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Coast Guard Special Operations

The U.S. Coast Guard has a number of special operations forces, or deployable specialized forces (DSF), organized under its regional commands (Atlantic and Pacific Areas).

Deployable Operations Group

The Deployable Operations Group was established in 2007 in order to place their existing deployable specialized forces under one command. The DOG was subsequently disbanded in 2013, with the various DSF units returning to their area commands.

Coast Guard deployable specialized forces units include:

Maritime Safety & Security Teams (MSST)

Maritime Safety & Security Teams (MSST) are a maritime security unit that was created in the wake of the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks. The MSST's role is to protect sea ports and maritime facilities from terrorist attack. They are on a rapid response posture, ready to deploy to points throughout the United States as needed.

MSST boat crew patrolling waters off Miami.
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more info : Maritime Safety & Security Team

Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT)

The MSRT is an elite Coast Guard unit that specializes in maritime counter-terrorism operations. The Direct Action Section (DAS) element of the MSRT are highly-trained in Close Quarters Combat (CQC).

Maritime Security Response Team pictured during a training exercise.
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more info : Maritime Security Response Team

Port Security Units (PSU)

PSUs are a deployable force protection unit that is capable of operating within U.S. territorial waters as well as in foreign waters. Port Security Units operate fleets of armed Boston Whaler Transportable Port Security Boats (TPSB) with which they patrol ports and associated waterways.

USCG Port Security Unit patrolling waters off Guantanamo Bay in a TPSB.
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Tactical Law Enforcement Teams (TACLET)

The Deployable Operations Group's 2 Tactical Law Enforcement Teams deploy Law Enforcement Detachments (LETDET) that carry out maritime interdiction and counter narcotics smuggling operations. They also have a maritime security, migration interdiction and counter-piracy role. TACLETs .

USCG LEDET searches a vessel in the Persian Gulf, 2003
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National Strike Force (NSF)

The National Strike Force provides specially-trained personnel and specialized equipment in order to prepare and respond to environmental disasters such as oil spills or the release of Weapons Of Mass Destruction (WMD). The NSF is under the USCG's Atlantic Area command.

Regional Dive Lockers

The Deployable Operations Group has 2 Regional Dive Lockers, located in Portsmouth, VA and San Diego, CA. These units provide divers trained in Ports and Waterways Coastal Security (PWCS); Aids to Navigation (ATON); and ship husbandry and repair in remote polar regions.

MSST dive team
A member of Regional Diver Locker West, San Diego, prepares for an underwater pier inspection.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sherri Eng

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