San Francisco Coast Guardsmen deployed to Korea for defense exercise

U.S. Coast Guardsmen assigned to Coast Guard Port Security Unit 312 conduct an underway area familiarization patrol aboard a 32-foot transportable port security boat during Operation Pacific Reach Exercise 2017 (OPRex17) in Pohang, South Korea, April 2, 2017. OPRex17 is a bilateral training event designed to ensure readiness and sustain the capabilities which strengthen ROK-U.S. Alliance. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Rob Simpson)

U.S. Coast Guardsmen assigned to Coast Guard Port Security Unit 312 conduct a patrol  during Operation Pacific Reach Exercise 2017 (OPRex17) in Pohang, South Korea, April 2, 2017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Rob Simpson)

POHANG, Republic of Korea – San Francisco-based Coast Guard Port Security Unit 312 members are deployed in support of Operation Pacific Reach 2017 exercise in Pohang.

The Coast Guard members arrived April 3 to Pohang for support of Combined Joint Logistic-Over-the-Shore (CJLOTS) operations demonstrating U.S. commitment to the Republic of Korea-U.S. Alliance.

“Coast Guardsmen support DoD combatant commanders around the world conducting unique and critical defense missions as part of tailored force packages,” said Vice Adm. Fred Midgette, commander, Pacific Area in Alameda, California. “Port Security Unit 312 is an important part of combined and joint operations with the Republic of Korea and U.S. Forces.”

The 126-member team has worked around the clock to enforce a safety zone around the U.S. Naval Ship Vice Adm. K.R. Wheeler and a two-mile submerged pipeline that extends from the ship to the shores of Dogu Beach.

“This was a challenging but beneficial opportunity for the Port Security Unit to demonstrate it can quickly deploy to support maritime contingency operations anywhere in the world,” said Lt. Cmdr. James Fitzgerald, executive officer, Port Security Unit 312. “This experience has enhanced our units ability to work with coalition partners and other armed services during peace or war-time missions.”

During the CJLOTS exercise, the Wheeler is simulating providing fuel for approximately 2,500 U.S. personnel and 1,200 Republic of Korea personnel participating in the exercise by pumping water through the pipeline. In a real-world scenario fuel would be used for military vehicles and equipment.

PSU members also support 24-hour force protection on shore, side-by-side with Republic of Korea military personnel during CJLOTS.

Deployed personnel represented all eight PSU units in the Coast Guard during the exercise. PSUs are located in Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida, Mississippi, Ohio, California and Washington.

CJLOTS operations are conducted over unimproved shorelines, through ports not accessible to deep draft shipping, and through fixed ports that are
inadequate without the use of LOTS capabilities.

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