind of PR campaign. Later on, people believed it and were drawn to their dream – to make money. But not all of them understood that this money was dirty, and possibly bloody. Before sending people to a country where there is active fighting, where there is a virtual ‘layer cake’ of the Syrian Army, the opposition fighters, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra etc, it’s essential to prepare them, as well as to understand how to get them out of there. Among those guys, photographed against a backdrop of Syrian equipment, festooned with weapons, I noticed a few of our former employees, who had been dismissed because of their poor moral character. I saw guys with criminal records amongst them. This once again confirms that the aim of the recruiters was not to attract high quality professionals, but just to plug a ‘hole’ with cannon fodder, and fast. And the boys were sent on contracts that resembled contracts for suicide missions. Right away, people signed a contract that included a will to bury their remains in their homeland, or if that proved impossible, in the nation where they died, and then be reburied in Russia. Dreadful.

Luckily for these guys, they were saved by a sand storm. Having experienced these types of storms in the middle east, I can say these things can get pretty dense. Quote:

It could be regarded as a great success that, out of the whole corps, a total of six people were wounded, two of them seriously. It should be pointed out that all of the wounded were removed from the battlefield and returned home with all the others. “We were saved by a sandstorm, we were enveloped by it on our retreat, but it hid us from the local mujahedeen. There was so much sand that you couldn’t see anything. But thanks to that, we are alive.”

These guys also paid the price when after fighting their way out of Syria, they had to deal with authorities when they came back home. The FSB was heavily involved from the sounds of it and this is also an interesting angle to this story. One of the articles I posted below talked about the FSB connection to this company and contract:

For instance, the head of the Slavonic Crops was a commander in the FSB reserve. New York University professor Mark Galeotti has studied the way the Russian security apparatus operates. In an interview for The Interpreter on the topic, he told me that private military contractors would need to clear all such operations with the FSB, which would mean that the FSB has placed Syria on the list of nations where foreign operations were approved. Galeotti went even further. When asked whether he thought there were more Russian mercenaries fighting for the Assad government inside Syria, he said that this was “likely,” and it’s not just mercenaries who are helping Assad:
“I anticipate that ‘mercenary’ is merely a cover story for Russian soldier or spook, just as the “Russian engineers” working on Syrian air defense systems are going to be military.”
There is significant reason to believe that the FSB knew about the mission. But as Thursday’s story in Foreign Policy explains, the Russian government had good reason to clip the mercenaries’ wings:
It’s not hard to surmise why the FSB would have turned on a company it may have given tacit support to send men into Syria. The mercenaries performed poorly in the field, and proof of their illicit activity had been plastered all over the Internet, so not tossing Gusev and Sidorov in the clink might have caused the kind of scandal that even an unembarrassable Kremlin would want to avoid. Moscow has been outspoken in its criticism of U.S. and Arab arms transfers to Syria’s rebels, even as its own state arms export company dispatches more and more sophisticated hardware to Assad, according to the State Department’s Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria. The Kremlin is also trying to ensure that the imperiled Geneva II peace conference takes place in December, just in time for the regime to be in a much-strengthened negotiating position after a series of tactical gains on the battlefield.

So with that said, I think the Russians were anticipating that the West was going to make this into an ’embarrassing deal’ by plastering it all over the news. So for them, as soon as the whole thing went bad, they took the side of shock and disgust. Check out how they tried to whitewash this incident when these guys came back.

Despite the fact that, according to the contract, the assignment was supposed to last five months, in the last days of October the personnel were loaded onto two chartered planes and sent to Moscow. They were not expecting such a reception to be awaiting their arrival at Vnuknovo. As they disembarked the aircraft one by one, each fell into the hands of FSB officers. There was a quick inspection, the removal of SIM cards and any other media, and a brief questioning as witnesses. Then followed the removal of their passports, non-disclosure forms, and tickets home. Vadim Gusev, who had flown in business class and left the plane first, remained in the hands of the investigators. As they explained at the Moran Security Group, he and another employee of the company, Evgeny Sidorov, who was responsible for human resources, were arrested in a criminal case brought by the FSB’s metropolitan command under the never-before applied Article 359 of the Criminal Code – mercenary activities.

Did I mention that the contractors involved will not be getting paid the 4,000 dollars they were promised!…. Yikes, what a soup sandwich.

