Seattle-based Maritime Security Team First in Nation

Friday, June 14, 2002
The first U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) will be based in Seattle and commissioned on July 3, 2002, at the Integrated Support Command, located at Pier 36, Seattle, Wash. Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Thomas H. Collins; Pacific Area Commander, Vice Adm. Terry M. Cross; and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) will be attending the commissioning. Sen. Murray, who was instrumental in bringing an MSST to the Puget Sound, will be the keynote speaker. MSSTs are domestic mobile units that possess specialized training and capabilities to perform a broad spectrum of port safety and security operations. They are modeled after the Coast Guard’s Port Security Units (PSUs) and Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETs). They will be staffed with Coast Guard men and women, ready to respond or deploy, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. MSSTs were established to protect military load-outs; enforce security zones; defend critical waterside facilities in strategic ports; stop illegal activities, such as narcotics trafficking or illegal migrants; and provide a modest level of shore side protection. MSSTs train to be capable of operating under the threat of hostile chemical, biological or radiological attacks. Their boats are equipped with enclosed pilothouses allowing them to operate in rain, sleet, reduced visibility, snow, and other inclement weather. The Seattle-based MSST will the first of four units that will be established at strategic ports throughout the United States in 2002. The other ports are Chesapeake, Va.; Los Angeles/Long Beach, Calif.; and Houston/Galveston, Texas. To make arrangements to cover or obtain footage of the MSST training at MCB Camp Lejeune, N.C.; or to receive additional information on the MSSTs.
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