Navy Reserve security personnel from Commemoration of the War of 1812 Navy Security Forces (COMWAR 1812 NR NSF) and Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) 14 provided pierside security while more than 100,000 people toured U.S. and coalition naval ships during Boston Navy Week.
This was the fourth major public event this group of Reservists has covered since May when they hit the piers in Manhattan and Staten Island for New York Fleet Week. They also provided security during Operation Sail 2012 in Norfolk, Va., and Baltimore Navy Week.
This was also the final commemoration event where MSRON 14 will have the lead on pier security.
“Working with MSRON-14, our NSF members had the opportunity to hone their skills as chief of guard and entry control point supervisors,” said Chief Master-at-Arms Randy Vincent, COMWAR 1812 NR NSF force protection officer. “This will allow them to be more effective as we take over the security mission.”
Typically NSF personnel provide installation security, guarding the same assets and locations for prolonged periods of time.
“One of the great benefits of having MSRON 14 on this mission has been their expeditionary capability,” said Lt. Cmdr. Dell Griffith COMWAR 1812 NR NSF Reserve coordinator. “Throughout the war of 1812 commemoration, the core team will continue traveling light from city to city. Each mission has a unique port security plan and a different group of high value naval assets and personnel to protect.”
As the MSRON prepared to hand off the mission, COMWAR 1812 NR NSF members began working under instruction in the event command center with the anti-terrorism force protection watch officers from Carrier Strike Group Two.
“A few of our first classes got to shadow the landward security watch officer in the strike group command center which gives them greater understanding of what the LSWO has to keep track of and handle,” said Vincent. “Even though they won’t stand LSWO watch until they make chief, having the chance to shadow gives them the situational awareness of what the LSWO needs to know when they are serving as chief of the guard.”
“The integration of the two teams was well coordinated from the outset and went off as we hoped and planned,” said Capt. Martin R. Costa, MSRON-14 commanding officer. “That integration was improved upon at each port we worked together.
The NSF has proved more than capable of carrying out and performing the mission.”
After taking off the rest of July, COMWAR 1812 NR NSF will enter the Great Lakes phase of the bicentennial commemoration, in early August, using their core team augmented by Reserve masters-at-arms who will be brought in to fill their watchbill.
“The commemoration of the War of 1812 has been a remarkable testimony to the ability of the Navy to integrate multiple active duty chains of command with three different Reserve security forces, local law enforcement and other agency partners into a high-performing, cost-wise team city after city after city,” said Griffith.
“As MSRON-14 redeploys, the NSF core team wraps up its first phase of operations,” Griffith continued. “The security forces flex the capability of utilizing the Reserve NSF for force protection special events. This has proved to be a low cost and small foot print model for non-recurring events of this nature. This capability has proven to be efficient and effective in meeting the requirements for in-port security plans of five Mid-Atlantic cities. The collective efforts from the top down of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Navy Reserve Forces Command, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, two carrier strike groups, and multiple regional commands and Navy Operational Support Centers has been impressive. We have superbly blended the capabilities of simultaneously operating at the strategic, operational and tactical level of anti-terrorism and force protection.”
As the NSF team moves forward to the second phase in the Great Lakes, the core team will be duplicating best practice and continue to exemplify Navy Core Values.
Boston Navy Week was part of the commemoration of the War of 1812. The United States Navy and its partners will commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 from 2012 to 2015, honoring all who fought and continue to defend safe passage on the sea.
Naval Today Staff, July 11, 2012; Image: navy