USO Europe honors TACLET South member

Annual USO Europe Service Salute

For his outstanding military achievements, Wimsatt (right, middle row), along with twelve other high performing junior enlisted military personnel, were honored this past weekend at the 18th Annual USO Europe Service Salute held at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Photo courtesy of Jaime Goloyugo.

An international military liaison, a preventer of piracy, a defender of the homeland. An iconic Coast Guardsmen, Maritime Enforcement Specialist Third Class Christopher Wimsatt is an instrumental part of ensuring the security of our nation on a global scale.

As a member of the Coast Guard’s Tactical Law Enforcement Team (TACLET) South, Wimsatt deployed overseas three times in the past three years to work with our international partners to prevent piracy and improve homeland security.

In 2007, Wimsatt deployed to Iraq to work alongside Iraqi Marines and conduct patrols in the Northern Arabian Gulf. In 2008, Wimsatt returned overseas where he supported international efforts to thwart piracy in the Gulf of Aden region.

In September 2009, Wimsatt deployed for the third time to the Middle East where he and his team supported the coalition forces of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 to suppress the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and around the Horn of Africa. During this deployment, Wimsatt and his team embarked the CTF 151 flagship, USS Farragut, where he was the primary boarding officer and combat medic. Through his leadership, the boarding team conducted numerous boardings that resulted in the detention of 15 suspected pirates.

ME3 Wimsatt

Wimsatt deployed with Combined Task Force 151 to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden and around the Horn of Africa. Aboard USS Farragut he trained with his TACLET and other U.S. Navy personnel. Photo courtesy of PA3 Michael Anderson.

Wimsatt and his team continued to excel as they transitioned to the USS San Jacinto where they completed ten high-risk boardings resulting in the seizure of a weapons cache consisting of AK 47s, grenades, rocket propelled grenades, and other miscellaneous weapons and the disruption of 37 suspected pirates.

Despite his heavy operational schedule, Wimsatt made the time to work with a Jordanian vessel search and seizure team. In over 150 hours, he drilled with the teams on advanced boarding techniques, combat medicine, weapons safety and operational risk management. Armed with these skills, the Jordanian boarding team conducted high risk piracy boardings alongside the Coast Guard’s TACLET.

“As one member of a highly-trained law enforcement detachment from Tactical Law Enforcement Team South, Petty Officer Wimsatt maintained the rigorous standards that deployable specialized force members are held to,” said Capt. Gail Kulisch, Commander of the Deployable Operations Group (DOG). “This is one example of why I am extremely proud of the DOG community, and the work they accomplish around the world as a team and as individuals.”