Coast Guard Training Center to hold last Port Security Specialist class

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard is scheduled to decommission its port security specialist class Friday, at 11 a.m. at the final graduation ceremony at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown.

The Port Security “A” School was commissioned at the training center in 1969 with 21 Coast Guard reserve students.

The final graduation will graduate 20 reserve students.

Port security specialists, a rating fully comprised of reserve personnel, performed vital missions for the Coast Guard since World War I. Their role has been to safeguard critical and vital ports of commerce, both overseas and in the United States, against the threat of terrorism and other acts of maritime crime.

Graduates enforce maritime laws and regulations, serve in port security units that deploy in support of Department of Defense operations, work in maritime safety and security teams, and work with the marine industry to increase the security of commercial enterprises in a homeland security role.

In January of 2010, the new maritime enforcement specialist rating will take effect, which in the future will execute the duties of port security specialists.The maritime enforcement “A” school will be located in the Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, S.C., and the first class will graduate in spring, 2010.

“The decision was made to phase out, over a certain time period, the port security specialist rate and merge it with maritime enforcement specialists, an active duty and reserve rating” said Master Chief Petty Officer Gordon Muise, maritime enforcement specialist rating force master chief. “This new merger and school gives the reservist in the new rate the ability to receive the same training as their active duty counterparts.”

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