On June 1, 2012, the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) stood up a new command, the Coastal Riverine Force (CORIVFOR) – also known as CRF – by merging the Navy’s riverine and the maritime expeditionary security forces (MESF). NECC says that the idea is to create the most effective and flexible general purpose combat force for providing maritime security on inland and coastal waterways today and into the future.
CRF is organized into two headquarters staffs – one on each coast – with Coastal Riverine Group (CORIVGRU) 1 – also known as CRG 1 – in San Diego located at Navy Outlying Landing Field, Imperial Beach and CORIVGRU 2 (CRG 2) in Virginia Beach, located at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek (JEB LC) – Fort Story.
The force’s initial operating capability is slated for October 2012 and full operational capability in Oct. 2014. The first two commanding officers of the CRGs are Capt. Eric Moss, commodore of CRG 1 and Capt. James C. Hamblet, commodore of CRG 2.
According to NECC, CORIVGRU’s primary mission is to man, train, and equip subordinate forces for tasking as assigned in the required operational capability and projected operating environment.
Each CRG will have a number of coastal riverine squadrons (CORIVRON) or CRS assigned to it. Each CRS will be organized into three or four companies and each company will have two platoons, says Hamblet, adding that there will be a number of active component (AC) squadrons as well as reserve component (RC) squadrons.
CRS are being stood up in a phased manner by combining riverine squadrons and MESF squadrons as they complete their existing deployments. The first CRS will be formally merged in August on the East Coast, then go through a training cycle and be the first unit to deploy sometime around October 2012. West Coast units will be stood up later, says Lt. Cmdr. John Gay, NECC’s public affairs officer.
The CRS is responsible for maintaining unit-level readiness of its assigned companies, to include the requirement to train individuals to deploy in support of mission tasking.
“These squadrons will have a spectrum of capabilities – from the offensive, riverine and brown water capability through the green water force protection capability,” says Hamblet. The squadrons will carry out harbor defense, protect critical maritime infrastructure, and escort inbound and outbound high value assets such as Military Sealift Command ships, but also be capable of conducting offensive operations when required. In addition, they will support fleet operations by operating in conjunction with Amphibious Ready Groups, Expeditionary Strike Groups, Carrier Strike Groups, Global Partnership Stations, and Military Sealift Command ships. Another key role, says Hamblet, is supporting theater security cooperation missions.
When all the mergers are completed, the 4,406 strong CRF – with 2,510 active duty and 1896 reservists – will be composed of two active component (AC) squadrons (CRS 2 at JEB LC and CRS 4 at Newport News, Portsmouth) and two reserve component (RC) squadrons (CRS 8 at Newport, R.I. and CRS 10 at Jacksonville, Fla.) assigned to the East Coast while the West Coast will have one AC squadron (CRS 3 at san Diego) and two RC squadrons (CRS 1 at San Diego and 11 at Seal Beach). The reserve squadrons will each have six platoons located across several states along MESF’s existing organization.