CRS 4 Welcomes New Commander

Story Number: NNS170605-25Release Date: 6/5/2017 2:11:00 PM
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By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Cmdr. Mark Harris was relieved by Cmdr. William Swinford during the Coastal Riverine Squadron Four (CRS-4) change of command ceremony onboard Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, June 2.

Swinford who is from Ashmore, Illinois, previously served as the executive officer of CRS-4, is honored to take command.

"I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to lead the Navy's finest Sailors as commanding officer of Coastal Riverine Squadron Four," said Swinford. "Cmdr. Harris commanded this squadron with excellence and he raised the bar in expeditionary force protection. I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead and maintaining this Squadron's great reputation."

Harris, who is from Burke, Virginia, will depart CRS-4 to serve as the assistant reactor officer aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). He discussed the privilege it was to serve alongside the talented men and women of CRS-4, which he considered was the highlight of his career.

"Their professionalism, determination, and can-do attitude is inspiring and is a shining example of what is good about America," said Harris. "Our line of work is hard and it would be impossible without their continuing willingness to sacrifice and deliver results under the most challenging conditions. I wish them and Cmdr. Swinford well as they prepare for their next deployment."

Harris and Swinford both deployed with CRS-4 during their recent deployment to the U.S. 4th, 5th, and 6th Fleet areas of operations and returned on Jan. 21, 2017. During the deployment, 325 Sailors conducted 227 high-value asset (HVA) escorts, and eight missions in support of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command priorities.

CRS-4 falls under Coastal Riverine Group Two, headquartered at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story. The primary mission of the Coastal Riverine Force is to conduct maritime security operations across all phases of military operations by defending high-value assets, critical maritime infrastructure, ports and harbors both inland and on coastal waterways against enemies and when commanded conduct offensive combat operations.

NECC is an enduring warfighting force providing sea-to-shore and inland operating environment capabilities across the full range of military operations, which is focused on delivering combat-effective expeditionary forces ready for worldwide operations now and into the future.

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CRS 4 Change of Command
170602-N-CS762-065 (Virginia Beach, Va.) CDR William Swinford relieved CDR Mark Harris of Coastal Riverine Squadron FOUR (CRS 4) during a change of command ceremony held at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Va. June 2. CRS 4 conducts maritime security operations across all phases of military operations both inland and on coastal waterways. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Edward Kessler/Released)
June 5, 2017
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