ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A Clearwater, Florida, Coast Guard unit returned home after a nine-month deployment providing security for the Military Commissions hearings for 9/11 attackers and assisting in detainee transfers in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Monday.
In support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Coast Guard Port Security Unit 307 was the first Coast Guard unit in 14 years to integrate and coordinate all seaward-focused anti-terrorism/force protection assets under a single tactical commander and amassed over 8,200 hours protecting Guantanamo Bay.
Deployed in April 2016, they reported to Joint Task Force Guantanamo to assume responsibility as the Maritime Security Detachment. PSU 307 was charged with providing maritime defense of military operations, facilities and personnel in support of the Joint Task Force’s mission of ensuring the safe, humane, legal, and transparent care and custody of law of war detainees.
“I am very proud of the men and women of PSU 307,” said Cmdr. Eric Bernstein, commanding officer of PSU 307. “They performed their duties with the utmost professionalism during Military Commissions hearings for the 9/11 attackers, and were vital to the success of multiple detainee transfers effected to reduce the population remaining within the detention facilities.”
PSU 307 maintains garrison facilities as a tenant command of Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida. The unit was commissioned on May 8, 1999. The unit has mobilized 10 times since its inception, including to Boston, Massachusetts in 2001, New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Kuwait in 2001 and 2004, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2002, 2008, and 2016.
Port Security units support defense operations worldwide providing waterborne and land-based anti-terrorism/force protection for shipping and critical port facilities, in conjunction with harbor defense and coastal sea control operations, as well as humanitarian operations. Port Security Units are 150-person units organized for expeditionary operations. Each unit has six 32-foot Transportable Port Security Boats.