A look back at 10 years in the Middle East

Written by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Anderson.

Tearful goodbyes, a mission on the other side of the world, sweltering heat and long days in the Persian Gulf followed by joyous homecomings.

For the past 10 years Port Security Units have cycled through Kuwait Naval Base and provided security to for the vital personnel and supplies neeeded for Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. After completing their mission overseas recently, here’s a look back at their journey through photos…

Petty Officer 1st Class Ben R. Mulkey of Port Security Unit 313 writes a letter to his wife Jennifer on the Mina al Bakr oil terminal in the North Arabian Gulf off the coast of Iraq April 7, 2003.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Sperduto.

Petty Officer 1st Class Ben R. Mulkey of Port Security Unit 313 writes a letter to his wife Jennifer on the Mina al Bakr oil terminal in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Iraq April 7, 2003. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Sperduto.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Melissa Steinman maneuvers a 25-foot security boat during a high speed security patrol while Petty Officer 2nd Class Mike Ransdell keeps a look out for possible threats. Steinman and Ransdell are members of Coast Guard Port Security Unit 307 from St. Petersburg, Fla., currently deployed to the region to help protect the Port of Ash Shuaiba and coalition ships involved in the largest redeployment of troops and equipment since World War II. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Belson.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Melissa Steinman maneuvers a 25-foot security boat during a high speed security patrol while Petty Officer 2nd Class Mike Ransdell keeps a look out for possible threats. Steinman and Ransdell are members of Coast Guard Port Security Unit 307 from St. Petersburg, Fla., deployed to the region to help protect the Port of Ash Shuaiba and coalition ships involved in the largest redeployment of troops and equipment since World War II. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Belson.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Elizabeth Y. Fitueroa, assigned to Port Security Unit 311,  treats British Staff Sergeant Jason S. Brookes, of the Commander Royal Engineers, at the Medical Clinic in Umm Quasr, Iraq April 20, 2003. Fitueroa is working in the clinic with military medical personnel from several different countries and is providing medical treatment to military personnel as well as Iraqi prisoners of war. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Sperduto.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Elizabeth Y. Fitueroa, assigned to Port Security Unit 311, treats British Staff Sergeant Jason S. Brookes, of the Commander Royal Engineers, at the Medical Clinic in Umm Quasr, Iraq April 20, 2003. Fitueroa worked in the clinic with military medical personnel from several different countries and provided medical treatment to military personnel as well as Iraqi prisoners of war. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Sperduto.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Mike Burch, of Coast Guard Port Security Unit 307 from St. Petersburg, Fla., keeps a look out for possible threats. PSU 307 is currently deployed to the region to help protect the Port of Ash Shuaiba and the coalition ships involved in the largest redeployment of troops and equipment since World War II. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Belson.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Mike Burch, of Coast Guard Port Security Unit 307 from St. Petersburg, Fla., keeps a look out for possible threats. PSU 307 deployed to the region to help protect the Port of Ash Shuaiba and the coalition ships involved in the largest redeployment of troops and equipment since World War II. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Belson.

Coast Guard and Navy boats patrol the entrance to the Kuwait Naval Base in August 2007. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer Scott Epperson.

Coast Guard and Navy boats patrol the entrance to the Kuwait Naval Base in August 2007. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer Scott Epperson.

A member of Coast Guard Port Security Unit 309 embraces his loved one after a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf, Dec. 19, 2008.  PSU members provide waterborne and land based protection for shipping and facilities throughought the world. U.S. Coast Guard photo by William B. Mitchell.

A member of Coast Guard Port Security Unit 309 embraces his loved one after a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf, Dec. 19, 2008. PSU members provide waterborne and land based protection for shipping and facilities throughought the world. U.S. Coast Guard photo by William B. Mitchell.

Lt. Thomas Holston of Port Security Unit 308 hugs his daughter at the Gulfport Army National Guard Base after returning from a six-month deployment to the Middle East, Feb. 27, 2011. More than 400 families and friends greeted the members of PSU 308 during an official homecoming ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bill Colclough.

Lt. Thomas Holston of Port Security Unit 308 hugs his daughter at the Gulfport Army National Guard Base after returning from a six-month deployment to the Middle East, Feb. 27, 2011. More than 400 families and friends greeted the members of PSU 308 during an official homecoming ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bill Colclough.

A Fort Eustis-based Coast Guard Port Security Unit 305 member holds his family after returning home from an extended deployment to the Middle East, July 2, 2012. While deployed, PSU 305 members provided harbor defense and security to ports, seaward approaches, and waterways within U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility and ensuring the free flow of personnel, equipment and commerce in the region. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Anderson.

A Fort Eustis-based Coast Guard Port Security Unit 305 member holds his family after returning home from an extended deployment to the Middle East, July 2, 2012. While deployed, PSU 305 members provided harbor defense and security to ports, seaward approaches, and waterways within U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility and ensuring the free flow of personnel, equipment and commerce in the region. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Anderson.

What to check out more photos throughout the years? Head over to this Facebook album.

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One Response

  1. Steve Sapp says:

    Nice pics! It’d be great to see a larger volume of images from the USCG’s deployment there. Sperduto and Belson are two of the military’s best photographers. They captured very well the essence of life over there for our men and women. BZ to the PSU’s and to all who volunteered to help bring democracy to Iraq and stability to the Persian Gulf region.