ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Coastal Riverine Squadron Four (CRS-4) conducted well deck operations with the Mark VI patrol boat for the first time aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) May 15.
Two Mark VI boats demonstrated their capabilities by mooring and launching multiple times from the well deck of Bataan, accomplishing a major milestone for the craft.
The first operational Mark VI arrived in Bahrain as part of U.S. 5th Fleet. Once deployed, CRS-4 will utilize the Mark VI to conduct maritime security missions throughout the Arabian Gulf.
Deck Department Division Officer Ensign Michael Klooster, from Cummings, Georgia was excited to train with CRS-4.
"This is the second time Mark VI patrol boats have ever done well deck operations and the first time conducting operations with an LHD-class amphibious warfare ship," said Klooster.
The Mark VI is an 85-foot patrol craft fitted with a Mark 38 25mm gun on the bow, and an ability to reach speeds in excess of 35 knots. The craft will provide the Navy the continued ability to patrol waterways for the purpose of protecting coalition forces and vital infrastructure.
"We need to continue doing these operations because they are extremely beneficial to us," said Klooster. This will allow us to be more adaptable and support further operations when we deploy overseas. The Mark VI patrol boats are extremely cool pieces of machinery; they are extremely useful to the Navy's warfighting mission."
According to Klooster, the boats are versatile enough to fit inside the well deck; thus, they can be transported to any location in a short period of time. The crafts are also provided with kickstands to help deck department when conducting boat operations.
"Not only do these boats come into the well deck, they actually have kickstands that are manually operated and lowered so they sit in the well instead of having all kinds of shoring and everything done to hold it in place," said Klooster.
The Coastal Riverine Force (CRF) operates in harbors, rivers, bays across the littorals and ashore. The primary mission of CRF 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.
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