Deep in the backwoods of southeastern Virginia, the U.S. Coast Guard’s premier tactical law enforcement team quietly goes about training for their unique mission set.

The primary mission of the Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT) is counter-terrorism in maritime environments, both domestic and overseas. The team is trained as a first responder to terrorist situations, specifically to deny terrorist acts, board and secure hostile vessels, and serve as subject matter experts in counterterrorism operations to educate and train the rest of the Coast Guard.

As the Coast Guard’s only offensively oriented counter-terrorist team, they have a critical role in the Department of Homeland Security’s maritime defense strategy.

MSRT recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and is the result of a number of fundamental changes to Coast Guard doctrine that occurred following 9/11.