MANSFIELD, Ohio – A Port Clinton, Ohio, based Coast Guard Reserve unit is scheduled to return from a three-month deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom Wednesday, Oct. 3.
During the deployment, Port Security Unit 309 provided seaward security at strategic port locations around the North Arabian Gulf ensuring the free flow of personnel, equipment and commerce in the region.
Capstoning nearly 10-years of Coast Guard operations, the PSUs were released from their Operational Responsibilities supporting Task Group 56.5 at Kuwait Naval Base, Sept. 24.
“During the past nine-and-a-half years, more than 2,000 PSU members have teamed with our Navy brothers and sisters in arms to protect high-value assets carrying millions of tons worth of ammunition, fuel, and equipment,” said Capt. Gene Gray, Deployable Operations Group commander. “These efforts ensured the operational commanders in both the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters had the flexibility to adjust to strategic situations and shifts in offensive operations.”
PSU 309 conducted joint operations and training with the Navy’s Maritime Expeditionary Squadron Three 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.
“I’m very proud of the PSU 309 crew,” said Cmdr. Gerald A. Nauert, PSU 309’s commanding officer. “They provided security to Northern Arabian ports and honed their skills, keeping the edge on the sword. In addition to that, they also cleaned house and prepared the nearly 10-years of accumulated equipment for our demobilization.”
PSU 309 can trace its history back to mid-80s and early 90s when PSUs were "notional" units, meaning they would remain in a training phase mainly manned by reservists until they were activated to a deployed area as a Rapid Deployment Force.
With the commissioning of PSU 309, in 1995, such units moved from a notional unit to a self-sustaining Coast Guard unit with a proud operational heritage, including missions in support of Operations’ Enduring Freedom, Iraqi 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, interagency operational and tactical commanders.