MSRT – Elite Coast Guard Team Trains to Defeat Terror Attacks

 In Military

They can board a vessel from helicopters, they can board from boats, they can neutralize the enemy, and any weapon they have, quickly and efficiently in minutes. It can take as much as two years to get on the Coast Guard’s Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT).  But if and when they are needed, every second of training will count to help them stop a potential terror attack that could occur aboard a cruise ship, or other vessel at sea. They were recently featured on a CBS report in June.

“Anything you can think of that’s what the bad guys are thinking of as well so we prepare for any threat that’s out there.” Capt. Dwight Collins, Commander of the MSRT

The team is trained  to be “first responders to potential terrorist situations, deny terrorist acts, perform security actions, perform tactical facility entry and enforcement, participate in port level counterterrorism exercises and educate other forces on Coast Guard counterterrorism procedures,” as well as interdiction against chemical attacks.

In a recent exercise, the MSRT trained to neutralize a chemical threat aboard a cruise ship.

CBS reported,

From a hovering helicopter, a sniper takes out an enemy combatant, and an elite U.S. Coast Guard counter terrorism team swings into action, rappelling to the deck and taking command of the ship. CBS News rode along for the elaborate training exercise off the coast of southern California, where team members disguised as terrorists are mixing a deadly weapon to disperse on shore.

A 2017 Homeland Security bulletin specifically warns about terrorists wanting to use “poisons or toxins outside of conflict zones.”

In one drill, a participant disguised as a terrorist is wearing a protective suit, because of supposed chemical weapons on board. As the helicopters provide cover, boats deliver more of the Coast Guard’s equivalent of special forces…

They test the chemical agent; they take out the enemy or capture them. And unless you’re on Twitter and paying attention, you might not know they exist. Keep up the good work, team!

“It’s highly technical. They’re taking samples of the agent and they are going to run tests on it to determine what they have.” Captain Collins

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