Maritime Safety and Security Team return home from Haiti

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Nine Coast Guardsmen, from Maritime Safety and Security Team San Francisco 91105, returned home this weekend from a 16-day deployment to Haiti.

The unit, based on Coast Guard Island in Alameda, sent nine members of its crew to assist in the aftermath of an earthquake that hit the nation of Haiti Jan. 12, 2010.

The unit acted in several capacities during their deployment to Haiti including providing security for the:

  • American Embassy
  • Diplomatic Security Service
  • Senior military officers and the U.S. Secretary of State
  • Federal Communication Commission
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Port-au-Prince, Haiti Seaport Pier as part of a Joint Security Team with the 82nd Airborne

“We witnessed total devastation of outlying villages, collapsed buildings, a lack of infrastructure, very little running pottable water, very little food for the people and limited medical staff and supplies,” said Chief Petty Officer Clifford Fuller of MSST San Francisco 91105.

The unit was on-call 24/7 for the first nine days of their deployment and averaged 12-16 hour days during their deployment.

“Our training for intra-control points was vital in our ability to plan on the move during our many security details and during crowd control,”said Fuller. “Our trained emergency medical technicians provided quick assessments and quicker medevacs.” The unit was staffed with two combat lifesavers and one EMT.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Cory McDermott, an EMT assigned to MSST San Francsico 91105, who was instrumental in assessing injuries and arranging numerous medevacs for injured Haitians, commented on the importance of teamwork within his unit. He said, “Petty Officer 1st Class Marcel LeRoy, our interpreter from MSST Miami, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Edwards, our Corpsman from New Orleans, made life a lot easier on us and they were instrumental in our successful mission.”

The MSST unit was part of a multi-agency and multi-national strike force that had the resources and opportunity to help the people of Haiti in their time of need.

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