NAVAL SUPPORT ACTVITY BAHRAIN (NNS) -- The Coastal Command Boat (CCB) arrived in its homeport of Bahrain Feb. 8.
The CCB, a one-of-a-kind platform, was originally built in Washington in 2011 and is assigned to Commander Task Group (CTG) 56.7 of Commander Task Force (CTF) 56.
As the first and only vessel of its kind, some of the CCB's capabilities include increased payload capacity for maritime interdiction operations (MIO), Sea Ports of Debarkation (SPOD) defense, Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOC) control, and other littoral and coastal maritime missions. The CCB can reach speeds in excess of 35 knots, as well as enter well-deck modes for transportation. She can also function as a platform for various unmanned vehicles.
Cdre. Joseph A. DiGuardo Jr., commander, Task Force 56, said the CCB has a range of more than 500 nautical miles. Having such an extended range, more so than current patrol and riverine boats, will allow the CCB to be more of a centerpiece in "blue water operations," that take place at a greater distances from land.
"It greatly improves our ability to reinforce blue water operations to a much greater extent than we have been able to," said DiGuardo. "The CCB gives us that greater reach with more speed and longer time on-station. It gives us a greater capability to dominate the littorals and give the 5th Fleet commander more options to achieve his objective."
With the CCB comes many new things for the crew to learn.
"Everything about this boat is an upgrade from previous boats I've been on," said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Aaron Braithwaite, a Sailor from the CCB's 25-man hybrid crew consisting of Reserve and active duty Sailors. "But once you grasp the concept, it's real easy. It's modern and efficient, and the morale here is real good with everyone doing their part."
Braithwaite explained that he and the rest of the crew were selected and formed as the first CCB deployment team after a Reserve Component Fleet Introduction Team (FIT) delivered the boat to the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) one year ago. The FIT's task was to prepare the boat and crew for deployment whereas the current deployment team is responsible for many proof-of-concept operations and training follow-on waves of deployers.
"I'm pretty excited to be here and bring something new from the U.S. Navy to Bahrain," said Electronics Technician 2nd Class Devin Cress, who said he's previously served aboard a frigate, but nothing like the CCB. "This is a whole new type of mission and deployment for me, but we're more than ready to fulfill the needs of the Navy. I'm excited to see that happen."
The CCB is a precursor to the MK VI patrol boats that will be delivered to the Navy and NECC in the future. Both the CCB and MK VI patrol boats are a result of dynamic requirements that are unique to the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.