Naval Coastal and Riverine Warfare
Meeting today's war on terror challenges

Learn about these organizations at the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command web site

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Watch a video about the Little Creek Coastal Warfare Squadron Four at NCWS-4 Demo Day

Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron 4
Little Creek, Virginia

Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron 5
Coronado, California

Brown Water is KEWL "again"

And some old warriors are ready to volunteer

Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron 4 Memorial Wall at their headquarters in Little Creek, VA

The modern boats are smaller, faster, more capable and utilize the latest technology

 

Swift Boat sailors experienced the modern boats at the 2007 San Diego Reunion

And images from current deployments bring back memories of long ago and far away

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Expeditionary Sailors Train During Exercise Seahawk 2006

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Sarah Bitter, Fleet Public Affairs Center Pacific

August 23, 2006

   

SAN DIEGO -- More than 800 Sailors assigned to 19 active and Reserve units began Seahawk 2006, a combined anti-terrorism and force protection exercise, Aug. 21 at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.

"Seahawk brings in all of the elements of Naval Expeditionary Combat Command," said Cmdr. Joseph Bell, commanding officer of Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron 5. "It's a great opportunity, because it's one of the few times we can get all of these units together."

Among the NECC commands taking part in the exercise are Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron 5, Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 103, Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 110, Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 501, Inshore Boat Unit 13, Inshore Boat Unit 51, Inshore Boat Unit 52, Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, Maritime Security Squadron 3, components of the Naval Expeditionary Logistics Force, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3 and Naval Special Clearance Team 1. The U.S. Coast Guard will act as the opposing force during the exercise.

   

During Seahawk, NECC is simulating San Diego as a foreign port. NECC units will train in a variety of expeditionary and combat support missions they can expect to see on deployment, including port clearance, providing security to high valued assets, and improvised explosive devices.

By bringing so many units together, NECC is increasing the interoperability of its expeditionary Sailors.

"Seahawk is absolutely critical for my unit to stay effective in the naval coastal warfare community," Bell said. "It is a great chance for us to train with the active component."

As part of an increased emphasis on supporting its expeditionary forces, the Navy established NECC Jan. 13. This new type command is charged with training, equipping and defining warfare requirements for expeditionary combat elements.

"We have been doing these missions for a long time," Bell said. "Under NECC, we have created dedicated coastal warfare units to meet the growing demand in the littorals. We are bringing together the active and Reserve Sailors to train in this environment. Seahawk is an excellent example of this."

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Seahawk 2006 drill held in San Diego

By Steve Liewer
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

August 22, 2006

   

If you want to find Senior Chief Petty Officer Blaine Daum and his buddies from Inshore Boat Unit 52 the next couple of weeks, you'd best not look ashore.

They'll be zipping around San Diego Bay in their Sea Ark patrol boats doing a simulation exercise. The sailors will watch for infiltrators bent on sabotaging the Navy's disaster-relief efforts for the fictional nation of Sandonesia.

It's the scenario that 850 Navy sailors, Navy reservists and Coast Guard personnel will play out during Seahawk 2006, a coastal warfare training event that began yesterday. San Diego is hosting Seahawk for the first time.

"The mission of the inshore boat units is a force-protection mission," explained Lieutenant Commander Quincy Milton, who provided an introduction to the four Inshore Boat Units participating in the exercises. "That includes protection of amphibious anchorages; protection of harbors-things that are of high value to the United States Navy."

Pointing to the unit's modern patrol craft, he continued, "These boats are well suited for that mission. The 34-foot Sea Ark Navy patrol craft were designed specifically for inshore boat unit use," he said. "They weigh about 10 tons apiece with two turbo-diesel engines aboard. We can drive them up to speeds of approximately 40 knots. There are four weapon stations on board." Typical armament would be three machine guns: a heavy machine gun forward and then two medium machine guns aft-at either side. Designated as the Dauntless NCW-34 by Sea Ark Marine, each of the new patrol craft are powered by two Cummins 6BTA5.9M-3 diesels rated at 370 horse power each with Twin Disc MG5075 gears and Konrad 520 drives.

This summer's drill has a great sense of urgency and relevance for San Diego's Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron 5. The group is scheduled to deploy to Kuwait and Iraq in the first half of next year. "We're training at a higher level," Daum said yesterday as his boat rocked pier side at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado. "The more the war on terror grows, the more important units like ours become."

Seahawk 2006 is the first significant exercise for the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, which was established last winter to oversee coastal warfare and riverine forces as well as units focused on disposal of explosive ordnance and construction. The simulation involved, besides Squadron 5, a Navy construction battalion, a bomb-disposal unit, riverine forces and logistics units from as far away as Portland, Ore., and Norfolk, Va. The Navy and Navy Reserve each provided 400 sailors for the training, while the Coast Guard fielded 50 participants. The groups lived in makeshift camps at the Coronado Naval Amphibious Base, Silver Strand Training Complex and North Island Naval Air Station.