Well, that is about all I have on this one. Just some commentary on what has already been reported. If anyone has any interesting side notes on this story, I would be curious to hear about it. I also posted some links to the companies involved in this story and some good posts about the Slavonic Corps below. –Matt

Foreign Policy story on the Slavonic Corps.

Moran Security Group website here.

The Slavonic Corps website here.

War is Boring post about it here.

Pieter Van Ostaeyan’s blog about it here. (he was able to dig up some interesting stuff)

Youtube video of one of the contractors thought to be dead, that survived and posted this.



The Last Battle of the “Slavonic Corps”
The story of the Russian mercenaries who went to war against Syrian rebels.
By Denis Korotkov
Originally published by Fontanka on November 14, 2013
Translated by Pierre Vaux November 16, 2013
A Syrian rebel group claims that it has ambushed and killed a group of Russian mercenaries who may have been working for a Chinese security contractor. The jihadist fighters from an Al Qaeda affiliate “Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS)” claim to have killed the mercenaries in a battle near Homs. At least one of the mercenaries, however, has been videotaped alive and well, and living back in Russia.
The large and well-respected St. Petersburg newspaper, Fontanka, has published an article, translation by The Interpreter, entitled “St. Petersburg Sends Contractors to Syria.” It details the investigation that uncovered the existence of Russian mercenaries defending sensitive installations important to the Assad government in Syria. The contractors appear to have been recruited in St. Petersburg by a company based in Hong Kong.
We also know that the mercenaries appear to have been operating in As-Sukhnah, east of Palmyra, on the road between Deir Ez Zor and Homs. Jihadists have long wanted to capture the town, and nearby Palmyra, because securing this road would link their forces from the east to the west. The Assad regime, on the other hand, has had difficulty sparing the resources to defend the position, as it is far away from the major cities which are heavily embattled. According to the initial investigation by Fontanka, the mission of the mercenaries was to secure key regime assets, away from the front lines, in order for Assad forces to concentrate on removing “bandits” in other areas. However, it appears that the oil fields that the Russians were supposed to be guarding were in rebel control, and the team was really tasked with getting them back.
The following translation is an update from Fontanka. It says that one of the key players in the military contracting company is a reservist officer in the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), lieutenant colonel Vyacheslav Kalashnikov. The FSB, therefore, were aware on some level that the Moran Security Group was sending Russian mercenaries to Syria to fight for Assad. However, the mercenary group was shut down and several mercenaries were arrested upon their return to Russia. A major Russian contractor says that this was not an FSB mission, but a mission designed to look like an FSB mission. The insinuation is that a pro-rebel group hired the Russians in order to lead them into a trap, kill them, and show their bodies on television.
All of the pictures on the original Fontanka article were also posted in the one we already translated. Instead, these pictures of the Russian mercenaries were posted on a Russian social network (except the one that states it was from Fontanka). – Ed.

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Maritime Security: Ships Slow Down To Save Fuel In Pirate Waters

The shipping companies have switched to relying on guards, rather than speed, for protection because a single day at lower speeds can save $50,000 in fuel at current prices – enough to pay the guards for the whole journey…..Peter Cook, director of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, said estimates earlier this year had put the total fuel cost to shipping companies of running faster through the high-risk area in 2011 at $2.7bn.

There are a couple of points with this trend that needs to be mentioned. Armed security is giving these ship owners a way to save money. Instead of going as fast as they can and burning up expensive fuel, there are some opting to slow down and depend upon security to protect their vessels.

Which is great, but these shipping companies should be on notice that when you slow down the vessel, pirates will factor that in for their attacks. I mentioned before that pirates will eventually turn to attacking vessels that are armed, just because so many vessels are switching to armed security and the easy prey will soon be gone. The key factor here is that slow vessels will make it easier to board, or swarm. Which leads to my next point, and that is a discussion about the appropriate force size, weapons, and rules for the use of force to meet this demand.

I say this, because there are those in the industry that have different ideas about armed security or that everyone follows the same rule book for armed security. Which is fine, but pirates can pick up on these rules and various differences and exploit them.  For example, the policy for warning shots is something pirates can game.

They can find out at what distances warning shots occur, and then they can assemble attack formations that will account for that. I talked about Uboat tactics awhile back, and as long as pirates do not show weapons and are able to find that distance they can hang out at, they could potentially set up for a swarm attack. One example is that in the Bab el Mandeb Strait, up to 10 skiffs attempted to swarm a vessel in April.

