Coast Guard cutter Wrangell, homeported in Portland, Me., along with a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter
from Air Station Honolulu, escorted the first waterborne humanitarian aid shipment into the port of Umm Qasr
, Iraq, while members of Coast Guard Port Security Unit 311, from San Pedro, Calif., assisted other coalition forces protecting the harbor.
The shipment, consisting of vital aid donated by numerous countries, will be offloaded from the British ship RFA Sir Galahad and distributed to the Iraqi people.
"The Coast Guard brings expertise in a variety of missions to Operation
Iraqi Freedom, including force protection and port security," said Lt. Cmdr.
Jeff Carter, a Coast Guard spokesman in Bahrain. "The men and women of the
Coast Guard are proud to be a part of the liberation of the Iraqi people,
and we are focused on assisting our coalition partners in reaching that
Approximately 650 Coast Guard men and women are participating in Operation
Iraqi Freedom in the Persian Gulf aboard four patrol boats, a high-endurance
cutter, a buoy tender, two law enforcement detachments, two port security
units, one mobile support unit, elements of the National Strike Force and a
harbor defense command unit.