Vessel, Company, & Facility Security Officer Course Approved by the US Coast Guard

Jonathan McConnell
(334) 524-6763


Safety, Security, and Environmental company is proud to announce the latest way it will serve new and existing clients with the Coast Guard approval of a new Vessel Company and Security Officer Course.

The CSO and VSO sections of the course fulfills the training requirements of 33 CFR 104.210 for Company Security Officer and the training requirements of 33 CFR 104.215 for an STCW endorsement as a Vessel Security Officer, as well as the competencies of the STCW Code as amended 2010, Table A-VI/5.

Likewise, the FSO section of the course meets the standards of competence provided in 33 CFR 105.205, International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) Part A/2.1.8, ISPS Code Part 1/17, and International Maritime Organization (IMO) Port Facility Security Officer (PFSO) (2015 Edition). Though there are currently no Coast Guard regulations governing FSO course approval, Meridian’s course meets domestic and international standards.

“Meridian is pleased to have this service in order to allow Meridian to train our VSOs in house, as well as the capability to offer this course to our clients in the Gulf Coast Community,” said Meridian President Jonathan McConnell.

To sign up for Meridian’s VSO, CSO, and FSO courses contact Jonathan McConnell at or call the Gulf Coast office at (334) 524-6763

Meridian.US Receives Veteran Institute for Procurement GROW Certification


Meridian recently completed the Veteran Institute Procurement (VIP) GROW Program, a comprehensive training and certification program that helps veteran-owned businesses strengthen their ability to win government contracts and do business with both military and civilian agencies they once served in uniform.

On March 22, 2018, Meridian was one of 50 businesses from 18 states to graduate from the Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) GROW Program. A special reception was also held to celebrate the 1000th VIP Graduate of the program. Sponsors, partners, alumni, federal, state, and local government representatives, and prime government contractors were present to celebrate the achievement of this notable milestone.

“Meridian was honored to participate in the VIP GROW program. We are thankful for the opportunity to learn with fellow veterans how to ensure we provide the best services to our clients,” said Meridian President Jonathan McConnell

The first program of its kind in the nation, VIP GROW is conducted by professional subject-matter specialists in the essentials necessary to win government contracts: law, accounting, insurance, human resources, marketing and proposals. It also provides participants with access to Federal and prime contracting executives along with a national network of veteran owned small businesses that they can team with on opportunities.

Since its launch in 2009, VIP GROW has helped 727 service-disabled and veteran-owned small businesses grow.  A survey of 378 of the program’s graduates reported that they increased their revenue by an average of 54% within their first year of graduating the Institute. More than 82% of surveyed graduates credited VIP GROW for equipping them to make recent business decisions and avoid unseen pitfalls. Additionally, veteran-owned businesses are more likely to hire, mentor and train other war veterans as they transition to private life, which is a national priority.

“We are honored to give back to the men and women who served our country by providing them with the tools necessary to succeed as government contractors.” said Barbara Ashe, President of the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation. “We hope this training fosters their success as businesses and employers.”

VIP GROW is a three-day, 27-hour comprehensive certification program. Participants must be a C-level leader in a Veteran-owned small business operating for at least two years with a minimum of 3 full time employees, and experience working on government contracts as a prime and/or sub-contractor to a prime. With volunteer instructors and at no cost to participants, VIP GROW is fully funded by the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation, partners, and VIP sponsors.

For information on Meridian:  Jason Wilbur, 337-515-5833;
For information on VIP: Barbara Ashe, 301-738-0015 x215;
For additional information, please visit or the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation.

Meridian President Attends CERA Week as a Future Energy Leader

By Jonathan McConnell, President

I was honored to attend CERA Week from March 5-9th as a Future Energy Leader. It has led to some incredibly unique experiences and great dialogue with leaders from BP, Halliburton, Emerson, and numerous others.

CERA Week by IHS Markit’s annual symposium has become the world’s premier energy event where industry leaders gather to learn “critical knowledge and independent analysis on energy markets, geopolitics, industry trends, technology and strategy.”

I can’t sum up all the content in one post and to even attempt it would do no justice to the immense amount of incredible information I’ve gathered this week in Houston. But here are a few key takeaways:

1. Globalization

Don’t view globalization as a threat, but as an opportunity.

2. Find ways to succeed in adverse conditions

The Oil & Gas industry used a downturn in the market to become more efficient and to persevere despite tough economic conditions, finding ways to make oil sustainable at $50 a barrel as opposed to $100 a barrel.

Poor market conditions create opportunity to create efficiency.

3. Workforce Development

If the U.S. wants to continue to grow, we must continue to develop our workforce. Not everyone needs to go to college. Skilled labor is a must and encouraging trade schools and appropriate immigration balance is key.

