Deployable Operations Group

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Deployable Operations Group
Seal of the United States Coast Guard Deployable Operations Group.png
Seal of the Deployable Operations Group
Active July 20, 2007 – October 01, 2013
Country  United States of America
Branch United States Coast Guard
Type Deployable specialized forces
Role Provide the Coast Guard, DHS, DoD, DoJ and other interagency operational commanders adaptive force packages drawn from the U.S. Coast Guard's deployable specialized force units.
Size 2,000
Part of Department of Homeland Security
Nickname DOG

The Deployable Operations Group (DOG) was a United States Coast Guard command that provided properly equipped, trained and organized Deployable Specialized Forces (DSF) to Coast Guard, DHS, DoD and inter-agency operational and tactical commanders. Formerly headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, it was established on 20 July 2007, and was commanded by a Captain and was decommissioned by Coast Guard Commandant, ADM Robert Papp on 01 OCT 2013. Upon decommissioning, the units previously assigned to the DOG were split between Coast Guard Pacific and Atlantic Area commands.

From 2007-2013, the DOG and DSF deployed throughout the world in support of national interests and requirements as tailored and integrated force packages. This included response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, in support of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and more recently deploying specialized counter piracy boarding teams to the Middle East to combat piracy operations.

The DOG's purpose was to develop systems and processes for standardized training, equipment, organization, planning, and scheduling of rapidly deployable specialized forces to execute mission objectives in support of tactical and operational commanders.[1]

The DOG was the Coast Guard's element of specialized forces, but is not a part of SOCOM because the Coast Guard does not operate under the Department of Defense. DOG units' missions include high-risk, high-profile tasks such as counter-terrorism, diving operations, intelligence-cued boardings, shipboard take-downs and threat assessments involving nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons.

The DOG managed Coast Guard personnel assigned to the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC).[2] It was also involved in the selection of Coast Guard candidates to attend United States Naval Special Warfare training and serve with Navy SEAL Teams.[3] While the program is currently suspended there are still several U.S. Coast Guard members serving on the SEAL Teams.

DOG units[edit]

DOG deployable specialized forces (DSF) was composed of approximately 2,000 Coast Guard personnel, including the following unit types:

Port Security Units (PSU)[edit]

Main article: Port Security Unit

Port Security Units are deployable expeditionary force protection units composed primarily of Coast Guard reservists. They can be deployed domestically, or abroad in support of various Department of Defense operations.

Tactical Law Enforcement Teams (TACLET)[edit]

Tactical Law Enforcement Badge worn by qualified TACLET members.

Tactical Law Enforcement Teams provide specialized Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDET) to conduct counter-narcotics law enforcement and maritime interdiction operations from U.S. and allied naval vessels. There are currently two units, Tactical Law Enforcement Team South based in Opa-locka, Florida and the Pacific Area Tactical Law Enforcement Team (PACTACLET) based in San Diego, California.

Maritime Safety & Security Teams (MSST)[edit]

Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSSTs) are Anti-terrorism (Force-Presence) units created under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The eleven MSSTs provide waterborne anti-terrorism and shoreside Anti-terrorism, force protection for strategic shipping, high interest vessels, and critical infrastructure. MSSTs 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 (MHS) mission requirements. Multi-mission capability facilitates augmentation for other selected Coast Guard missions. Other federal agencies that MSST's train with are U.S. Navy VBSS Teams, FBI, and their local SWAT Teams.

MSST special capabilities include:

Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT)[edit]

Members of the USCG MSRT DAS hook and climb onto a target.

The MSRT is the only unit within the Coast Guard that has counterterrorism capabilities to conduct action against hostile targets. The MSRT is trained to be the first responder to potential terrorist threats, deny preemptive terrorist actions, execute security actions against armed hostiles and/or non-compliant threats, execute tactical facility entry, participate in port level counterterrorism exercises, and educate other forces on Coast Guard counterterrorism procedures. Although the MSRT's focus is primarily on the safety and security of homeland defense, it is capable of rapidly deploying worldwide in response to incidents.[4] Other specialized units and federal agencies that MSRT routinely train with are U.S. Navy SEAL teams, U.S. Navy HSC Squadrons, Navy EOD, Special Mission Units, the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Border Patrol's BORTAC, and US Customs and Border Protection SRT.

MSRT Special Capabilities include:

  • Counterterrorism (CT)
  • Direct Action (DA)
  • Advanced Interdiction (AI)
  • Hostage Rescue/Personnel Recovery
  • Small Unit Tactics
  • Counter Assault
  • Tactical Maritime Law Enforcement
  • Medium to High risk boardings (Level III & IV)
  • Airborne Use of Force (AUF)
  • K9 explosive detection teams
  • CBRNE

Elements of the MSRT's primary assault force are known as a Direct Action Section (DAS). Members of a DAS may include a Team Leader, Comms/JTAC's, Breachers, Medics, Precision Marksmen Observation members (snipers/observers), and team members trained to identify Chemical Biological Nuclear Radiological (CBRN) threats. They are made up of Coast Guardsman that have volunteered to attend selection and screening for the unit. Once they have successfully completed all phases of the assessment and selection process, they are assigned to a team (DAS) where they undergo even more scrutiny throughout their qualification process. If they successfully become qualified, they integrate fully with the team and continue to hone all aspects of the skill sets needed on an assault team. These assault force teams train extensively in advanced CQC (Close Quarters Combat) and advanced combat marksmanship. They are well equipped to quickly and surreptitiously board suspicious vessels, secure Gas & Oil Platforms (GOPLATS) or secure land based targets by fast-roping from helicopters or using other undisclosed methods to neutralize enemy personnel. The Tactical Delivery Team (TDT), boat assault force, are trained in advanced vessel delivery tactics and stealthy delivery of the main assault force (DAS) as well as follow on forces.

National Strike Force (NSF)[edit]

The National Strike Force (NSF) was established in 1973 as a direct result of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972. The NSF provides highly trained, experienced personnel and specialized equipment to Coast Guard and other federal agencies to facilitate preparedness for and response to oil discharges, hazardous materials releases, and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) incidents.

The National Strike Force includes five units with over 200 active duty, civilian, reserve, and auxiliary personnel. It is commanded by a Captain.

  • The National Strike Force Coordination Center (NSFCC) provides support and standardization guidance to the three strike teams.
  • Each Strike Team is a highly trained cadre of Coast Guard professionals who maintain and rapidly deploy with specialized equipment and incident management skills wherever needed. The strike teams are recognized worldwide as expert authorities in the preparation for and response to the effects resulting from oil discharges, hazardous substance releases, weapons of mass destruction events, and other emergencies on behalf of the American public. There are three strike teams within the NSF. The Atlantic Strike Team (AST) is based at Fort Dix, New Jersey, the Gulf Strike Team (GST) is based in Mobile, Alabama, and the Pacific Strike Team is based in Novato, California.
  • The Public Information Assistance Team (PIAT) provides emergency public information services to Federal On-Scene Coordinators primarily during oil spills and hazardous material releases. It is located at the National Strike Force Coordination Center.[5]

Regional Dive Lockers[edit]

The DOG has two Regional Dive Lockers that provide full-time diving capability for three primary missions: Ports and Waterways Coastal Security (PWCS); Aids to Navigation (ATON); and ship husbandry and repair in remote polar regions. Regional Dive Locker East (RDLE) is located in Portsmouth, Virginia, and Regional Dive Locker West (RDLW) is located in San Diego, California.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Mitchell, Matthew J. (2009). Not your father's Coast Guard: the untold story of U.S. Coast Guard Special Forces. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse. ISBN 9781449044398. 

External links[edit]