"This exercise brings in all the elements of" the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command," said Commander Joseph Bell, who heads Squadron 5. "It's one of the few times you can get all the units together." Bell indicated the participants will practice escorting ships, guarding piers, and spotting and catching potential terrorists. Dolphins will also be used to detect swimmers.

Since the Vietnam War, the Navy had relegated most of its coastal warfare and riverine duties to Naval Reserve units. But naval officials decided to beef up their harbor defenses after al-Qaeda suicide bombers exploded a weapons-laden boat next to the U.S. destroyer Cole six years ago while it was anchored in Yemen. The attack killed 17 sailors.

The expeditionary command is one response to the terrorist threat. It includes Squadron 5, which was created in February, Squadron 4 in Norfolk, a number of separate boat units and a Riverine Force Group. Many of the command's members are sailors from other units who volunteered for the new organization. They liked the idea of working with small, tight-knit crews.

"I'm used to serving on smaller ships," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Bill Bates, 44, of Marshfield, Mass. "Once you get on something small, you don't want to go back." "I spent 20 years over there on the gray-hulls," he said while pointing at a line of cruisers, destroyers and amphibious assault ships across the bay. Daum and Bates aren't bothered at the prospect of venturing into a war zone so late in their Navy careers. They're also not worried about this month's rehearsal. "Any time you get a bunch of sailors on fast boats," Bates said, "it's a good time."

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Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron 4 Demonstrates Capabilities

By Photographer’s Mate Airman Mandy McLaurin, Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic

   

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors stationed with Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron (NCWS) 4 conducted a field exercise at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek that exhibited their capabilities for future deployments.

Commander James Campbell, commanding officer of NCWS 4, explained what his squadron brings to the Navy during the field exercise designed to demonstrate their capabilities. “We bring a capability of coastal surveillance,” said Campbell. “We close the seam that lies between the blue water and the beach by providing additional security for vessels, units and any high-value assets that the United States owns.”

There are four different groups of Sailors within NCWS 4 that participated in the field exercise. They all work together to provide the Navy with the critical capabilities of coastal surveillance in the hostile environment of today's war on terror.

The first group of Sailors is the Inshore Boat Unit (IBU). The mission of the IBU is to provide a rapidly deployable, shallow draft, fast and armed small-craft capability with precise navigation and communications capabilities to support expeditionary forces in littoral regions.

The aluminum-hull Sea Ark Dauntless boats used by the IBU's are armed with two to four heavy caliber machine guns, MK 19 grenade launchers and M-16 semi-automatic rifles. The Sea Arks can reach speeds well in excess of 35 knots and are capable of making 360-degree turns at full speed within seconds, among other capabilities.

The second group of Sailors in support of NCWS 4 is the Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare (MIUW) Unit. The mission of the MIUW is to provide communications, command and control (C3), plus surface and subsurface surveillance within the littorals in support of maritime interdiction operations, port security / harbor defense, Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) surveillance and counter-smuggling operations.

“This unit [MIUW] is tactical. It’s kind of like the combat information center on a ship,” said Lieutenant Commander Charles Perry. “This is where all the potential hostile action is detected and appropriate responses determined.” The MIUW unit is equipped with thermal imaging cameras, radar systems, sonar capabilities, satellite systems and sophisticated communication capabilities.

NCWS 4 is also training to become self-reliant with regards to perimeter security as part of their unit certifications and qualifications. Sailors with the Mobile Security Squadron (MSS) provide self-defense training. This is the third group that supports NCWS 4. These Sailors are training NCWS 4 in the basics of camp perimeter control and other security measures needed to insure that the unit can counter any land or water based threats to the unit itself. In field exercises, NCWS 4 Sailors are given real-world scenarios that will prepare them for what they may face while stationed in low-threat base areas. “We have to demonstrate that we are capable of defending ourselves in low-threat areas,” said Campbell. “My Sailors have to know how to defend themselves in cases where they’re alone out there.”

The NCWS 4 communication hub is the fourth group of Sailors that support the mission. These Sailors are the key to communication between the MIUW unit and the valuable assets they are protecting. Their mission is to provide a deployable operations center staff with associated equipment to provide command and control (C2) for combined naval warfare forces. To complete their mission, they will provide command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) connectivity between supported commanders and units conducting harbor defense and port security, and serve as the port force security co-ordination center. The hub is equipped with many different communications capabilities such as satellites, internet and intranet connections in addition to other other classified high tech systems.

The 275 Sailors that make up NCWS 4 will continue to work together and train for the purpose of protecting United States military personnel and high-value assets at world wide locations where ever they are needed.

“We’ll be able to deploy to hostile areas to prevent incidences like what happened to the USS Cole,” said Chief Interior Communications Electrician (SW) Donald Kiser. “This squadron will help keep everybody safe, safer than what we are now.”

NCWS 4 is one of only two active-duty Naval Coastal Warfare squadrons that have been formed since the Vietnam War and was commissioned earlier this spring.

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