A Coast Guard lieutenant commander and graduate of Hastings High School in Houston, took command of Maritime Safety and Security Team Galveston during a ceremony in Galveston Thursday.
Lt. Cmdr. Steve Morris and his wife are both from Houston and he enlisted in the Coast Guard through the recruiting station here.
"When it came time last year for me to make known the units that I desired, there's no doubt that MSST Galveston rose right at the top of the list," said Morris. "To be back in the Houston-Galveston area is a blessing to my family and as you know, this is home."
Prior to taking command of MSST Galveston, Morris served as the inaugural Maritime Safety and Security Team Force Manager at the Coast Guard's Atlantic Area command. He managed six tactical commands engaged in worldwide security, defense and response operations including maritime security for the president of the United States, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and multiple national special security events.
Under command of the previous officer, MSST Galveston was credited with seizing six kilos of heroin, 35 kilos of cocaine and 1,895 pounds of marijuana; handling security for the 2012 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference, six Presidential Security details and the 9/11 commemoration events in New York.
The team he now commands provides special Coast Guard capabilities designed to close the readiness gaps in the nation's strategic ports. Their personnel are trained in maritime law enforcement practices and policies, enabling the unit to augment Coast Guard forces during major marine events, contingencies, and other law enforcement operations in ports, harbor, internal waterways and coastal regions.