MSST Honolulu advanced interdiction team returns home from counter-piracy deployment
HONOLULU – Maritime Safety and Security Team Honolulu advanced interdiction team returned home after a four-month counter-piracy deployment to the Middle East, Saturday.
“We are extremely proud of our advanced interdiction team,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Helena Robinson, MSST Honolulu's commanding officer. "Their work with the Navy and our partner nations epitomize the capability and adaptability MSST Honolulu delivers to operational commanders at home and abroad.”
Under the direction of the U. S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, the detachment served aboard the Guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG-102), assigned to Combined Task Force 151.
While on board the Sampson, the detachment served as flight observers, integrating with the Sampson’s aviation detachment to photograph and analyze suspected pirate dhows and mother ships. Additionally, the team provided extensive training to the Sampson’s Visit Board Search and Seizure team, improving the ship’s organic boarding capabilities.
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 conduct counter-piracy operations in the Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. Augmented by members from the Coast Guard’s San Diego-based Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team, MSST Honolulu’s AIT was engaged in stemming illegal piracy and armed robbery at sea.
The Sampson is a Guided-missile destroyer homeported in San Diego and has been on deployment since Feb. 24, 2012.
MSST Honolulu was created under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 in direct response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and is a part of the Department of Homeland Security’s layered strategy directed at protecting seaports and waterways.
MSSTs provide waterborne and a shore-side antiterrorism force protection for strategic shipping, high-interest vessels and critical infrastructure. These units are a quick response force capable of rapid worldwide deployment via air, ground or sea transportation in response to changing threat conditions and evolving maritime homeland security mission requirements.
Eleven MSSTs are strategically positioned throughout the nation and are components of the U.S. Deployable Operations Group . The DOG provides properly equipped, trained and organized Deployable Specialized Forces to Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense and interagency operational commanders.