KILN, Miss. (WLOX) - We all know about the Coast Guard station at Gulfport Harbor, but there’s another Coast Guard unit set up in the Kiln. It’s their special operations unit, otherwise known as Port Security Unit 308.
“We are a deployable special forces. Our unit specifically provides security to the ports anywhere around the world,” said Lt. Comm. John Traxler. “We can be deployed anywhere around the world in 96 hours, so we stay ready all the time.”
Their job is to work security at ports not only here in America, but all over the world. If you’re wondering while they’re stationed inland in Hancock County, it’s because they have instant access to Stennis International Airport, and the unit can be deployed anywhere around the while in 96 hours.
“Whenever we say we’re stationed at an international airport, they don’t understand that when we’re the Coast Guard and there isn’t water around us, but that’s where it gets back to our missions and our jobs,” Traxler added. “We do things different from our counterparts in the Coast Guard where they do search and rescue, oil spills and things like that.
They’re also looking for new recruits to join the team.
“Please come and visit if you want to get a feel for what we do,” said Maritime Enforcement Specialist Lawrence Battiste.
We’re told one of the reasons that recruitment is down is due to lack of access to potential team members due to COVID-19 restrictions.