Cutters Assist in Naval Vessel Protection Zone

Thursday, January 30, 2003
Coast Guard crews from the CGC Cobia and a Marine Safety Office Port Arthur, Texas, small boat are performing escort duties today for the USNS Britton, a military cargo vessel, at the port of Beaumont, Texas, as it relocates military resources in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The crews are responsible for enforcing the Naval Vessel Protection Zone in the port, which requires all vessels to keep a distance of 100 yards from all naval vessels and operate at minimum speeds when within 500 yards of a naval vessel. The United States is repositioning some of its military resources as required to support the global war on terrorism and to prepare for future contingencies as may be directed. One of the Coast Guard’s responsibilities, as the lead agency for maritime homeland security and as a branch of the Armed Forces, is to ensure the safety and security of military outloads in U.S. ports. Military outloads are not uncommon in the port of Beaumont nor are they new to the Coast Guard. During the Persian Gulf War, Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, Operation Southern Watch in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Operation Guarding Liberty following the Sept. 11 attacks, the Coast Guard was called in to provide various aspects of port safety and security.

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