Boston based security team departs for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Coast Guard Marine Safety and Security Team Boston departs for Guantanamo Bay, CubaBOSTON — A Boston-based maritime anti-terrorism unit deployed today in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Members of U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) Boston (91110) departed Hanscom Air Force Base for Cuba today.

During the deployment, members will provide land and waterside security and support to Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“As a unit, we hope to continue the tradition of excellence that the Coast Guard has established with other federal services and agencies throughout its tenure working under the SOUTHCOM area of responsibility,’ said Lt. j.g. Thomas Wieland, MSST Boston’s public affairs officer.

Prior to deploying, unit members completed two-months of training that included boat and weapon qualifications, team coordination training and CPR certification.

“We worked rigorously to improve our proficiency with the rules and regulations that govern the area and our mission down there,” Wieland said.

To augment the MSST’s active-duty component, reservists from across the nation were hand selected for the upcoming deployment.

“We have added a great mixture of individuals from across the country to our team. They have already made a great impact within the unit,” said Lt. Kevin Duffy, MSST Boston’s executive officer.

The reservist members’ civilian occupations include everything from undergraduate students to emergency service personnel and retail employees. Each volunteered for the deployment, excited to join the unit and serve their country.

“My Dad was called up for service for Vietnam with the New Hampshire National Guard as was Grandfather in the Army Air Force for WWII before him,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Wyskiel, a New England native and Chittenden County, Colchester Police Officer. “I have been waiting for the call to do my part for five years in the Coast Guard Reserves and now finally have my chance to deploy with a great unit.”

MSST Boston was created under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) in direct response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and are a part of the Department of Homeland Security’s layered strategy directed at protecting seaports and waterways.

MSSTs provide waterborne and a shore-side antiterrorism force protection for strategic shipping, high-interest vessels and critical infrastructure. These units are a quick response force capable of rapid worldwide deployment via air, ground or sea transportation in response to changing threat conditions and evolving maritime homeland security mission requirements.

Eleven MSSTs are strategically positioned throughout the nation and are components of the U.S. Deployable Operations Group (DOG). The DOG provides properly equipped, trained and organized Deployable Specialized Forces (DSFs) to Coast Guard, DHS, Department of Defense and interagency operational commanders.

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