4. Leadership

Lastly, a company is going to follow the personality of its leadership. Invest in people. Put family and health first. Never be afraid to change your mind. Be humble and never stop learning. Putting people at the center of your operation will lead to better outcomes, both for your employees and your clients.

Meridian is already a leader in providing customized, scalable security services to energy companies around the world. As the global energy market changes and evolves, so will we. We specialize in transoceanic energy transportation security and LNG physical site security, as well as cyber security and natural disaster response.

To learn more about how Meridian can help your company plan to succeed in the ever changing landscape of energy development, contact our headquarters at or (251) 345-6776.

Semper Fi,

Jonathan McConnell


Meridian is Now an Approved USCG Subchapter M TPO Services Provider

February 2, 2018 – The U.S. Coast Guard has approved Meridian to conduct independent verifications of towing vessels or their Towing Safety Management Systems (TSMSs) comply with applicable requirements contained in Title 46 Subchapter M. Meridian is authorized to:
  • Conduct audits of a TSMS, and the vessels to which the TSMS applies, to verify compliance with the applicable provisions of Subchapter M;
  •  Issue TSMS certificates to the owner or managing operator who complies with 46 CFR Part 138;
  • Conduct surveys of towing vessels to verify compliance with the applicable provisions of 46 CFR Subchapter M; and
  •  Issue survey reports detailing the results of surveys, carried out in compliance with 46 CFR Part 137.
For more information on Meridian Third Party Organization services, please contact Captain Hung Nguyen at (808) 282-4981

Meridian’s Newest Service: Towing Vessel Safety Management System

Towing Vessel Safety Management System

January 3, 2018 – On June 20, 2016, the Coast Guard published Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Subchapter M – Towing Vessels. In complying with the new regulations, owners and managing operators have two options: (1) Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) Option, and (2) Coast Guard Option.

Regardless of which option an owner or operator chooses, Meridian is ready to assist with readiness assessment and compliance preparation. We can support the following activities:

  1. TSMS Development and Implementation
  2. Internal Audits
  3. Vessel Survey
  4. Incident Investigation
  5. Management Review Support
  6. Designated Person

To order, please contact (808) 282-4981 or

Other Meridian Services and Products

Meridian Announces New Security Officer Training Course Announces New Security officer (CSO-VSO-FSO) training Course

This 2-day course is designed to support qualifications of:

  • Company Security Officer
  • Vessel Security Officer
  • Facility Security Officer

It meets the requirements of:

  • Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Chapter I Subchapter H
  • International Ship and Port Facility Security Code
  • International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers
  • Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010

The course is taught by former senior regulators and industry security personnel.

Course Topics

  • Maritime Security Awareness
  • Security Organization
  • Risk Based Decision-Making
  • Risk Assessment (vessel / facility)
  • Security Plan Development
    (vessel / facility)
  • Sensitive Security Information
  • Amendments and Audits
  • Drill and Exercise Requirements
  • Recordkeeping Requirements
  • Inspections and Searches
  • Response Management

For more information or to schedule training, please contact Zac Schlarb at 904-638-1353 or

US State Department Updates Travel Warning System

Launching in January, the State Department will update how its travel advisories are issued and ranked for every country in the world to “provide U.S. citizens with relevant safety and security information.”

According to the announcement from the State Department: “Travel advisories will give advice to U.S. citizens by following a four-level classification system and providing clear actions to take. So the level one is to “exercise normal precautions;” level two would be “exercise increased caution;” level three would be “reconsider travel;” and level four would be “do not travel.””

Meridian offers travel advisory and logistics services. As Meridian is a global scale risk mitigation specialist, travel is a large part of our operations.

Meridian operators travel to “any clime and place,” just like the U.S. Marine veterans we employ. Since Meridian travels often and has learned to make our arrangements at a moment’s notice, we have decided to open up our contracted travel rates, savings and services to our clients.

Your company can pre-submit employees and personnel as well as travel documents to use the Meridian Travel Account. They can then submit an email of who will be traveling, when and where they would need to they need to depart and/or arrive. We will then respond with options that work. The travel will then be billed to the business.

Meridian can offer Marine and Offshore airfares and has access to air, ground, sea, and agent services. Meridian will get your business there fast for less.

Further, we have the ability to offer Safety and Security reviews of your travel itinerary, giving a comprehensive look into any security or logistics concerns while you travel in the United States and abroad.

For more information on Meridian’s travel services Contact Us.

Offshore Oil and Gas Regulatory Compliance 2016

In 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted at least one inspection on 103 unique Floating Production Systems (FPS’) and Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs) that operated on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Additionally, 49 fixed platform inspections were performed.

These inspections resulted in 222 deficiencies being written on FPS’ and MODUs and 100 deficiencies on fixed platforms. Fourteen OCS units (8 MODUs, 5 FPSs and 1 platform) received an operational control action as a result of a top-level deficiency being discovered.

Deficiency category breakdown is shown by the diagrams below.