CHESAPEAKE, Va. – A Chesapeake-based advanced interdiction team from the Coast Guard Maritime Security Response Team returned home, March 8, from a five-month counter-piracy deployment to the Middle East.
"I'm very proud of our advanced interdiction team," said Capt. Brian Thompson, MSRT commanding officer. "While deployed overseas, they were able demonstrate the valuable law enforcement skills sets the Coast Guard offers combatant commanders around the globe."
Under the direction of the U. S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, the detachment served aboard the Jacksonville, Fla., based USS Farragut (DDG-99) and the Portsmouth, Va., based USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81), assigned to Combined Task Force 151.
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, they 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 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. The course prepared the team for the execution of surface, sub-surface, aerial surveillance and special operations activities in support of maritime interdiction operations.
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.
The MSRT's mission is to provide a short-notice, threat-tailored, maritime response force to deter, protect against, and respond to threats of maritime terrorism and to higher-risk criminal law enforcement threats on the water or in a port. It is a scalable and agile force that operational commanders directly request for short notice and planned deployment.
The MSRT deploys tailored force packages for national-level, maritime homeland security missions in support of domestic Coast Guard operational commanders and overseas missions in support of combatant commanders . Additionally, the MSRT augments Coast Guard commands with subject matter experts in high-threat law enforcement matters during domestic events; such as, presidential inaugurations, political conventions, international service training, and special security events.