Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team to return from Gulf of Aden

GULF OF ADEN – Coast Guard and U.S. Navy Visit, Board, Search and Seize members (VBSS) members are shown enroute to a counter-piracy boarding, Feb. 5, 2011. The Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team San Diego (91109) detachment deployed for four months in support of Combined Task Force 151’s counter-piracy operations. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard and U.S. Navy members are shown enroute to a counter-piracy boarding. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

SAN DIEGO – Elements of a local Coast Guard maritime homeland security unit are scheduled to return to San Diego Saturday evening, March 5, 2011, after a four-month deployment in support of counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) San Diego’s maritime law enforcement/force protection (MLE/FP) team conducted several counter piracy-boardings while deployed aboard U.S. Navy vessels assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (CENTCOM) and Combined Task Force 151.

MLE/FP teams are a highly trained, specialized law enforcement teams trained to conduct high-risk boardings and augment rear area or shipboard security personnel.

The MLE/FP members also conducted law enforcement training while onboard the Navy ships. Coast Guardsmen are experts in maritime vessel boardings and routinely conduct training with Navy Visit, Board, Search and Seize (VBSS) teams as well as international coast guards and navies.

MSSTs were created under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 in response to the attacks of 9/11, and are a part of the United States Department of Homeland Security’s layered strategy directed at protecting seaports and waterways.

These units are a component of the Deployable Operations Group (DOG). The DOG provides properly equipped, trained and organized Deployable Specialized Forces (DSFs) to Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense and interagency operational and tactical commanders.

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