A maritime security alert has been issued for the Bab el Mandeb Strait after 10 skiffs approached a Panama-flagged oil tanker on Sunday, April 29. Four skiffs initially approached, followed by a group of two, then four further skiffs. The suspected pirates abandoned the attack after an onboard security team fired flares and displayed weapons, according to GAC Protective Solutions. Such “swarming” has been previously reported in and around the Bab el Mandeb Strait.

Now imagine if this pirate force actually applied some concentrated firepower and coordination to this type of attack?  Will today’s standard guard force be able to counter that?  If we see more killer PAG’s like what Trident Group was up against, along with slower vessels and less unarmed vessels making transits, then yes, I think we will see an armed vessel taken down by force. I hope it doesn’t happen, and all we can do is to ensure all security forces have the tools and rules necessary to counter such things.

I have talked about weapons in the past, and having a couple of PKM’s or rifles chambered in 7.62 or higher would be good. Optics on weapons would be awesome so that security can observe and shoot if need be, or precisely put rounds where they need them. I am also a fan of the larger caliber weapons, like the M-2 HB .50 cal. A heavy caliber, belt fed machine gun can maintain good stand off distances, or can bring on a decent volume of fire as vessels make the charge. Especially for swarms.

M-240’s and PKM’s would be good for this as well. Having the ability to shoot an engine at distance would be excellent, and a large caliber sniper rifle would work for that. Something like a Barrett M-82 is what I am thinking of. And with the small size of guard forces on vessels, giving them weapons that would increase their lethality and range would be a force multiplier. In other words, an armed guard force must have weapons that out match the enemy’s weapons–in range, accuracy and lethality. That’s if you want your guard to force to have advantage? Your force already has the high ground, but don’t skimp on the weapons, and especially if you are only contracting a small force. (of course this is just my opinion, and everyone has their own ideas of what works out there)

Also, having a smart defensive plan and plenty of obstacles set up on the ship is key. It was mentioned on prior posts that concertina wire is selling like hotcakes out there.  Security should also apply Kaizen to their plan, and always look for advantage or ways to deal with all and any types of scenarios. Also, make sure you have sound communications, and other key support equipment to do the job. Especially night equipment, like NVG’s or thermals, or binoculars and spotting scopes for the day time.

Finally, and this is pointed towards ship owners. If slowing down to save money is something you want to do, then you have to know that you are giving pirates an advantage. As they take this advantage and attack vessels, you must also realize that armed security will be more important than ever before. They will engage in combat with pirates, and shipping companies should not be surprised or shocked if this happens. If anything, these companies should be highly supportive and thankful that men and women like this are willing to put themselves at risk to do this job. That is what you pay them to do, and if all other preventative measures fail then combat will occur.

By taking away speed, you are taking away a pretty effective measure and only increasing the odds of confrontation. So definitely make sure you have properly armed professional security if slowing down to save money is your goal.-Matt


Image: Nexus Consulting


Ships Slow Down to Save Fuel in Pirate Waters
Tuesday, 8 May 2012
By Robert Wright
Violent confrontations between Somali pirates and merchant ships’ armed guards could become more common as some shipping companies have reduced ship speeds through the highest-risk area to save on fuel, maritime experts have warned.
The shipping companies have switched to relying on guards, rather than speed, for protection because a single day at lower speeds can save $50,000 in fuel at current prices – enough to pay the guards for the whole journey.
The speed reductions contravene published advice that ships should use their maximum speed in the highest-risk areas. Pirates have never managed to board a vessel traveling at 18 knots or more and container ships and other faster vessels have traditionally crossed the high risk area up to 1,500 miles off Somalia’s coast at up to 24 knots.
Ron Widdows, chief executive of Germany’s Rickmers Holding, a major shipowner, said several maritime security companies had suggested his company employ their guards and slow ships down. Rickmers’ current security company opposed reducing speeds because pirates were more likely to attack slow ships, Mr Widdows added.

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Maritime Security: Marine Insurers Backing Armed Guards As Piracy Threat Grows

Frédéric Gallois, the deputy general manager at Gallice Security, a specialised security firm, said that keeping a team of four armed agents on board a vessel can cost between $4,000 and $8,000 a day.
Paul Tourret, the director of Institute Supérieur d’Économie Maritime, ISEMAR, a research institute that specialises in sea-based economic activities, estimated that the extra costs to a ship due to the risk of piracy can reach up to $50,000 a day.- Link to quote here.

