SEATTLE — Coast Guard Port Security Unit 313 is scheduled to return home to Everett, Sunday from a nine-month deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and the Global War on Terrorism.
Throughout the deployment, PSU 313 members maintained a continuous maritime anti-terrorism/force protection presence in the Naval Defensive Sea Area of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, directly supporting the Commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay Naval reservation and adjoining waters.
“I’m very proud of the men and women of PSU 313 during this nine-month deployment amassing 7,500 hours patrolling Guantanamo Bay in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel,” said Cmdr. Jim Hotchkiss, commanding officer of PSU 313. “They performed exceptionally during maritime anti-terrorism/force protection patrols during Military Commissions Hearings for the 9/11 attackers and were vital to the success of ten detainee transfers for the planned shutdown of the detention facilities.”
PSU 313 was commissioned on Dec. 12, 1998. It has been mobilized 11 times since its inception, including Republic of Korea in 2000, 2007, and 2013, Kuwait and Iraq in 2003 and 2011, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2008. Approximately 140 selected reservists and six active duty personnel make up the PSU 313 as an expeditionary warfare unit specializing in maritime anti-terrorism/force protection and port security in support of military or humanitarian operations worldwide. PSU 313 maintains garrison facilities as a tenant command of Naval Station Everett in Everett, Washington.
Operation Freedom’s Sentinel is the follow-on mission to Operation Enduring Freedom.
The United States will pursue two missions in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel: (1) working with allies as part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission to continue training, advising and assisting Afghan security forces; and (2) continuing counterterrorism missions against the remnants of Al-Qaeda to ensure that Afghanistan is never again used to stage attacks against the homeland.