SWCCs move into new digs


May 3, 2010
SBT-22 cut the ribbon last week on their new ROF in Stennis, Navy Article

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Kathryn Whittenberger, Naval Special Warfare Group 4 Public Affairs

JOHN C. STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. (NNS) -- Special Boat Team (SBT) 22, the only command in the Department of Defense specifically designated to conduct special operations in riverine environments, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new $9.7 million riverine operations facility (ROF) May 21.

"This riverine operations facility is one of many major milestones in Naval Special Warfare's (NSW) long and continuous evolution toward establishing Stennis Space Center (SSC) as NSW's center for maritime training and riverine warfare," said SBT-22 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Bob Lyonnais.

"As SBT-22 itself has grown, the support of the local community has become increasingly important. We are proud be part of Stennis Space Center and southern Mississippi. A SOF (special operation forces) truth is people are more important than hardware and that is true here. None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support from NASA, the State Congressional Delegation, state and local governments, community and business leaders, and, most importantly, the people of southern Mississippi and Louisiana themselves. We look forward to continuing to forge our strong relationships."

The ROF consists of two structures. The 15,898 square foot riverine operations building and 24,779 square foot combatant craft building provide permanent riverine operations space and will directly contribute to upgrading the training capability and mission readiness of SBT-22.

The new facility has state-of-the-art storage for tactical gear, offices, planning areas, classrooms, and other personnel support areas to meet increasing training requirements. Both of these buildings are designed to be extremely energy and water efficient, keeping in line with Department of Defense guidelines for environmental stewardship.

The ROF is essential because of the growth of SBT-22. Since 2005, the command has increased the number of special warfare combatant-craft crewmen by 68 percent. This additional manpower is part of the evolution of SBT-22 that began in 1998, when the team was comprised of approximately 70 personnel, a disparate fleet of Vietnam-era craft, several trailers in the parking lot of the ammunition plant, and a converted World War II berthing barge as its operations center.

When complete, the ROF will be the eighth and ninth modern buildings rated to withstand a category 5 hurricane in the NSW Stennis compound.

The two NSW commands here, SBT-22 and the Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School, have more than 400 permanently assigned personnel and more than 40 riverine craft, 24 of which are the special operations craft – riverine, an incredibly specialized and highly armed riverine assault craft.

The increase in training and growth of the NSW presence on SSC is directly related to the location and increase in demand for a riverine skill set. SSC has access via the Pearl River to the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Pontchatrain and most importantly the Western Maneuver Area, which allows for live-fire training.

For more news from Naval Special Warfare Group 4, visit www.navy.mil/local/nswg4/.

SBT-12 also recently finished construction on their new facility in Coronado.

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dominique Lasco, Naval Special Warfare Command Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Special Boat Team (SBT) 12 and Navy Region Southwest hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 14, on Naval Base Coronado to commemorate the opening of the new SBT-12 Storage building.

The $10.5 million facility will replace the current storage area and help enhance efficiency and morale for the team.

"For many years the operators would return from back-to-back training operations with very little time for sleep or space to stow their gear," said Cmdr. Jeffery Drinkard, commanding officer, SBT-12. "This building not only provides the space for their equipment but a barracks area for them to stay when they train."

The building was a joint effort between Naval Special Warfare Group 4 and Navy Region Southwest and took 18 months to complete. The two-story facility will provide training, storage, living and office spaces for all troops at SBT-12 when they move in June 1st.

Prior to the new construction, there was limited space for the team according to Chief Master-at-Arms Steven Gingery, who oversaw the project. This new building includes more than 300 storage cages and enables the operators to train and stow gear in a central location permanently.

"I think it's a beautiful building," said Drinkard. "This will make a better operator because it will enable them to take care of their gear and these guys work so hard at what they do, they really deserve it."

For more information about Naval Special Warfare, visit www.seal.navy.mil or www.sealswcc.com.

For more news from Naval Special Warfare Group 4, visit www.navy.mil/local/nswg4/.

SBT-12 also has finished their new facilities in Coronado