ISS1 2016

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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Page 39 of 76

President George H.W. Bush remarked that the Coast Guard is a unique instrument of national policy. Gleaming white cutters enforcing laws across the high seas are one of the most prominent projections of soft power in the United States arsenal of democracy. Lesser known are the contributions of Coast Guard Port Security Units (PSUs) as international ambassadors of the United States overseas, through their participation in exercises such as FOAL EAGLE, LINKED SEAS, FUERTES DEFENSAS, and BRIGHT STAR. PSUs have also provided notable wartime contributions in protecting strategic sealift and port facilities during real-world Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, NOBLE EAGLE, UPHOLD DEMOCRACY and SOUTHERN WATCH. Although staffed primarily by reservists, the eight commissioned, active duty Port Security Units are the only Coast Guard (CG) units focused solely on the Coast Guard's defense readiness mission. Whether it's an exercise or a contingency operation, PSUs are one of the most visible elements of the Coast Guard to the Department of Defense. Many Coast Guardsmen are familiar with PSU deployments over the past decade to well established Forward Operating Bases in Kuwait and Guantanamo Bay. During the years between the Persian Gulf conflicts (1991 to 2002), PSUs regularly participated in exercises to maintain proficiency in mobility, interoperability with Department of Defense (DOD) forces, international engagement and conducting training in austere environments. It was common for PSUs to perform their two-week annual training outside the continental United States (OCONUS) in places such as Egypt, Turkey, Portugal, Panama, Costa Rica and South Korea. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, PSU's found themselves with an operational tempo (OPTEMPO) that precluded participation in many of these exercises. By 2013, the OPTEMPO had decreased and PSU 313 returned to the OCONUS exercise cycle by participating in the Combined/Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore 2013 in Busan, South Korea. This event marked the first time a PSU had operated on the Korean Peninsula in over a decade. In September of 2013, Port Security Unit 309 received word that they would be the next unit to head to the Republic of Korea (ROK) to participate in Combined/Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore 2015 or C/JLOTS 2015 for short. C/JLOTS 2015 was intended to test the ability of U.S. and ROK forces to operate together, in an expeditionary environment, to deliver dry cargo (such as containers and wheeled vehicles) as well as liquid cargo (such as potable water or fuel) across the beach when there is no port facility available. C/JLOTS 2015 reinforced a critical strategic alliance by bringing together over 900 personnel representing all five branches of the United States military and the U.S. Merchant Marine. In addition, over 800 ROK personnel came together from the ROK 1st Marine Corps Amphibious Landing Support Battalion, the Port Operating Unit of the Transportation Command, and the Logistics Command of the ROK Army. While C/JLOTS 2013 was based in the very industrial port facility of Busan, C/JLOTS 2015 would be performed on a remote beach that was completely devoid of any port facilities. Preparations for the exercise were carried out over a 16 month period. Key personnel from PSU 309 traveled to Yongsan Army Garrison in Seoul, South Korea several times to meet with their counterparts from the Army, Navy and ROK Marines to develop and rehearse the concept of operations. Site surveys were conducted at multiple locations in an effort to determine the safest and most realistic exercise area while minimizing the impact on the local fishing industry. In March 2015, US Forces Korea and our South Korean allies decided on the exercise location as Anmyeon Beach in the Taean Coastal National Park, west coast of the peninsula, on the Yellow Sea. The anti-terrorism force protection elements of C/JLOTS 2015 Coast guard and navy personnel take time out from their Tactical operations Center duties for a group photo. 38 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2016

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