News: Sailors give their views on CORIVFOR establishment
Story by Seaman Heather Brown
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Upon announcement of the formation of Coastal Riverine Force (CORIVFOR), junior sailors from the Riverine Force and Maritime Expeditionary Security Force express their opinions, June 1.
The newly established CORIVFOR performs core maritime security operations that bridge the gap between traditional blue water operations and land forces, providing port security and harbor defense and protecting vital waterways.
“It’s always great to be a part of something new,” said Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Kevin Goldsmith, from Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) 2. “Through the merge we’re all going to learn new skills that are going to help us.”
The merger creates a Navy maritime capability able to defend high value assets against a determined enemy and when ordered, conduct offensive combat operations by providing maritime expeditionary security and Riverine operations.
“I think it’s good for the military,” said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Barrett Keith, assigned to Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 1.
“They’re taking two dynamic forces, utilizing both of their assets, and combining them to make a unilateral force.”
The CORIVFOR establishment provides opportunities for sailors from the riverine and maritime security backgrounds to work together and learn new skills by training together.
“Honestly, I don’t know very much about the Riverines or what they do,” said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Arthur Richardson, with Maritime Expeditionary Security Group (MESG) 2. “This will be a great opportunity to learn more about the Riverine side of things, like how they work and the intricate side of their missions.”
CORIVFOR sailors will continue to carry out the tenets of Adm. Johnathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, by putting warfighting first, operating forward, and maintaining readiness. Some elements of the two forces have already integrated and started working together.
“My shop has already begun merging and we have six Riverine sailors working with us,” said Gunners Mate 1st Class Venus Denk, from MESG 2. “They are all great guys who are very knowledgeable.”
Sharing knowledge is one benefit of the two forces combining, but they will also have to learn each other’s jobs and become familiar with new equipment.
“The biggest challenge for any sailor, I think is change,” said Denk. “Not everybody likes change, but we’ll adapt to our new schedule, coworkers, or whatever else is handed to us.”
These changes will ultimately give the CORIVFOR sailors an advantage by broadening training opportunities and introducing one another to new skills.
“I think it’s going to expand the capabilities of this unit,” said Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Johnathon Magnusson, assigned to RIVRON 1. “It will allow us the opportunity to cross-train and learn some techniques and procedures that we haven’t used before.”
Both MESF and the Riverine force have changed over the years, whether it be in mission, equipment, location or even the command as a whole. Many sailors say that the formation of CORIVFOR is a step forward for the coastal maritime force.
“Since the establishment of the maritime security community we went from Naval Coastal Warfare to MESF and now to Coastal Riverines, so we’re an ever evolving force that’s always going to be ready for the needs of the Navy,” said Denk. “We’re here to support the Navy, whatever the mission may be, no matter what our name is.”
CORIVFOR is a component of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and a core Navy maritime capability able to defend high value assets against a determined enemy and when ordered, they conduct offensive combat operations by providing maritime expeditionary security and Riverine operations.