Coast Guard Pacific Area is set to commission a new port security unit (PSU 312). Vice Adm. Harvey Johnson, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, will be the presiding official for the ceremony in which Cdr. Donald G. Huenefeld will assume responsibility for PSU 312. PSUs provide a force of six active duty and 140 reserve members who possess specialized skills, capabilities and expertise to perform a broad range of port security and harbor defense missions. They are the model on which Coast Guard law enforcement detachments and maritime safety and security teams are based.
PSUs are capable of augmenting Coast Guard or Department of Defense forces during major marine events or law enforcement operations focused primarily in ports, harbors, internal waterways and coastal regions. They have been deployed to Iraq, Egypt, Korea, Spain, Cuba, and Haiti in support of U.S. operations under DoD theater commanders, and performed maritime law enforcement activities in New York, Boston, Los Angeles/Long Beach and Puget Sound harbors immediately following the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001.
PSUs are equipped to maintain maritime security at all levels anywhere in the world without supplemental support for up to 30 days. They can be operational within 96 hours of notification of a chemical, biological or radiological threat or incident. The commissioning ceremony is a time-honored tradition that formally and publicly signals the first milestone in the history of a military unit.
Commissioning establishes responsibility, authority and accountability of a unit in the United States. This is the Coast Guard's seventh port security unit to be commissioned. Other PSUs are based in St. Petersburg, Fla., Tacoma, Wash., Fort Eustis, Va., Gulfport, Miss., Port Clinton, Ohio, and San Pedro, Calif. An eighth PSU is slated to be commissioned in Cape Cod, Mass., in the near future.