U.S. COAST GUARD
Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class John Paul Brown, a
damage controlman with Tactical Law Enforcement Team
Pacific, provides security on a dock in Port-au-Prince,
Haiti, during earthquake relief operations in January
2010. The team worked to provide a safe environment
for port specialists to help reopen the port facilities dam-
aged by the quake.
boarding of a potential target of interest, such as a go-fast
boat or semisubmersible.
Nagie said PACTACLET’s counterdrug mission has
evolved over the years.
“It’s never a steady-state game. We adapt, [the
smugglers] adapt, and every couple of years one has to
adjust to the other,” Nagie said.
His unit has adapted to the threat from go-fast
smuggling boats by adding an airborne-use-of-force
capability, and it is working on new tactics and procedures to adjust to the semi-submersible threat.
“We have been pretty aggressive with making changes
when needed,” Nagie said.
With a wide array of mission responsibilities, Nagie
said the biggest challenge his unit faces is filling all the
billets with the right personnel, adding that he expects
PACTACLET, currently at 115 billets, to grow by 21
billets over the summer as mission requirements grow.
Billet assignments are for three years and requests are
submitted through personnel service command. Ideally,
someone requesting to become a TACLET member has
Coast Guard boarding officer experience, service officials said. Training takes about 18 months and the physical and mission demand requirements for the units are
higher than standard Coast Guard requirements.
“They know this upfront, so it’s not a surprise,”
A comprehensive review of service programs and
missions, announced by Commandant Adm. Robert J.
Papp Jr. in his “State of the Coast Guard” speech in
February, will help determine if additional TACLET
units and locations are needed.
“Currently, the Coast Guard is evaluating the entire
DOG specialized forces and we are constantly looking at
[deployable] types of skill sets, personnel and locations
to determine whether or not they are effectively and efficiently meeting the requirements,” Novotny said.
Lt. Cmdr. Michael Fredie, executive officer of
TACLET South, said his unit has increased the number
of teams and personnel from what it had a decade ago.
It currently has 135 billets split into nine teams,
whereas 10 years ago it was six billets per team and
“The number of personnel is increasing because our
concept is a winning one. It’s very inexpensive for the
Coast Guard to train, equip and deploy personnel on
other military ships so they can go out and do a mission,” Fredie said.
Funding for both TACLETs was $1.2 million in fiscal 2010. They also receive Department of Defense
Overseas Contingency Operations funding for deployable expenses.
TACLET South teams serve mostly aboard ships
patrolling the Eastern Pacific, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of
Aden and Arabian Gulf in support of various missions,
including searching for weapons of mass destruction,
counterdrug operations and piracy activity.
“Our primary mission is riding on a Navy ship and
looking for whatever is out there,” Fredie said.
TACLET South usually has a handful of personnel
assisting with the piracy task force. Fredie said his
units help prepare cases against suspected pirates, provide boarding specialists and the law enforcement
resources for gathering case information for the possible prosecution of piracy suspects. ■