Members of Coast Guard Port Security Units 311 and 313 relieved U.S. Marines earlier today of responsibility for security on two gas and oil platforms in the Northern Persian Gulf
. The Marines had held both platforms after U.S. Navy SEALS took them from the Iraqi regime.
Members of PSU 311, from San Pedro, Calif., and PSU 313, from Tacoma, Wash., are among the approximately 650 Coast Guard men and women participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Persian Gulf. In addition to the PSUs, Coast Guardsmen are serving in four 110-foot patrol boats, a 378-foot high-endurance cutter, a 225-foot buoy tender, two law enforcement detachments, elements of the National Strike Force and a harbor defense command unit.
PSUs are deployable units organized for sustained operations to support military missions worldwide. Members PSUs train in specialized combat, weapons and boat skills to ensure waterside security and maritime force protection in support of the Department of Defense. PSU 311 and PSU 313 patrolled U.S. waters with their armed 25-foot boats along with other Coast Guard assets immediately following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Coast Guard PSUs have
previously been called for service in Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Desert Storm (the Persian Gulf War) and Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti. A detachment of PSU 311 deployed to the Persian Gulf from
October 2001 to April 2002 to provide force protection for U.S. and allied warships.