Coast Guard deploys to Gulf

By U.S. Water Information on 2/15/2003

"The Coast Guard has a long history of operating jointly with the Department of Defense forces in matters of national security," said Vice Adm. James Hull, who announced he had ordered the overseas deployment this week.

Two Coast Guard Port Security Units, eight 110-foot coastal patrol boats, extra crews, and Coast Guard elements of the Navy's Harbor Defense Command are affected by the orders.

"In total, about 600 Coast Guard active duty and reservists will be deploying from the Atlantic Area region in the very near future," Hull said in a prepared statement released in Portsmouth, Virginia. Hull is the senior field commander for Coast Guard operations east of the Rockies.

The patrol boats, built in the late 1980s, and their crews are specifically equipped and trained to conduct search and rescue, port security, anti-terrorism/force protection and maritime boarding and interdiction duties.

Hull cited "security reasons" when he declined to say where the forces would be deployed and for how long, saying only that they would "join other U.S. forces under the operational control of a Department of Defense combatant commander."

"As a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Coast Guard is responsible for contributing to the total force readiness of our deployed forces. We take that responsibility very seriously," he said.

The units, cutters and crews being deployed include:

• Two Port Security Units -- PSU 305, based at Fort Eustis, Virginia, and PSU 309, from Port Clinton, Ohio.

• Eight 110-foot Island Class cutters and additional crews -- CGC Wrangell, from South Portland, Maine; CGC Grand Isle, from Gloucester, Massachusetts; CGCs Adak and Bainbridge Island, from Sandy Hook, New Jersey; CGC Aquidneck and the crew of CGC Block Island, from Atlantic Beach, North Carolina; CGCs Pea Island and Knight Island, from St. Petersburg, Florida; CGC Baranof, from Miami, Florida; the crew of the CGC Sapelo, from Key West, Florida; and, Coast Guard elements of the Navy's Harbor Defense Command Unit 206, from Jacksonville, Florida.


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