UPDATED: What is the MTSRU?

Information Provided by LCDR Rob Wyman, Coast Guard Atlantic Area Public Affairs

The Coast Guard Maritime Transportation System Recovery Unit (MTSRU) was created in 2006, after the United States Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 required the National Maritime Transportation Security Plan to include a system to restore cargo flow following a national transportation security incident. Lessons learned on recovery issues following significant disruption of maritime transportation during Hurricane Katrina played a role in the formation of the unit.

The mission of the MTSRU is not new for the Coast Guard, just the formal creation of a specialized unit. MTSRU is comprised of experts in maritime mobility, incident response and port operations who work with stakeholders to restore the commercial capacity of a waterway following a natural or manmade disruption.

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti - Rear Adm. Roy Nash, Deputy Dir. National Maritime Intelligence Center, receives an on scene briefing from Lt. Cdr. Mark Gibbs, who is working with the Maritime Transportation System Recovery Unit (MTSRU), forward deployed on the Coast Guard Cutter Oak, on January 23, 2010. The MTRSU is helping facilitate the port recovery efforts in order to regain the ability to offload large amounts of aid and supplies. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Eric J. Chandler)

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti – Rear Adm. Roy Nash, Deputy Dir. National Maritime Intelligence Center, receives an on scene briefing from Lt. Cdr. Mark Gibbs, who is working with the Maritime Transportation System Recovery Unit (MTSRU), forward deployed on the Coast Guard Cutter Oak, on January 23, 2010. The MTRSU is helping facilitate the port recovery efforts in order to regain the ability to offload large amounts of aid and supplies. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Eric J. Chandler)

The 11-person MTSRU was dispatched to Haiti to provide planning and expertise needed to open Haiti’s ports and allow an adequate and sustainable flow of supplies for relief and rebuilding after the devastating 7.0 earthquake that struck Port-Au-Prince on Jan. 12, 2010.

The MTSRU has the job of informing decision makers and other stakeholders at all levels on maritime transportation following disruption. They work to support recovery efforts and ensure recovery is a critical element of planning at all levels. MTSRU members also identify communication mechanisms and informational requirements to facilitate the recovery of waterway traffic flow.

MTSRU is a unit of the planning section of the Incident Command System and is established for every incident that significantly disrupts the maritime transportation system.

The MTSRU was successfully used in the Port of Houston-Galveston to open that critical waterway following the hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast in 2008.

UPDATE: Head over to the iCommandant blog to read more about the MTSRU, including a guest post from the team currently working in Haiti.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


  • K. Washington

    Great overview of what a MTSRU is and how they are utilized.