The following is a Coast Guard District Five news release.
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Twelve Coast Guardsmen assigned to the Maritime Security Response Team in Chesapeake were presented with the Navy Combat Action Ribbon Tuesday by Vice Adm. Karl Schultz, commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area.
The 12-man Coast Guard element was deployed aboard the USS Mason off the coast of Yemen last year when Houthi rebels attacked the USS Mason multiple times over a span of several days. During the multi-day attack, the rebels fired missiles at a group of U.S. Navy destroyers and other U.S. Navy vessels. In the engagements, the USS Mason screened the other vessels, employed effective countermeasures against the attacks and returned fire, allowing safe transit by the other vessels in the area.
“MSRT members are deployed to U.S. Central Command year round,” said Schultz. “This incident and awards are reminders of the Coast Guard’s dedication to supporting our DoD counterparts in protecting U.S. interests in the region.”
The award marks the first time in more than 25 years the Navy has officially recognized a Coast Guard crew at sea for coming under enemy fire.