Reservist

ISS2 2017

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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boats and to on-load KAAOT's Iraqi army prisoners. Next, the landing craft steamed to MABOT to deploy PSU 313 members and equipment, and take on board MABOT's prisoners. Before PSU members on board the GOPLATs established a routine, severe storms rocked the oil terminals. On March 22nd, just a day after the PSUs arrived on board the facilities, a storm struck with high seas and gale force winds. At MABOT, a Navy landing craft suffered damage after the storm swept it under the oil terminal, and MABOT's causeway broke off with the loss of supplies temporarily stacked on it. Moored to MABOT, PSU 313's twenty-five-foot small boats also began to suffer storm damage, so the boat crews got underway. After navigating the treacherous seas for hours, the exhausted crews realized their boats had run dangerously low on fuel and radioed for assistance. The CG High-Endurance Cutter BOUTWELL and buoy tender WALNUT arrived and returned them safely to MABOT. WALNUT also retrieved MABOT's drifting causeway and towed it to KNB. A second storm hit the NAG a few days later, but it caused less damage to the GOPLATs than the first. All of the deployed port security units kept busy. PSU 309 had spent the month of March in Italy lining up logistics, and command and control functions, and preparing for operations in other parts of the Mediterranean. 309 also provided force protection for the Coast Guard's patrol cutters and Navy supply ships docking at Augusta Bay. Meanwhile, most 309 members received four to five hours of training per day. PSU 309 would continue to serve in Italy until mid-April. Back at the GOPLATs, members of PSUs 311 and 313 tried to settle-in to life on board the oil terminals. The PSU complement for each oil platform represented only half of each unit's members since half of PSU 311 and half of PSU 313 still remained in Kuwait guarding their respective port facilities. PSU members on both terminals found the living quarters filthy and rat-infested, so the Coast Guardsmen set up temporary shelters away from the terminal's sleeping quarters. Over time, living conditions improved as PSU members sanitized the living quarters and brought on-line the repaired facilities. On board KAAOT, PSU 311 received a visit from a curious Iranian patrol boat, which approached the terminal and video-taped its Coast Guard inhabitants. Otherwise, life on board the GOPLATs began to settle into a daily routine. Early in the hostilities, Coalition forces captured Iraqi port facilities to allow for the shipment of humanitarian aid and war material. By March 23rd, units of the U.S. Marine Corps and British military forces had secured the port facilities at Umm Qasr, Iraq. NCWG One re- assigned PSU 311 from its original mission to guard KNB and tasked it with providing port security at Umm Qasr on the Khor Abd Allah Waterway. Meanwhile, members from both PSU 311 and PSU 313 back-filled port security needs at the commercial port at Ash Shuaybah. Those 311 members not already deployed to the oil terminals or Ash Shuaybah prepared to depart the KNB for Umm Qasr. PSU personnel taking a break on board a G o PLAT. (U.S. Coast Guard photo) 28 RESERVIST � Issue 2 • 2017

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