That is an interesting quote up top, and I am always on the look out for cost estimates on transits. ISEMAR specializes in sea-based economics, so I tend to perk up when think tanks like this put out figures. Although on their website, I was not able to find any documents about armed security costs.  Perhaps some of my french readers could help me out here?

But the real story here is the one below.  That insurers are now getting behind the idea that armed guards on boats is a heck of good idea, compared to their other options. Or compared to the future of West’s navies.

They mentioned below about the defense cuts of Western navies, and the reduction of force size over the coming years. This is a very important point to bring up when it comes to today’s anti-piracy efforts. Eventually today’s war planners and strategists will come to the realization that using large Destroyers to take out tiny little pirate boats is not exactly cost effective. Especially when those navies still continue to falter when it comes to protecting commerce.

Cook said private firms would play an increasing role as navies face spending reviews, citing prospects of a 30 percent decline in the size of Western navies in the next 20 years. “They’re taking the policemen off the block,” he said.

The other statistic that was interesting was this one from ISEMAR. I would have thought that number would have been bigger? Especially if Peter Cook of SAMI said he has 58 member companies? I would be curious if SAMI or any other maritime groups agree with this number?

French maritime economics institute ISEMAR said there were about 1,000 private guards being employed by ships to counter Somali pirates.

Finally, with all of the increased use of armed security, the reduction in naval forces, and increase in pirate attacks and complexity, I have to think that the legal authority for how armed security is used will change. I have argued in the past that defense industries do not profit from the end of their venture. That they profit if the client they protect, continues to be attacked and threatened. But with offense industry, a different market force is set up to where companies profit from the ‘destruction of an enemy’ that threatens a client. That an offense industry work’s itself out of a job.

When countries really think about it, and try to understand what the economics are with how the pirates operate, and how private force ‘could’ operate to counter it, perhaps there might be some pragmatic choices made on the legal front? The question is, how do you reduce the numbers of pirates and attacks, and how can private industry be used to accomplish such a thing?

Specifically, I suggest to bring back the Letter of Marque and Reprisal, and create an offense industry to ‘expulsis piratis, restituta commercia’. It is the legal ‘sledge hammer’ in the tool box of states, and it is just sitting there getting rusty.  As piracy becomes better funded, more violent, more organized, and more rampant, eventually states will have to re-evaluate what is ‘inherently practical’; and change their view on what is ‘inherently governmental’ in order to stop this. –Matt

Marine Insurers Backing Armed Guards as Piracy Threat Grows
By Gus Trompiz
September 20, 2011
More ship insurers are backing the use of private armed guards on merchant vessels at sea to combat Somali piracy as attacks and the resulting costs are set to rise in coming weeks, industry officials said on Tuesday.
Pirate attacks on oil tankers and other ships are costing the world economy billions of dollars a year and navies have struggled to combat the menace, especially in the vast Indian Ocean. Seaborne gangs are set to ramp up attacks in the area after the monsoon season ends.
A famine crisis in Somalia could also draw more people into piracy, marine insurers said.
“Piracy is clogging the arteries of globalization,” said Emma Russell with underwriter Watkins, a member of the Lloyd’s of London insurance market. “No vessel with armed guards has yet been taken,” she added.
Industry delegates at the annual conference of the International Union of Maritime Insurance (IUMI) said there were more than 20,000 transits a year in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
Speakers at the conference said the hiring of private armed guards to accompany ships is increasingly seen as an effective deterrent against pirates and as a complement to overstretched navies, many of whom face budget cuts.
Ship owners and insurers have until recently been reluctant to accept the use of armed private contractors. They have hesitated partly due to legal liabilities and risks, including the problem of bringing weapons into some territorial waters and due to the fear of escalating violence.

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Job Tips: SAMI Member Companies And Their Career Pages

Ok ladies and gentlemen, I figured this would be a good resource for anyone interested. What I have done is to take every company that is a member of SAMI, and list them with their career sections.

The reason why I wanted to do this, is to direct applicants towards companies that actually care enough to sign on to a code of conduct and standard.  The list below is a very interesting mix of international companies, and you will recognize a couple from my last survey. The cool thing with this list, is these are actual maritime security companies or security companies, that have been approved by SAMI. This is also a big hint to clients of these companies, that you should direct your complaints to SAMI, to ensure quality is enforced.

