Specialized Maritime Boarding Team Prepares for Turnover
Story Number: NNS050602-17
Release Date: 6/2/2005 9:59:00 PM
By Journalist 3rd Class Joseph Ebalo, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs
MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- U.S. Coast Guardsmen of Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) 404 and 406 at Patrol Boat Forces South West Asia began a two-week turnover with LEDET 402 and 107 June 1.
These 10-man detachments deploy from U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Tactical Law Enforcement Teams stateside on 60- to 90-day tours. Their presence aboard U.S. Navy patrol craft brings a unique law enforcement skill set to coalition naval forces conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in the North Persian Gulf.
“Our primary mission is to conduct maritime security operations and protect critical infrastructures and key maritime assets such as the Iraqi oil terminals,” said USCG Lt .j.g. Jeremy Obenchain, officer-in-charge of LEDET 404. “Our secondary mission is to train and assist U.S. Navy, Royal navy, and other coalition Sailors in strengthening their visit, board, search and seizure teams,” he said.
MSO set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. MSO deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons, or other material.
Coast Guardsmen attached to the LEDET teams use their training and experience in stateside maritime law enforcement to carry out similar missions as part of the multinational naval force in the Middle East.
LEDET team members are trained in counter-drug, alien immigration and non-compliant boarding techniques, and are experts in maritime law enforcement boarding operations.
“Only experienced Coast Guardsmen are able to apply for the LEDET teams, and those that are accepted have to complete enhanced law enforcement training and go though a 45-day instruction period to complete personal qualification standards [PQS],” said USCG Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Brandon Jenkins, LEDET 404 team member.
“The PQS and training cover all maritime law enforcement regulations, protocol and procedures, and LEDET trainees spend weeks performing dozens of different mock maritime boarding situations,” he said.
Coast Guardsmen from LEDET 404 have used their training aboard several coalition warships in the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Oman, conducting about five maritime vessel boardings a day. Detachment members assisted in a recent search and rescue effort which saved the lives of 89 Somalis on a sinking vessel in the Gulf of Aden.
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