ISS1 2018

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 11 of 59

Standing Guard in Guantanamo Bay Deep in the Caribbean, fleets of Coast Guard, Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine personnel need to move through and around Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Ensuring their safety is a huge responsibility, which requires the 24-hour presence of highly- trained personnel to ensure the world's elite military force is safe from harm. Those highly-trained personnel come from the nation's smallest military branch – the U.S. Coast Guard. Coast Guard port security units serve as anti-terrorism force protection expeditionary units with boat crews and shoreside security teams capable of supporting port and waterway security within the United States or anywhere in the world the military operates. While deployed to Guantanamo Bay, PSU members provide around-the-clock waterborne security and point defense force protection to Department of Defense assets, and they operate alongside Navy, Marine, Air Force and Army service members conducting joint operations. More than 100 Coast Guardsmen from Port Security Unit 305, based in Fort Eustis, Va., recently returned from executing multiple missions alongside DoD partners who staff the Maritime Security Detachment (MARSECDET) at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during a nearly year-long deployment. Transiting through the mouthwash-blue Caribbean Sea, PSU crew members aboard 32-foot transportable port security boats (TPSB) provide armed escorts to inbound Coast Guard cutters, Navy ships and commercial ships transiting to Guantanamo Bay. PSU crewmembers also escort authorized maritime traffic passing through Guantanamo Bay en route to Cuba, and they enforced offshore security zones. During an emergency response, moving personnel through remote regions in the area can be difficult. Should a medical evacuation or a need to get personnel to these remote locations arise, the fastest route is across the bay via boat. PSU crewmembers routinely train with Marines in launching and recovering personnel from remote locations throughout the bay. On land, PSU service members provide anti-terrorism defense protection to assets and personnel at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay. "People come to Port Security Units for moments like this – for the deployment," said Cmdr. Michael McCarthy, who served as the MARSECDET commanding officer with PSU 305. "You spend four or five years training, but it's not until you actually go on a deployment that you get into the game. This is the highlight and culmination of the training and hard work our people put in getting their boat [qualifications] or their shoreside security [qualifications]." Boatswain's mates, machinery technicians and maritime enforcement specialists make up the majority of the personnel on most GTMO deployments. Beyond operations, a wide support umbrella of administration staff, intelligence, engineering departments, communications, logistics and armory personnel work behind the scenes keeping the boats Coast Guard service members with Port Security Unit 305 scan the horizon from a battle position along the shore of n aval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 10 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2018

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