The other cool thing about these companies, is that if you do gain employment with them, then you can direct your complaints to SAMI and demand that your company act in accordance to the codes and standards, or they get punished. SAMI is trying to promote itself as a group that can hold it’s members to a standard, and I thoroughly support this concept. I just hope they have the courage to do so.

Either way, I plan on making this a page up top so it is easy to get to. I can also modify, edit, and add more members up there. If you are the CEO or employee of one of the mentioned companies, and there is something incorrect or you would like to add something, just contact me or make a note in the comments section. You can do that here on this post, or on the page itself.

For those companies that are not SAMI members, let me know and I will put you down in the categories section ‘Private Naval Companies’ below, if you are not there already. Although I do reserve the right to ‘not include’ certain companies in either sections. I will probably be removing SAMI companies, and others as time goes by, just because if the word get’s out that you do not take care of your people, or that you have provided poor and reckless service to clients, then your company will not get promoted on this blog. –Matt

The SAMI List

Aspida (Greece)
Aspida is constantly looking for high caliber security professionals for deployment as part of our onboard security teams.
The ideal applicants should have a career in the special forces, be fluent in English and have a sincere love for ships and the sea.
If you are interested in a career at a company where skills, achievements and loyalty are highly valued and professional advancement is defined by meritocracy please send us your CV in English along with army discharge papers and training certificates to
Atlas Inc. (UK)
We require the minimum following qualifications before an applicant is considered by ATLAS. Military service discharge papers checked (for correct Military discharge).
ISPS Ships Security Officer Qualification.
STCW95 (Seafarers Training, Certification and Watchkeepers code 4 Part module, Fire Fighting, Elementry First Aid, Sea Survival Safety, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility.
ENG1 Medical qualified.
CV, reference check and interview.

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Company Spotlight: The Security Association For The Maritime Industry

I wanted to bring attention to this specific trade group, just because groups like this are great resources for guys looking for companies to work for. If you go to SAMI’s membership directory, you will see a number of companies that have signed on. Which is great, because at least if you get a job with that particular company who is a member, you can use the association as a means of keeping that company in check.

But like with the ISOA, if SAMI does nothing about complaints or does not have the courage to punish members, then what good is the association? It’s value in my opinion, is it’s ability to keep it’s members in check and keep them on the path of ‘doing the right thing’. Companies who treat their contractors poorly, or rip off clients, and who are members of these associations, in turn tarnish the reputation of those associations and the members that have signed on to such a group. So to me, it is ridiculous that an association ‘would not’ punish a member or expel them from the group, if they violated the codes that they and everyone signed onto.

The other problem with associations is that when a member pays good money to be a member of the group, and the officers and operations of that trade group depend upon those membership dues, then it becomes very difficult for these guys to punish members who do bad things. It’s like biting the hand that feeds you, and it is this financial component that works against the strength of an association–if they claim to abide by some standard or code of conduct. Of course an association needs operating funds to keep working on behalf of the association, but you can see the potential conflict of interest here?

Overall, I appreciate the efforts of these associations, because it gives the various clients out there another tool for their research. It also gives companies that believe in a certain standard, to gather and show their support for such a standard. These associations are also key to organizing industry, so that it can effectively communicate consensus. You can have a thousand chaotic and disjointed voices screaming for attention, or you can have one clear and concise voice backed by a thousand people.

But, I should also remind these associations that if you fail to listen and act on the concerns or complaints of clients, the public or the contractors that work for these member companies, then what good is your association? –Matt

Link to association here. (the website is under construction, and it is listed in my associations category for future reference)


The Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI) provides an independent regulatory trade association for maritime security companies.
Providing credibility, trust and respect, SAMI introduces a level of regulatory discipline and scrutiny to ensure that the maritime industry can easily identify reputable maritime security companies. SAMI provides reassurance and guidance, where none has existed before and establishes the benchmark for standards within the industry.
SAMI as a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), represents the industry at an international level in a balanced and cogent manner with transparency, honesty and integrity.
The membership encompasses maritime security providers, consultants, trainers, individual operatives and the maritime security equipment, technology and hardware manufacturers – to provide direct links to the commercial shipping industry, offshore oil & gas industry and ports too.

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