Monday, March 26, 2007

Does the Coast Guard have SWAT teams?

And, if you are wondering why the picture of Petty Officer Gill (below post) looks as if he's a SWAT team member, well, welcome to the new Coast Guard.

As a CG website notes,
Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSSTs) are a new Coast Guard rapid response force assigned to vital ports and capable of nationwide deployment via air, ground or sea transportation to meet emerging threats. MSSTs were created in direct response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 and are a part of the Department of Homeland Security’s layered strategy directed at protecting our seaports and waterways.

MSST personnel receive training in advanced boat tactics and antiterrorism force protection at the Special Missions Training Center located at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Read the entire background sheet here.

Also of note, if Petty Officer Gill has been at the MSST since August 2004, he's a plankowner and was part of the commissioning crew.

Interesting that he was a reservist... which means the Service didn't have enough active duty personnel to fill the billets and filled some of the MSST billets with Reserve personnel. If it was just our DOD brethren who think they alone are burning it at both ends, they're wrong.

In previous posts, I've mentioned that the Coast Guard is currently going through a reorganization. I learned today that from 1789 through 1999, the Coast Guard (and her predecessor agencies) conducted major reorganizations 26 times. This current reorg, then, makes 27 and is right about on time.

If we can't do anything else right, we can certainly reorganize.

Photo with this post is an official USCG photograph.


  1. This sounds really dangerous. Why is it exactly that the COast Gard is a SWAT team? I thought that you guys are the life-savers.

  2. The Coast Guard has always balanced search & rescue with maritime law enforcement. SAR has, traditionally, been the bread and butter, but LE has, since the inception of the Revenue Cutter Service, been a part of our mission. As a matter of fact, the Coast Guard is America's only military force that has statutory law enforcement authority. All Coast Guard petty officers, warrant officers, and commissioned officers are, by US code, law enforcement officers.

    As to the MSST program and other SWAT-like programs: there's a simple answer.


    Some of us prefer the old days.

  3. Sorry steam boats are gone and the only people inthe CG that don'tlike are the ones that can't meet the WEIGHT and PT standards. So get over it times have changed, bye bye fatties