NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors stationed with Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron (NCWS) 4 conducted a field exercise May 10 at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek that exhibited their capabilities for future deployments.
Cmdr. James Campbell, commanding officer of NCWS 4, explained what his squadron brings to the Navy during a 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 U.S. owns."
The field exercise included four different groups of Sailors within NCWS 4, who will work together to provide the capabilities of coastal surveillance to the Navy.
The first group of Sailors is the Inshore Boat Unit (IBU). The mission of IBU is to provide a rapidly deployable, armed, small-craft capability with precise navigation to support expeditionary forces in littoral regions.
These aluminum-hull boats are armed with two to three .50 caliber machine guns, MK 19 grenade launchers and M-16 machine guns. IBUs can reach speeds of more than 30 knots and are capable of making 360-degree turns within seconds, among other capabilities.
Gunner's Mate 3rd Class Victor Martinez, an IBU Sailor, said that being stationed with NCWS 4 for his first command has been fun and interesting.
"We've received training on how to drive the boats, how to shoot from the boats and basic seamanship," said Martinez.
The second group of Sailors in support of NCWS 4 is the Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare (MIUW) Unit.
The mission of MIUW is to provide communications, command and control (C3) surface and subsurface surveillance within the littorals in support of maritime interdiction operations, port security and 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 Lt. Cmdr. Charles Perry. "This is where all the action happens."
The MIUW unit is equipped with thermal imaging cameras, radar systems, sonar capabilities, satellite systems and other communication capabilities.
NCWS 4 is also training to become self-reliant in regards to perimeter security as part of their mass certifications and qualifications.
Sailors with Mobile Security Squadron (MSS) provide the 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, among many other things.
In the field exercise, NCWS 4 Sailors were given real-world scenarios that will prepare them for what they may face while deployed to low-threat 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."
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 deployable operations center staff with associated equipment to provide command and control (C2) for subordinate naval warfare forces.
To complete their mission, they will provide command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) connectivity between supported commander and units conducting harbor defense and port security, and serve as port force security officer.
The hub is equipped with many different communications such as satellites, Internet and intranet among other high tech systems.
The 275 Sailors that make up NCWS 4 will continue to work together and train for the purpose of protecting U.S. military personnel and high-value assets.
"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 will be commissioned May 20.
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