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CG Units to Deploy for Operation Enduring Freedom

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The Coast Guard's Atlantic Area Commander ordered the deployment of eight, 110-foot Island Class patrol boats and two Port Security Units (PSUs) comprising of about 600 Coast guard men and women, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).

Vice Adm. James Hull ordered the deployments this week as the United States repositions some of its military forces where required to support the global war on terrorism and to prepare for future contingencies.

"The Coast Guard has a long history of operating jointly with Department of Defense forces in matters of national security," said Vice Adm. Hull. "These deployments demonstrate how the Coast Guard's missions and expertise can play an important role in the broader DOD operation to fight terrorism and prepare for future contingencies."

Coast Guard patrol boats receiving orders to deploy overseas in support of Operation Enduring Freedom include: USCGC Wrangell, USCGC Adak, USCGC Aquidneck, USCGC Baranof, USCGC Bainbridge Island, USCGC Grande Isle, USCGC Knight Island and USCGC Pea Island.

Approximately 400 Coast Guard men and women assigned to these cutters, along with operations and support personnel from 20 other commands, including Yorktown and Miami-based Tactical Law Enforcement Teams (TACLETs), have been training here over the past several weeks to prepare for this deployment.

Another 200 Coast Guard reservists from two Port Security Units (PSU 305 based in Yorktown and PSU 309 based in Port Clinton, Ohio) also received orders to deploy this week. PSUs, a component of the U.S. Naval Warfare Command, provide waterborne and land-based protection for shipping and critical port facilities in support of U.S. and allied naval forces throughout the world.

Coast Guard members assigned to the Navy's Harbor Defense Command Unit 206, based in Jacksonville, Fla., also received orders to deploy.

The specific dates of departure, duration and destination of the deployment are not being disclosed for operation security reasons.

"This deployment illustrates the Coast Guard's commitment to protecting America from terrorism both at home and abroad," Hull said.

The patrol boats, built in the late 1980s, and crews are specifically equipped and trained to conduct Search and Rescue, port security, anti-terrorism/force protection and maritime boarding and interdiction duties.

Six members of the Coast Guard National Strike Force, with expertise in maritime pollution response received orders last week to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

USCGC Boutwell, a 378-foot high endurance cutter, deployed from its homeport of Alameda, Calif., Jan. 3 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

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