Specialized law enforcement team provides recruits with unique experience

by Petty Officer 1st Class NyxoLyno Cangemi

Carrying machine guns and wearing bulletproof vests, the team breached the door of the building and entered one of the rooms. All 35 people in the room watched as the five-man team entered, guns drawn. Moving methodically through the room, it took the armed team only seconds to subdue and handcuff the terrorist at the front of the room.It’s not everyday a terrorist gets captured on a Coast Guard base, but for the recruit companies at Coast Guard Recruit Training Center Cape May, N.J., the law enforcement demonstration in their classroom was an opportunity for the recruits to see firsthand the possibilities that await them after boot camp.

Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team 91110, homeported in Boston, spent time with two recruit companies Sept. 24, 2007, at the training center to demonstrate how the team performs during high-risk boardings at sea. The classroom demonstration was one part of a broader presentation designed to educate recruits on job opportunities available to them after graduation, and to inform them on the Coast Guard’s maritime law enforcement and security roles.

Members from the MSST educated recruits on the Coast Guard’s scuba dive program and law enforcement missions. The presentation included static displays of gear and equipment, and provided hands-on demonstrations, allowing recruits to wear special law enforcement gear unique to the MSST team.

“We have done demonstrations for several groups and organizations and even members of congress,” said Petty Officer 1st Class James Gastringer, one of the team leaders with the MSST who provided training for the recruits. “This was probably the most rewarding demonstration we’ve done though. This was a great opportunity show the recruits that we are a dynamic and diverse team who work together.”

Lt. Steve Morris, the operations officer with the MSST, said the experience was a great avenue to showcase and highlight some of the skills practiced by the MSST.

“This is a great opportunity to show recruits our capabilities,” Morris said. “From scuba diving, close quarters combat and vertical delivery from helicopters, the demonstrations allowed us an opportunity to gain exposure with an audience that doesn’t know much about what we do.”

“It opened the eyes of the recruits to see what’s available to them,” Gastringer said. “It’s good for them, and it’s good for the Coast Guard.”

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