Coast Guard Unit Returns From Iraq

Tuesday, May 06, 2003
The more than 100 members of Coast Guard Port Security Unit 305 (PSU 305) based at Ft. Eustis, Va., who were assigned under the European Combatant Commander for Operation Iraqi Freedom, will return home late Tuesday night. PSU 305 was deployed as part of a Master Plan, which included the deployment of extensive military equipment and more than 300,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen. Port Security Unit members are trained to provide waterborne and limited land-based protection for shipping and critical port facilities throughout the world. At the height of Operation Enduring Freedom, more than 100 PSU 305 personnel were deployed. During deployment to the Mediterranean, they utilized their skills and expertise to help develop antiterrorism and force protection guidelines for U.S. operations in Turkey; provided pier-side security in Souda Bay, Spain and conducted training for Naval Security Force Harbor patrol members in tactics, techniques and procedures in providing force protection to waterborne assets. Although PSU 305 operations were limited, they were trained and ready to support the President in the War on Terrorism and other contingencies as needed. “With every military operation, operational commanders prepare for every contingency they can possibly imagine,” said Cmdr. Robert Grabb, PSU 305 commanding officer. “We were initially deployed to Rota to serve in a forward operating area for possible redeployment to Turkey. Although that front never materialized, PSU 305 is proud of the fact that we were well trained and ready to assist the operational commanders as needed.” Four of the Coast Guard’s six PSUs based in the United States were deployed for Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom. The others are PSU 311 from San Pedro, Calif.; PSU 313 from Tacoma, Wash.; and PSU 309 from Port Clinton, Ohio. PSU 305 has been deployed three times in the last 20 months: to New York Harbor following the World Trade Towers Attack; to Guantanamo Bay Cuba between Jan. and June 2002, and for Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom. A number of Coast Guard units remain assigned to the Central Command in Bahrain and will remain there as long as the Operational Commander needs them.

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