JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – A Clearwater, Fla., based Coast Guard Reserve unit deployed Saturday to the Middle East in support of Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Port Security Unit (PSU) 307 deployed from Joint Base Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst with the Navy’s Maritime Expeditionary Squadron Two as part of Combined Task Group 56.5, under the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command. CTG 56.5 is charged with providing harbor defense and security to ports, seaward approaches, and waterways within U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility and ensuring the free flow of personnel, equipment and commerce in the region.
“Our members are highly trained, very motivated and excited to be deploying,” said Cmdr. J. Brad Wallace, PSU 307’s Commanding Officer and Task Group 56.5 Deputy Commander. “We have completed extensive specialized pre-deployment training which exemplifies the Coast Guard’s continuing commitment to safeguard our nation both at home and abroad.”
PSU 307 members conduct waterside security and maritime force protection training including specialized training and qualification in combat, weapons, communications, and tactical boat skills areas before and after being activated.
“We mobilized months in advance of the deployment to conduct training and ensure medical, dental and personal readiness,” Wallace said. “Part of that mobilization readiness includes ensuring the families left behind are connected into a support system and are aware of all the resources availability to them while the service member is deployed overseas.”
PSU 307 families are benefiting from the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, a DOD-wide effort to help National Guard and Reserve members and their families locate resources before, during and after deployments. Yellow Ribbon events provide access to information on health care, education and training opportunities, financial and legal benefits. PSU 307 conducted a major Yellow Ribbon event in May after mobilization.
Established May 1999 as a Coast Guard Reserve unit, PSU 307 provides security and humanitarian support, protecting personnel and facilities from terrorism, sabotage, espionage, subversion, and attack. The unit has a proud operational heritage, including recent security and humanitarian support to Haiti after last year’s devastating island earthquake; and, in support of Hurricane Katrina, Operations’ Enduring Freedom, Desert Storm, Noble Eagle and Uphold Democracy.
PSUs are a component of the Coast Guard’s 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.