WASHINGTON – A Coast Guard petty officer was honored Jan. 28 for his superior service while deployed in support border security and overseas combat operations.
Petty Officer 1st Class Shane Goudswaard, assigned to Maritime Safety and Security Team Galveston, Texas, was presented the 2012 National Defense Industrial Association Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict Award for his actions in support of a counter drug and alien migration operation on the U.S. southern border with Mexico and a counter-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden.
This award honors one member from each of the five armed services who has distinguished him or herself while supporting special operations, low-intensity conflicts or irregular warfare.
“It is an incredible honor to be recognized and to represent the Coast Guard amongst such elite group,” Goudswaard said. “Being a deployable specialized force member, I’m able to deploy across the country and around the world to make a difference, and I’m proud of what the teams I’m a part of are able to accomplish.”
During a 30-day, multi-agency counter drug and alien migration operation on the U.S. southern border with Mexico, he expertly advised the strategic placement of waterborne and land based law enforcement patrols for U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Border Patrol personnel and resources. His efforts resulted in the completion of 371 maritime law enforcement boardings, the detention of 835 migrants, the interdiction of 1611 pounds of marijuana, and the collection of critical intelligence information used to disrupt narco-trafficking routes into the United States.
Additionally, while deployed to U.S. Central Command’s operating area, he led two intensive training exchanges between a combined U.S. Coast Guard U.S. Navy Visit, Board, Search and Seizure Team. Notably enhancing boarding capabilities onboard USS Halsey, he established a strong trust between the two teams and actively engaged in seven Combined Task Force-151 boardings, three as the Lead Boarding Officer.
“We are extremely proud of Petty Officer Goudswaard,” said Coast Guard Capt. Gene Gray, Commander of the Coast Guard’s Deployable Operations Group. “His accomplishments epitomize the capability and adaptability the Coast Guard’s deployable specialized forces bring to operational commanders at home and abroad.”
Goudswaard and his fellow honorees were presented the award Monday evening before a crowd of nearly 600 special operations soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and their families. The banquet featured a number of distinguished guests, including Gen. James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Adm. William H. McRaven, Commander U.S. Special Operations Command, who delivered the keynote address.