MSU Port Arthur to receive National Defense Transportation Association Military Unit Award

Coast Guard 8th District NewsHOUSTON – Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur has been selected to receive the National Defense Transportation Association Military Unit Award, Sept. 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Ariz.

The NDTA Military Unit Award highlights outstanding military units that have gone above and beyond service requirements in the field of transportation and logistics. Units to receive the NDTA Military Unit Award are selected by the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

MSU Port Arthur operates on the forefront of military out load and ports and waterway coastal security operations. MSU Port Arthur’s crew protects a strategic and nationally significant petrochemical port complex that includes two Strategic Ports of Embarkation, two liquefied natural gas facilities, two of the nation’s five Strategic Petroleum Reserves, and will soon boast one of the largest refineries in the world.

In 2009, MSU Port Arthur provided comprehensive protection and support for MOL operations at the Port of Beaumont, one of the nation’s largest SPOE’s that transported roughly 41% of all military equipment used in ongoing overseas campaigns. The unit’s boat crews completed over 7,429 underway hours, established 36 Naval Vessel Protection Zones, and conducted 62 escorts of MOL vessels transporting roughly 216,705 tons of military cargo.

While performing this critical Department of Defense support, MSU Port Arthur conducted over 7,680 weapons issues, screened 2,140 vessel notices of arrival, directed 708 vessel security boarding’s, participated in over 20 inter-agency law enforcement operations, completed 1,617 warrant checks and conducted 64 protective escorts for ships carrying liquefied natural gas and other extremely hazardous cargo.

Leveraging local law enforcement capabilities, MSU Port Arthur partnered with a newly established Jefferson County Marine Division to maximize on-water security operations; a unique approach that received national recognition. Also over this period, the Port of Port Arthur received its official designation as the second SPOE in MSU Port Arthur’s area of responsibility.

Anticipating two-port MOL operations and surges in military deployments and re-deployments for the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, MSU Port Arthur aggressively pursued, justified and secured the necessary Department of Defense funding and a 25% increase in personnel to support the expansion in responsibilities. Meticulously administering a $5 million annual operating expenditure budget, MSU Port Arthur ensured that its fleet of 20 Defender Class Response Boats, personnel and facilities were outfitted with efficient and cost effective measures to meet mission compliance and maximize conservation.

“It is an honor and a privilege to accept the National Defense Transportation Association Military Unit award, however this award does not belong to me, it belongs to the active, reserve and civilian members of Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur,” said Capt. John J. Plunkett, retired commanding officer of MSU Port Arthur. “We wouldn’t of received this award were it not for their hard work and dedication to protecting the ports and waterways of the United States.”

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