News: PSU 307 Keeps Guantanamo Bay Secure
Story by Spc. Megan Burnham
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba - One month ago the Coast Guard Port Security Unit 307 arrived in Guantanamo Bay and since then they have been busy patrolling the water as part of their Anti-Terrorism Force Protection mission. When they are on patrol their mission is to maintain awareness of all vessels and personnel that come in and out of the bay, to include swimmers and scuba divers, and identify any potential waterborne threats.
Along with the duty of maintaining awareness of all vessels, escorting them in and out of the bay is also a priority.
PSU teams escorted the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa into Guantanamo Bay as they came in from patrol June 28 to fuel up, obtain provisions and enjoy rest and recreation before returning on patrol. Their mission in the Caribbean is to perform migrant operations and drug interdiction.
The Coast Guard escorted the boat as part of ATFP against any waterborne threats in the bay when the boat came in, while in port and as it shipped out three days later. Their job was to keep any vessels out of the reaction zone around the cutter as it moved through the bay.
"We're protecting the gear and equipment on the front lines," said Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeff Pires, a boatswain's mate with PSU 307. "We provide better visibility at the ports."
"Since 9/11, providing security escorts on high value assets became one of our primary missions," said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Pedro Gonzalez, boatswain's mate.
When the cutter was preparing to go back on patrol, two Viper boats constantly patrolled the bay while the boat conducted skills training.
During the training, if any water vessel came within the reaction zone, Coastguardsmen on the viper boat performed a screening of that vessel. This process involves investigating and assessing the who, what, where and why and then redirecting the vessel a safe distance away from the cutter.
"It (the escort) was definitely appreciated by the guys in the cutter," said Pires.
The viper boats escorted the ship beyond the mouth of Guantanamo Bay and returned back to the boat house, their mission successfully completed.