News: MSRON 4 returns from six-month deployment
Story by STEVEN HOSKINS
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Eighty-four sailors from Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron 4, returned home, June 27, from a six-month deployment to Rota, Spain.
While deployed MSRON 4 sailors provided Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection and point defense in the U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Southern Command areas of responsibility contributing to the safety and security of personnel, ships and aircrafts.
“Security missions are extremely serious deployments,” said MSRON 4 Command Master Chief Dayrl Green. “If you think of the USS Cole incident, MSRON was born from that. Now we protect high value assets so that incidents like the USS Cole never happen again.”
During their deployment, MSRON 4 executed 14 Aircraft Security Team Missions and nine Embark Security Team Missions in support of over 50 countries. They supported exercise Africian Lion in Agadir, Morocco; Exercise Phoenix Express in the Mediterranean; Southern Partnership Station on both sides of the Panama Canal; Africa Partnership Station, and Operation New Dawn. In their off time MSRON 4 sailors volunteered at the local animal shelter and youth center in Rota, Spain and they raised more than $6,500 in support of Relay for Life, Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society and other local fundraising events.
“My sailors performed admirably,” said Cmdr. Michael L. Witherspoon, MSRON 4 executive officer. “We are very proud of the results of this deployment and so are the theater commanders.”
MSRON 4 also has detachments returning home in the near future from Kuwait and Djibouti where they provided force protection and harbor security.
sailors with MSRON 4 deployed to Kuwait with Coast Guard Port Security Unit (PSU) 305 to provide waterside security to high value assets to ensure safe passage of U.S. Navy ships in ports and in the vicinity of Kuwait Naval Base and Ash Shuaybah, Kuwait.
MSRON 4 and PSU 305 conducted more than 1,200 patrol craft sorties and 23 high value asset missions ensuring safe passage of U.S. Navy vessels. The detachment also conducted two CENTCOM theater ammunition resupply missions at Kuwait Naval Base. They safely off-loaded 187 ammunition containers and up-loaded 268 ammunition containers ensuring that over 1.1 million pounds of ammunition were delivered to the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR).
The Djibouti detachment was just as successful by providing waterborne force protection for U.S. warships, U.S.N.S. and U.S.-contracted vessels operating in the Port of Djibouti and the Doraleh Fuel Terminal.
The team of 52 sailors completed more than 50 high value asset missions, supported operations for four Combatant Commanders and Combined Task Force-151 counter-piracy efforts in the Horn of Africa and volunteered 195 hours at a local Djiboutian orphanage.
These deployments mark the last deployments for MSRON 4 before merging with Riverine Squadron 2 to form the first Coastal Riverine Squadron 4.
“My sailors are eager to jump into the executions of the merger,” said Witherspoon. “We will be an entirely new organization Aug. 1st with a manning end strength of about 600 sailors, combining mission sets from riverine and expeditionary security.”
The successful deployment resulted in 130 MSRON 4 sailors earning their Expeditionary Warfare pin, seven personnel earned their Enlisted Surface Warfare pin, and four earned their Information Dominance Warfare pin.
CORIVRON 4 is a component of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and provides flexible responsive maritime security forces capable of performing high level security.
With the merger the squadron will be responsible for maintaining unit-level readiness, and performing maritime expeditionary security missions in the green and brown waters, bridging the gap between traditional Navy blue water operations and land-based forces, providing port and harbor security for vital waterways and protection of high value assets and maritime infrastructure.