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 13 of 59

President Ronald Reagan once said, "Peace does not exist of its own will. It depends on us, on our courage to build it and guard it." Port Security Unit 311, located in San Pedro, Calif., prides itself on being ready to protect that peace, domestically or overseas, and in late January, they tested their capabilities to respond when called upon. The unit conducted a field training exercise Jan. 20 in preparation for their upcoming overseas deployment, which requires elevated cohesion among the communication, shoreside, and waterside security components. Planners designed the exercise to test and elevate the unit's capacity for operational interoperability – how the components of the PSU interact with each other. Through extensive coordination with Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach, its partners in the Port of Long Beach, and the Navy, the exercise was conducted at the Navy "mole" in Long Beach, Calif. (The "mole" is a man-made peninsula that juts in front of the former site of the Long Beach Naval Shipyard and fuel pier.) "This secure, sheltered area gave the PSU an isolated training environment where we didn't have to worry about commercial shipping traffic or alarming the public," said Lt. Ricardo J. Rodriguez, assistant operations officer for PSU 311. "It set a realistic scene, giving us a chance for the individual pieces of the PSUs to become familiar with each other's jobs. This just provides for a more cohesive strategy when we're executing any mission." The 12-hour evolution challenged the crew in both daylight and evening hours with near-zero visibility. The shoreside battle positions (BPs) simulated the remote, but fully capable, defensive posts overlooking a maritime security zone. Crewmembers aboard unit's 32-foot transportable port security boats role- played an opposing force, but they also provided on-scene safety and security. The battle positions and TPSBs were armed with crew-served automatic weapons filled with blanks, which added intensity and realism to the controlled, scenario-based exercise. Infused into the exercise were genuine aspects of mission execution, including specified security zones, safety plan and rules of engagement. "While this evolution tested our operational capabilities, the success of any exercise really comes down to the hard work and logistics," said Lt. Cmdr. David Cripe. "Despite changing conditions and last-minute additions, the equipment, food, and transportation were all facilitated smoothly, and that helped us concentrate on the scenarios." During the exercise, the efficiency and precision of the crew of PSU 311 was tested with numerous scenarios. This consistent flow of scenarios, a new one every half hour, maximized training PSU 311 Conducts Field Training Exercise Ahead of Future Deployment Members of PSU 311 occupy the battle positions emulating the remote, but fully capable, defensive posts overlooking the maritime security zone during a field training exercise in preparation for their upcoming overseas deployment Jan. 20. Photos courtesy of PSU 311 12 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2018

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