there. Whether we’re on deployment or participating
in international exercises, coastal riverine Sailors routinely play a role in those theater security operations
in just about every fleet. The advantage we have is that
we can engage with similar forces and in our partner
nations’ navies that just cannot be done by larger ships
in either their navies or our Navy. Whenever we conduct exercises with those partner nations, I think we’re
always learning from each other.
The coastal patrol riverine communities
merged a few years ago. Has that been suc-
cessful as a merger of two communities?
CEPEK: It was a successful merger. Once we got
through the task of physically merging the commands,
their craft and facilities, we found that the merging
of the riverine and maritime security missions really
complimented each other very well. As a force, now,
we can deploy all of those capabilities under the command of one squadron.
What are the main challenges in training
your crews for combat?
CEPEK: I wouldn’t say that there are challenges, just
opportunities, just like for any other deploying unit in
the Navy. We have three active squadrons, so a squadron returning from deployment will always commence
training very soon after they get back and finish their
post-deployment leave and upkeep period. Just like
ships, we begin the detailed planning for a squadron’s
next training cycle while they are deployed.
The hardest part is always planning ahead for personnel who are leaving and arriving as a commanding
officer looks at how he will fill out his deployment watch
bill [a list of the crew divided into watch sections] for the
next deployment. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that, with the Mark VI patrol boat now operating in
another AOR [area of responsibility] in the Pacific, that is
another area that we now train for. The challenges, really,
are just like anything else — conducting all the training
in the time you have, and it all requires planning.
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 21 SEAPOWER JUNE 2017 G
Sailors assigned to Coastal Riverine Squadron 4 get underway on a Mark VI patrol boat during a weapons exercise Oct. 28 in the U.S. Fifth Fleet
area of operations in support of Commander, Task Group 56.7.