Meridian Rapid Defense Group is poised to assist The Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to strengthen our Nation’s maritime critical infrastructure. The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), a department of DHS, has established a Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) that directly supports maritime transportation infrastructure security activities. PSGP is one tool in the comprehensive set of measures authorized by Congress and implemented by FEMA and DHS to strengthen the Nation’s critical infrastructure against risks associated with potential terrorist attacks.
FEMA has already designated select, high-risk ports to receive federal grant money to improve their port security. Ports in California, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Texas and Washington have been deemed high-risk and have budgeted as much as $55 million for infrastructure security.
Meridian’s Archer 1200™ anti-vehicle barriers and Beam Gates have been successfully in use at the Long Beach and San Diego Ports since 2012., The Archer 1200™ is the most popular barrier for perimeter security. With its modular design and easy mobility, the Archer 1200™ enhances a port’s overall security system while maintaining the ability to react to changing needs.
Meridian Rapid Defense Group announced today that Mr. Dean F. Valentine has been appointed as President effective immediately. Mr. Valentine takes the top post as the defense specialists continues expansion worldwide.
“We are extremely pleased to have Dean join our Meridian management team. He brings extensive and valuable experience in business and finance, particularly in the security industry,” said Meridian CEO Peter Whitford. “His expertise and proven leadership will greatly enhance our systems and processes as we continue to execute our business strategy.”
“Meridian is poised to be an industry leader,” said Valentine. “Being able to marry a business background and practical worldwide security experience will enable me to lead them through extraordinary growth over the next few years.”
Mr. Valentine was the chief operating officer of an Abu Dhabi, UAE-based security services and training company. An officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, he was temporarily recalled to active duty in February 2013 to serve on the staff of the Commander of Naval Special Warfare, ending that post just prior to taking the Meridian role.
As a business and finance executive, Mr. Valentine’s roles have included partnership at an alternative investment management firm, portfolio manager at a bond and corporate loan fund, and investment banker. A 14-year military veteran, Mr. Valentine’s military assignments have included deployments to Asia, South America and Europe as an operational platoon commander and as a special operations force planner.
Mr. Valentine holds an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and a BS in Economics from the United States Naval Academy.
The GPEC Trade Show held September 9-11, 2014 in Leipzig, Germany marked the introduction of Meridian Rapid Defense Group to the European market. Meridian representative, Sam Levin, joined their newest distributor, COBBS Industries, at GPEC to showcase the manufacturer-leading line of Archer barriers to mainland Europe.
COBBS Industries, a Dutch-based security systems distributor, have much success with providing tactical equipment and innovative security solutions in most European and NATO countries. Serving in Dutch Special Forces together, CEO Bram Oostvogel and his sales staff have used their unique capabilities and connections with government officials to bring attention to the solutions they have to offer.
In light of NATO’s recent call to increase defense spending in the EU, The Meridian-COBBS partnership is poised to fill gaps in key security areas.
“As we expand our business in Europe, we are pleased to align ourselves with COBBS. Their infield experience and expertise are key in relating the Meridian product advantages to European buyers,” said Peter Whitford, CEO of Meridian.
Added COBBS Account Manager Bas Swaab, “We are very pleased with the initial response by the European markets. Foreign and Interior Ministries and airport officials have already shown serious interest in all the unique possibilities that Meridian and COBBS Industries have to offer.”
“High profile international events will see a lot of Archer barriers put to use in order to control traffic flow”, added Swaab.
With more than 500 exhibitors from 28 different countries in attendance, GPEC (General Police Equipment Exhibition & Conference) is Europe’s leading closed specialized trade fair. Meridian showcased a range of security solutions including the Archer 1200 anti-vehicle barrier, which also attracted the attention of representatives from various Middle Eastern regions.