Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) announced the official name change for all Coastal Riverine Forces to Maritime Expeditionary Security Forces (MESF). The MESF stems from the Naval Coastal Warfare community which is transitioning to the MESF, Naval units affected range from mobile inshore undersea warfare units, inshore boat units, naval coastal warfare squadrons. While history and tradition are important to the U.S. Navy there are times when a name does not capture the role and mission of a force. The new name captures the MESF growing blue-water fleet integration and contributions to the high-end fight in an era of Great Power Competition, which is more robust than the legacy riverine roles.
The MESF’s primary mission is force protection conducted through fleet support with operations around the world. Anti-terrorism and force protection missions include harbor and homeland defense, coastal surveillance, and special missions. Specialized units work together with MESF squadron staffs providing intelligence and communications. MESF units deploy worldwide to detect, deter, and defend an area, unit, or high-value asset. Ratings range from Master-at-Arms to Boatswain’s Mates, to Information Technology Specialists to Hospital Corpsmen. Recent locations include the United States, Panama, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.
Preliminary units received training in small arms, crew-served weapons, and close quarters battle at places such as the Blackwater Training Center in Myock, North Carolina. Expeditionary Designated Marksman training conducted by the “in house” Special Missions Training Division of MESG-2 turns out shooters capable of sub MOA (minute of angle) accuracy. Two Maritime Expeditionary Security Groups in San Diego, California and Portsmouth, Virginia provide centralized planning, control, training, coordination, equipping, and integration of coastal warfare assets trained to operate in high density, multi-threat environments. Units conduct force protection of strategic shipping and naval vessels operating in the inshore and coastal assets, anchorages and harbors, from bare beach to sophisticated port facilities.
The MESF is to be merged along with the Riverine Group 1 into a new organization, the Coastal Riverine Force. Effective 9/17/2020, all Coastal Riverine Forces changed their name to “Maritime Expeditionary Security Forces”. Members of this community are highly encouraged to earn their Expeditionary Warfare Specialist Designation. The MESF consists of two groups; one in San Diego and one in Virginia Beach. With deployed units around the globe that include both active duty and reserve Sailors. This includes two expeditionary security detachments in Guam and Bahrain; seven maritime expeditionary security squadrons, and 31 maritime expeditionary security companies.