Washington Coast Guard Crew Deploys to South Korea

By Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith
Thursday, May 09, 2013
A boat crew from U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Unit (PSU) 313, from Everett, Wash., conducts a security patrol in a 4th generation, 32-foot transportable security boat (TSB) off the coast of Dogu beach in support of exercise Foal Eagle, April 21, 2013. This is the first time since 2006 that a Coast Guard PSU has participated in Korean Theater of Operations (KTO). (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith/Released)

Through chilling winds and choppy seas, five-man crews aboard small, gray security boats worked tirelessly for 10 days patrolling the waters around a massive 348-foot petroleum vessel near the coast of Pohang, South Korea.

Boat crews from Port Security Unit (PSU) 313 worked night and day to enforce a safety zone around U.S. Naval Ship Vice Adm. K.R. Wheeler and an eight-mile submerged pipeline that extended from the ship to the shores of Dogu Beach.

During Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise (CJLOTS), the Wheeler simulated providing fuel for the more 1,200 personnel involved in the exercise by pumping water through the pipeline to large bladders on shore. These bladders would then be used to fuel military vehicles and equipment in a real-world scenario.

“We provided protection for the pipeline and prevented local fisherman from anchoring or dragging fishing nets across the pipe,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan Gere, a reservist for eight years who has been with PSU 313 for almost three years and is a Snohomish, Wash., native. “We overcame our biggest challenge, the language barrier, by incorporating Korean Augmentation to the United States Army personnel into our boat crews to serve as interpreters.”

The KATUSA program provides the U.S. military with Korean-speaking soldiers, allowing greater military functionality and maneuverability. This exercise brings together U.S. military troops and Korean allies to build working relationships and enhance security and readiness on the Korean peninsula.

The crew of PSU 313 also provided 24-hour force protection on shore, side-by-side with Republic of Korea (ROK) Military personnel during CJLOTS.

“Security teams ran entry control points alongside the ROK Marines and ROK Navy,” said Gere. “ROK personnel helped with security and communication at the check points.”

In addition to language barriers, unpredictable weather conditions also proved challenging for PSU 313. Temperatures would fluctuate rapidly between 30 F and 70 F. The seas would be calm one minute with more than 8-foot swells the next, and winds gusted up to 50 miles-per-hour.

“Safety was always priority one,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Daniel Clark, commanding officer for PSU 313. “In accordance with policy, the boat crews operated the TPSBs 24/7 in a broad spectrum of weather conditions and identified some mechanical areas we need to improve. This was a good opportunity and a good environment to do that.”

During roving patrols on foot along Dogu Beach, security teams would walk nearly three miles along the shore day and night, taking intermittent refuge in tents to keep warm. Shore-side security teams rotated watches through five different checkpoints, working closely with the Korean military and building relations with the Korean Navy and Marines.

“The Coast Guard provides security for ports across the United States,” said Coast Guard Rear Adm. Charles Ray, prospective Pacific Area deputy commander. “We’ve been doing this for over 200 years, and we’ve got a role to play here. The only way you develop the capability is to go do it. When our nation needs us, these guys will be ready.”
 

  • Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan Gere of U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Unit (PSU) 313, from Everett, Wash., conducts a security patrol in a 4th generation, 32-foot transportable security boat (TSB) off the coast of Dogu beach in support of exercise Foal Eagle, April 21, 2013. Foal Eagle is a Combined/Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise (C/JLOTS) involving all five branches of the U.S. Military designed to enhance the security and readiness of the Republic of Korea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by

    Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan Gere of U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Unit (PSU) 313, from Everett, Wash., conducts a security patrol in a 4th generation, 32-foot transportable security boat (TSB) off the coast of Dogu beach in support of exercise Foal Eagle, April 21, 2013. Foal Eagle is a Combined/Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise (C/JLOTS) involving all five branches of the U.S. Military designed to enhance the security and readiness of the Republic of Korea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by

  • Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Spencer Filzen (second from right), of Port Security Unit (PSU) 313 of Everett, Wash., talks with marines from the Republic of Korea while standing a joint, security watch at the Joint Operations Center during a Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise (CJLOTS), April 20, 2013. This is the first time since 2006 that a Coast Guard PSU has participated in the Korean Theater of Operations (KTO). (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smit

    Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Spencer Filzen (second from right), of Port Security Unit (PSU) 313 of Everett, Wash., talks with marines from the Republic of Korea while standing a joint, security watch at the Joint Operations Center during a Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise (CJLOTS), April 20, 2013. This is the first time since 2006 that a Coast Guard PSU has participated in the Korean Theater of Operations (KTO). (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smit

  • U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan Gere (left) and Petty Officer 2nd Class Carla Galland (right), both of Coast Guard Port Security Unit (PSU) 313, from Everett, Wash., talk during a security patrol off the coast of Dogu Beach in support of exercise Foal Eagle, April 21, 2013. PSU 313 along with Republic of Korea military forces, provided 24-hour water-side and shore-side force protection during Foal Eagle, a Combined/Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise (C/JLOTS). (U.S. Coast Gu

    U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan Gere (left) and Petty Officer 2nd Class Carla Galland (right), both of Coast Guard Port Security Unit (PSU) 313, from Everett, Wash., talk during a security patrol off the coast of Dogu Beach in support of exercise Foal Eagle, April 21, 2013. PSU 313 along with Republic of Korea military forces, provided 24-hour water-side and shore-side force protection during Foal Eagle, a Combined/Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise (C/JLOTS). (U.S. Coast Gu

  • Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan Gere (RIGHT) demonstrates to the crew of Port Security Unit (PSU) 313 of Everett, Wash., how to conduct a pre-mission inspection of their tactical floatation systems for use during a Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise (CJLOTS), April 16, 2013. PSU 313 along with Republic of Korea military forces provided 24-hour water-side and shore-side force protection during CJLOTS. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith/Released)

    Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan Gere (RIGHT) demonstrates to the crew of Port Security Unit (PSU) 313 of Everett, Wash., how to conduct a pre-mission inspection of their tactical floatation systems for use during a Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise (CJLOTS), April 16, 2013. PSU 313 along with Republic of Korea military forces provided 24-hour water-side and shore-side force protection during CJLOTS. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith/Released)

  • Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan Gere of U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Unit (PSU) 313, from Everett, Wash., conducts a security patrol in a 4th generation, 32-foot transportable security boat (TSB) off the coast of Dogu beach in support of exercise Foal Eagle, April 21, 2013. Foal Eagle is a Combined/Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise (C/JLOTS) involving all five branches of the U.S. Military designed to enhance the security and readiness of the Republic of Korea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by
  • Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Spencer Filzen (second from right), of Port Security Unit (PSU) 313 of Everett, Wash., talks with marines from the Republic of Korea while standing a joint, security watch at the Joint Operations Center during a Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise (CJLOTS), April 20, 2013. This is the first time since 2006 that a Coast Guard PSU has participated in the Korean Theater of Operations (KTO). (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smit
  • U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan Gere (left) and Petty Officer 2nd Class Carla Galland (right), both of Coast Guard Port Security Unit (PSU) 313, from Everett, Wash., talk during a security patrol off the coast of Dogu Beach in support of exercise Foal Eagle, April 21, 2013. PSU 313 along with Republic of Korea military forces, provided 24-hour water-side and shore-side force protection during Foal Eagle, a Combined/Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise (C/JLOTS). (U.S. Coast Gu
  • Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan Gere (RIGHT) demonstrates to the crew of Port Security Unit (PSU) 313 of Everett, Wash., how to conduct a pre-mission inspection of their tactical floatation systems for use during a Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise (CJLOTS), April 16, 2013. PSU 313 along with Republic of Korea military forces provided 24-hour water-side and shore-side force protection during CJLOTS. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith/Released)
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