Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Caribbean Basin Security Initiative – Technical Assistance Field Team

Written by Cmdr. Scott Rae

Assistant Secretary of Defense Logistics and Materiel Readiness, the Honorable Robert McMahon, Lt. Cmdr. Jason Plumley, Caribbean Basin Security Initiative - Technical Assistance Field Team Officer in Charge, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Alisha Johnson, CBSI-TAFT Logistics Branch Chief, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Moore, CBSI-TAFT Watercraft Engineer, and Cmdr. Scott Rae, Joint Interagency Task Force - South Deputy Director of Operations. Courtesy photo.

Assistant Secretary of Defense Logistics and Materiel Readiness, the Honorable Robert McMahon, Lt. Cmdr. Jason Plumley, Caribbean Basin Security Initiative – Technical Assistance Field Team Officer in Charge, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Alisha Johnson, CBSI-TAFT Logistics Branch Chief, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Moore, CBSI-TAFT Watercraft Engineer, and Cmdr. Scott Rae, Joint Interagency Task Force – South Deputy Director of Operations. Courtesy photo.

Every year, the Secretary of Defense Maintenance Award Program recognizes outstanding maintenance units in three categories: field-level, depot-level, and maintenance training, advice, and assistance of foreign security forces. On Dec. 5, 2017, at the DoD Maintenance Symposium, the prestigious award for maintenance training, advice, and assistance of foreign security forces was presented to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative – Technical Assistance Field Team (CBSI-TAFT), a team comprised of nine U.S. Coast Guardsmen and six U.S. Army soldiers based at U.S. Southern Command. This award was designed to recognize the highest levels of achievement in providing training, advice, and assistance to establish self-sustaining maintenance capabilities of foreign security forces.

Close-up of The Secretary of Defense 2017 Award for Excellence in Maintenance training, advice, and assistance of foreign security forces (operation category). Courtesy photo.

Close-up of The Secretary of Defense 2017 Award for Excellence in maintenance training, advice, and assistance of foreign security forces (operation category). Courtesy photo.

U.S. foreign policy holds that training, advice, and assistance to developing countries’ militaries are critical instruments of national security policy. These efforts advance policy goals and those of international coalitions by influencing the development of host nation military capabilities, thereby strengthening internal, regional, and international stability.

“The CBSI-TAFT punched well above their weight class based on the much larger teams that were recognized for similar work – the impact is unmatched,” said Cmdr. Scott Rae, Joint Interagency Task Force – South, deputy. “It was awesome to be amongst all the players, although as Coast Guard members we were significantly outnumbered, the team stood out in the most impressive way!”

The CBSI-TAFT was thereby recognized for outstanding achievement and excellence in all facets of maintenance mission support. As part of a U.S. presidential priority and Department of State-funded team, CBSI-TAFT deployed 48 times to 13 nations amounting to 1,038 days on scene; these deployments resulted in the positive influence of 35 percent of the U.S. Southern Command’s area of responsibility by improving citizen security. Positively promoting standardization and unity, the Joint-Service U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army team authored over 1,200 maintenance procedure cards in three languages throughout the Caribbean for 12 dissimilar classes of maritime interceptor vessels with eight different configurations of propulsion systems, electronic navigation, and communication suites. For the seven nations under the Regional Security System, CBSI-TAFT’s direct influence resulted in a 41 percent increase in patrols, 12 percent increase in patrol hours, 182 percent increase in number of boardings, 68 percent increase in vessel seizures, and 45 percent increase in search and rescue operations.

Members of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative - Technical Assistance Field Team Lt. Cmdr. Jason Plumley, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Alisha Johnson and Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Moore stand next to a trophy after earning the Department of Defense Maintenance Award, Dec. 5, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Members of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative – Technical Assistance Field Team Lt. Cmdr. Jason Plumley, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Alisha Johnson and Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Moore stand next to a trophy after earning the Department of Defense Maintenance Award, Dec. 5, 2017. Courtesy photo.

Do you know someone who embodies the Coast Guard Core Values of Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty? Please submit your nominations using the by emailing the Social Media team.

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