ISS1 2019

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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PSU 312 participates in PACBLITZ Story and photos by Petty Ofcer 1st Class Matthew Masaschi, PACAREA Public Affairs In a classroom full of students, two instructors talk loudly over the constant hum of a nearby equipment cooling the crammed classroom to a bearable temperature. The two instructors volley back and forth, delivering specific information from a scripted manual as the students glance down and handle the course materials laid out on the tables before them. One of the instructors takes out a stopwatch and shouts a three-word command, injecting life into the classroom. "GAS, GAS, GAS! One, two, three, four…" The instructor counts until he reaches eight seconds. The students, Coast Guard Port Security Unit 312 service members, aren't in a typical classroom. They're sitting side-by- side packed in a desert-tan tent near Port Hueneme, Calif., constructed along the water's edge within earshot of seals barking loudly from the harbor nearby. The San Francisco-based PSU service members are learning how to quickly and properly don life-saving gas masks, sealing their face and airways from potentially deadly gases they could be exposed to where the globally-deployable PSU is trained to operate. Upon hearing the three-word command, the service members carefully, yet quickly, pick up the gas masks and push them tightly against their faces, pulling on the straps just as instructors taught them moments before. They practice the technique over and over again until everyone in the class accomplishes it within eight seconds from the time the command is given. Learning how to wear gas masks was only one element Coast Guard PSU 312 service members completed during the Department of Defense-led joint exercise known as Pacific Blitz 2019, which concluded in March in Southern California. The multi-week exercise provided PSU 312 service members with realistic and relevant training opportunities necessary to be effective global crisis responders and to prepare the members for worldwide deployments in support of the regional combatant commanders they serve. In preparation for the training, Port Security Unit 312 service members loaded their gear and trailered their boats and equipment five hours south of San Francisco to Port Hueneme where the unit-wide participation in Pacific Blitz exercise positioned the reservists in the field for two weeks, serving alongside Marine Corps and Navy service members. PSUs are globally deployable, self-sufficient units, staffed primarily by reserve men and women, consisting of a variety of officer specialties and enlisted ratings, representing a wide cross-section of America. "The eight Port Security Units are made up of men and women from some of the most diverse backgrounds you can imagine," said Lt. Cmdr. Jesse Rangle, executive officer of Port Security Unit 312. "We have firefighters, teachers, mothers, fathers, scientists with Ph.D.s, commercial airline pilots—almost every profession and aspect that exists right now in America, you see in the port security unit community." Service members assigned to PSUs provide waterborne and RESERVIST MAGAZINE AROUND THE RESERVE Members from Port Security Unit 312, aboard 32-foot TPSB, patrol the waters near Port Hueneme, Calif., during the unit's deployment to the region in support of the DOD- led Paci-c Blitz 2019 exercise, March 6. 8 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2019

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