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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PSU 311 led the way for Coast Guard land-based personnel into Iraqi territory. On March 24th, its members departed KNB towing four trailered twenty- five-foot port security boats. The PSU convoy proceeded north up the main highway past Kuwait City, Coalition fortified positions and Kuwaiti tanks before reaching the United Nations demilitarized zone. The convoy passed through a final border fence, entered the outskirts of Umm Qasr and headed through the city to the port. As soon as the PSU 311 convoy reached the port facilities, members of the unit readied the boats for launch, unloaded the vehicles and prepared for operations. While Coalition forces had secured the port earlier, snipers occasionally harassed military operations and, late in the first day, a rocket propelled grenade landed near the PSU's new compound. By the end of the day, PSU staff realized they were the first Coast Guard personnel to establish a base of operations on Iraqi soil. Within very little time, PSU 311's daily activities developed into a routine. Members moved into air- conditioned tents and installed field showers with solar- heated water bags. A British port operations unit took over control of the port and erected a large galley and dining facility. NCWG One teams set-up early warning sensor positions around the port complex and brought with them an in-shore boat unit. PSU 311 and the NCWG units would remain in Umm Qasr until late May, when Spanish units relieved them and assumed control of port security. In early spring, some PACAREA units redeployed back to the United States. In mid-April, PSU 309 personnel flew from Italy and arrived at KNB to relieve PSU 313. PSUs 311 and 313 completed their missions on the GOPLATs by early June, so PSU 313 re-deployed home on June 15th. Summer saw the turnover of still more Coast Guard members and units. For example, in August, Gulfport, Mississippi's PSU 308 arrived to relieve PSU 309 and assume its duties securing Ash Shuaybah. During OIF, the Coast Guard performed many vital functions, including port security. The PSUs did so efficiently despite the units being divided into three separate port facilities and two oil terminals. PSU 309 demonstrated that Coast Guard units could serve in areas lacking any Coast Guard infrastructure, such as in the Mediterranean. Coast Guard PSUs added an important chapter to the history of the Service and lived up to the Coast Guard's motto of Semper Paratus, "Always Ready." � PSU 309's port security boat underway. (U.S. Coast Guard photo) Issue 2 • 2017 � RESERVIST 29

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