Coast Guard Port Security Unit 305 returns home from overseas deployment

Coast Guard Deployable Operations Group NewsFORT EUSTIS, Va. – A Fort Eustis based Coast Guard Reserve unit returned today from a six-month deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in time to celebrate the Fourth of July with family and friends.

During the deployment, Port Security Unit 305 provided seaward security at strategic port locations around the North Arabian Gulf ensuring the free flow of personnel, equipment and commerce in the region.

“I’m extremely proud of everything we accomplished during the deployment,” said Cmdr. Michael Ferullo, PSU 305’s commanding officer. “Our members conducted themselves with poise and professionalism and built a strong operational relationship with our Navy partners. Now, we’re just happy to be home safely with our family and friends.”

PSU 305 operated and conducted joint training with the Navy’s Maritime Expeditionary Squadron Four as part of Combined Task Group 56.5, under the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command. CTG 56.5 is charged with providing harbor defense and security to ports, seaward approaches, and waterways within U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility.

Prior to deployment, PSU 305 members conducted waterside security and maritime force protection training including specialized combat, weapons and boat skills qualifications.

PSU 305 families are benefiting from the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, a DOD-wide effort to help National Guard and Reserve members and their families locate resources before, during and after deployments. Yellow Ribbon events provide access to information on health care, education and training opportunities, financial and legal benefits.

“The Yellow Ribbon Program was an important part of our success,” Ferullo said. “Knowing our families are connected with the support structures that helped them during our deployment allowed us to focus on the mission in theater. Special moments like birthdays, anniversary and the birth of three babies are always the hardest to miss.”

Thirty-three PSU 305 members earned their Port Security Unit pin during this activation. In addition to being assigned and deploying with the unit, members earning this badge must also complete a comprehensive task list known as the personnel qualification standard. A few of the topics on the checklist include safety, security, supply, communications, first aid, engineering and electronics support.

Established May 1999 as a Coast Guard Reserve unit, PSU 305 provides security and protects personnel and facilities from terrorism, sabotage, espionage, subversion, and attack. The unit has a proud operational heritage, including recent security and humanitarian support to Haiti after the devastating island earthquake, January 2010; and, in support of Operations’ Enduring Freedom, Desert Storm, Noble Eagle and Uphold Democracy.

PSUs are a component of the Coast Guard’s Deployable Operations Group (DOG). The DOG provides properly equipped, trained, and organized Deployable Specialized Forces (DSFs) to Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense and interagency operational and tactical commanders.

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