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MSD 22 Provides Security Aboard and Ashore

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070923-10
Release Date: 9/23/2007 9:52:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Steven King, USNS Comfort Public Affairs

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago (NNS) -- An 80-person security detachment provided protection for hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) while in Port-of-Spain, as part of its humanitarian mission there, Sept. 16-22.

Mobil Security Detachment (MSD) 22, from Portsmouth Naval Ship Yard, Va., relieved MSD 26, Aug. 19, and has provided ship and shore security for the crew and the assets of Comfort.

"One of our contingency plans before we came aboard was to have enough information on the ship and the variety of jobs we'd be doing to provide the right number of people and the right equipment to ensure proper security for the ship and crew," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class (EXW/SW) Jason Hendrickson.

While Comfort is at anchor and in port, MSD 22 monitors boat traffic and patrols the waters around Comfort keeping all boat traffic at a safe distance. The team's tactical supervisor runs all mission components associated with the security detachment and is the only person aboard with weapons release authority. The chief of the guard on deck supervises the gunners and the reaction forces and ensures watches run smoothly.

In addition to providing security aboard ship, MSD 22 also works ashore acting as liaisons between working medical and Seabee teams and host nation security forces. They provide a visible presence and make sure that crowd control measures are enforced and that people flow into the clinics in an orderly manner.

"Going ashore you get to see what the mission is really all about," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Roderick Broussard. "We're able to interact with the people and see the direct benefit of us being here. It's a feeling you can't get by staying on the ship and for me that's rewarding."

Integrated with the active-duty component of MSD 22 are 20 reserve Sailors assigned to Security Detachment 221, activated for this mission from their home unit in Tampa, Fla.

Comfort is on a four-month humanitarian deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean providing medical care to patients in a dozen countries.

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