US Coast Guard anti-pirate detachment returns from middle east deployment

By: Mark Rockwell

The Coast Guard welcomed a Maritime Security Response Team detachment home from counter-piracy deployment on March 8.

The Chesapeake, VA-based advanced interdiction team (AIT) from the Coast Guard Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT) returned from a five-month counter-piracy deployment to the Middle East, which included duty in the waters off the coast of Somalia and the Arabian Sea, said the Coast Guard.

The team was under the direction of the U. S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, serving aboard the Jacksonville, FL, based USS Farragut (DDG-99) and the Portsmouth, VA, based USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81), assigned to Combined Task Force 151.

According to the Coast Guard, while aboard the Navy ships, the AIT provided subject matter expertise to the Visit, Board, Search and Seizure teams in emergency medical procedures, mission planning and execution, detecting hidden compartments onboard vessels suspected of smuggling contraband and conducting drills involving the interdiction of suspected pirate skiffs and vessels involved in illicit activity.

In the Arabian Gulf, the AIT took part in Iron Siren, a multi-national evolution designed to assess the interoperability of the U.S. and United Arab Emirates navies to conduct counter-piracy and smuggling operations.

The detachment also attended NATO’s Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Course of counter piracy and advanced boarding tactics training before deploying to CTF 151’s area of responsibility, said the Coast Guard. The course prepared the team for the execution of surface, sub-surface, aerial surveillance and special operations activities in support of maritime interdiction operations, it said.

CTF-151 is a multi-national task force working under Combined Maritime Forces to disrupt and thwart piracy operations in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. MSRT’s AIT was engaged in stemming illegal piracy and armed robbery at sea.


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