by Senior Airman Ned T. Johnston
6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
3/2/2015 - MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The
6th Air Mobility Wing hosted two Coast Guard exercises for the Port
Security Unit 309 from Feb. 18 through March 1, 2015, at MacDill Air
Force Base, Florida.
The PSU 309, out of Port Clinton, Ohio, is an elite Coast Guard Reserve
task force with the unique mission of maintaining readiness to deploy
within 96 hours of activation to active-duty status. They provide
sustained force protection and port security anywhere in the world.
"The Great Lakes freeze over during the winter months making training
difficult," said Coast Guard Lt. Faith Schultz, PSU 309 force protection
officer. "By coming to MacDill, we not only maintain proficiency and
keep certifications current, but it gives us the opportunity to conduct
joint, inter-service training with the Air Force."
The first exercise was a global mobility exercise that tested the
309th's ability to rapidly deploy their people, ships and equipment. The
309th "deployed" their unit to MacDill providing experience for their
engineering and mobility crews, and Air Force loadmasters to load and
Furthering their mobility training, the 309th completed additional
evolutions involving the loading of 32-foot transportable port security
boats into a C-17 Globemaster III in a joint effort with the 6th AMW.
"We were even able to complete the extremely difficult task of loading
two TPSBs in a side-by-side configuration, certifying the C-17 for this
type of transportation," said Schultz, "potentially reducing the number
of aircraft needed to move the unit during a deployment."
The completion of the mobility exercise was just the beginning for PSU 309 and the 6th AMW.
For the remainder of the training, Coast Guard boat crews trained in and
around the waters of MacDill with assistance from the 6th Security
Forces Squadron marine patrol. The dual ops training consisted of weapon
proficiency training, day and night operations, high-speed tactical
boat maneuvering and other qualification training.
"Despite some weather related challenges, training was completed on
basic and tactical crew operations," said Schultz. "By the end of the
exercise, both the Air Force and Coast Guard were fully mission