The Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT) is a specialized tactical force of the US Coast Guard. MSRT is a highly trained unit capable of conducting helicopter insertions against armed hostiles, scuba operations, and can storm disputed oil platforms or ships. Though not apart of the US Special Operations Community, the MSRT is considered to be about as close to “special operations capable” as the Coast Guard can get. The unit’s aim is to become the nation’s lead maritime tactical response force.
The MSRT is a part of the USCG’s Deployable Operations Group, or DOG. DOG was formally established July 7, 2007. According to the Navy Times, “The idea for the DOG grew out of an internal assessment to the Coast Guard’s response following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Once the service began standing up maritime safety and security teams and deploying Coast Guardsmen overseas for port security and naval coastal warfare, officials believed the service’s law enforcement and combat arms units would be better served under one command.”
The Deployable Operations Group aligns all U.S. Coast Guard deployable specialized forces (DSF) under a single, unified command, headed by an admiral. Temporarily in Arlington, Virginia, it is staffed by 101 officers, enlisted, reservists, auxiliary, and civilians. These forces are made up of approximately 3,000 USCG personnel from the 12 Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSST), the Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT), two Tactical Law Enforcement Teams (TACLET), eight Port Security Units, three National Strike Teams, and the National Strike Force Coordination Center. These units will be cross-trained with an awareness of specialized mission tactics, techniques, procedures, and equipment employed by all deployable specialized forces.