Return of the Gators? US Navy Stands Up New Coastal Warfare Squadron

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NCWRON-5 Stand Up(click to view full) EagleSpeak Blog, run by a former Captain, USNR (ret.), notes the recent “stand-up” of Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron Five (NCWRON-5) near San Diego recently. Once at full strength, 325 sailors will go to war in a fleet of speedy 34-foot, SeaARK Marine aluminum-hull boats (likely Dauntless Class) equipped with .50-caliber and 7.62mm machine guns and 40mm grenade launchers. The boats cost $500,000 each, and can be loaded quickly aboard Air Force C-17 transport jets for quick transport to trouble spots. SeaARK boats of these types are also in use by civilian agencies like the NYC Police and National Park Police. Is this part of a trend? It most certainly is… (click to view full) The San Diego Union-Tribune notes that Navy officials quietly started organizing the squadron in September 2004 around the lightly-used Naval Outlying Landing Field in Imperial Beach, near the Tijuana River. This was about the same time that US Maritime Force Protection Command (MARFPCOM) was stood up, with the mission of the consolidating the expeditionary units the Navy deploys overseas to protect ships, aircraft and bases from terrorist attack. In April 2005, MARFPCOM’s sailors, patrol boats, underwater explosive ordnance disposal groups; […]

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