The members of U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Unit
308 (PSU 308), based in Gulfport, Miss., are scheduled to return home on Thursday to Gulfport’s Army National Guard Combat Readiness Training Center.
The men and women of PSU 308 have completed a seven-month deployment, protecting the Port of Ash Shuaiba
, Kuwait. At the request of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Commander U.S. Central Command, PSU 308 deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom Aug. 14. Their mission was to ensure the safe flow of equipment and supplies through the Port of Ash Shuaiba to coalition forces participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
One of six port security units in the Coast Guard, the PSU provides waterborne security and limited land-based protection for shipping lanes and critical port facilities. Each PSU averages 120 Coast Guard reservists and five active duty personnel. They are outfitted with highly maneuverable small boats and enough equipment and weapons to perform unsupported operations for up to 30 days.
A welcoming ceremony is scheduled to take place in Gulfport, Miss. The commanding officer, Cmdr. Bruce Bruni, will thank the families and friends for their love and support.
“We had to look out for each other, and we really became a family,” said Bruni, 51, of Buffalo, N.Y. “I am proud to be the CO of this unit. Our guys really set the standard for port security.”