Bahrain Surface Force Staffs Merge, Provides Better Support to 14 Ships

By Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic Public Affairs, Lt. j.g. Spenser T. Smith | October 01, 2017

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN - Rear Adm. Jesse A. Wilson, Jr., commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (COMNAVSURFLANT), participated in a ceremony to recognize the establishment of commander, Naval Surface Squadron (CNSS) 5 at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Oct. 1.

Patrol Coastal Squadron (PCRON) 1 was renamed to reflect the expanded responsibilities and mission of the squadron.  Since 2013, PCRON 1 has exercised administrative and operational control of 10 Cyclone-class coastal patrol (PC) ships forward-deployed to Bahrain. 

In an initiative to execute administrative control over forces assigned to oversee the Title 10 “man, train, equip, and maintain” functions for the PC and mine countermeasure (MCM) ships in Bahrain, PCRON 1 was merged with Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCMRON) 3 Maintenance Detachment and officially renamed.  As CNSS 5, the organization will have administrative control of not only the 10 PC ships, but four Avenger-class MCM ships operating out of Bahrain.  Additionally, CNSS 5 will provide support to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron (LCSRON) ships when they arrive in Bahrain.

Wilson explained the importance of today’s ceremony and its impact in the region.

“Today, we welcome Naval Surface Squadron Five into the force and expand our responsibilities to better support our Sailors, our ships and our enduring mission here in Bahrain.  Naval Surface Squadron 5 will increase efficiency and safety, and better align Bahrain-based ships with commander, U.S. 5th Fleet/U.S. Naval Forces Central Command," said Wilson. "Your dedication and leadership will ensure our Bahrain-based Surface Forces are manned, trained and equipped and that our Navy is able to assure, deter and win."

Commanded by Cmdr. Kendall G. Bridgewater, CNSS 5 will serve as the surface type commander's executive agent in Manama, Bahrain.

“While our name and the scope of our responsibilities is changing, our mission is not,” said Bridgewater. “Our mission has just expanded to ensure the same level of support we have historically provided to the PCs is also provided to the MCMs, a unique platform that provides vital capabilities to our surface fleet, and to U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.”

Additionally, CNSS 5 will provide direct support to LCS forces as supporting commander to LCSRON and U.S. 5th Fleet task force commanders.  This organizational change marks the first time in U.S. naval history that SURFLANT will have administrative responsibility for MCM ships.

CNSS-5 will be responsible for: USS Tempest (PC 2), USS Hurricane (PC 3), USS Monsoon (PC 4), USS Typhoon (PC 5), USS Sirocco (PC 6), USS Squall (PC 7), USS Chinook (PC 9), USS Firebolt (PC 10), USS Whirlwind (PC 11), USS Thunderbolt (PC 12), USS Sentry (MCM 3), USS Devastator (MCM 6), USS Gladiator (MCM 11) and USS Dextrous (MCM 13).