Port Security Unit 311 – Changing The Watch in Kuwait

KUWAIT NAVAL BASE, Kuwait – December 12, 2008 may not be remembered as a special day in history. But for Port Security Unit 309 from Cleveland Ohio it will probably be a day to remember. It’s the day that Port Security Unit 311 from San Pedro, Calif. took over the Coast Guard’s portion of the port security operations in Kuwait, and PSU 309 could start packing to go home in time for Christmas.

Naval Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) One replaced MSRON FOUR after a seven-month tour protecting the ports of Kuwait. The Coast Guard PSUs deploy as part of the MSRONs under the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC).

The “change of watch”, that took place at Camp Patriot physically located inside the confines of the Kuwait Naval Base, was attended by Army Colonel Christopher Hoffman, Area Support Group Kuwait, and Navy Captain Michael Jordon from Task Group 56.

“We’ve trained hard, we’ve done a great workup, we’ve brought together the Coast Guard and Navy Team,” said Captain Luke McCollum, Commanding officer of MSRON ONE during the relief ceremony. “For the outgoing squadron, I appreciate the job that you have done for the past six to seven months.”

“For us it will also be a historic moment, for this will be the first reserve squadron that’s deployed under the transition from Naval Coastal Warfare to the Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron,” McCollum said referring to the joint service commands that now carry out the security mission here.

“PSU 309 had quite a big hurdle to jump being the first ones (PSU) back in, and re-establishing all of the processes that a PSU needs to have,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ken Stefanisin the Commanding Officer of PSU 311.

“They did a really good job teaching us and keeping us appraised of all the lessons learned,” Stefanisin added. “(that) helped enhance our ability to mobilize more rapidly and adjust our training plans to accommodate the mission sets here. “

PSU 311 will remain in Kuwait until July when they will be replaced by PSU 301.

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