SAN DIEGO - Lt. Matthew “Hunter” Harvey, from Oakboro, North Carolina, assumed command of Coastal Riverine Squadron 3, Alpha Company, Crew 1, during a ceremony held on board Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, June 7.
Harvey is the Navy’s third surface warfare officer to assume the new Coastal Riverine Force (CRF) command-at-sea billet on the Navy’s new cutting-edge Mark VI patrol boats and will deploy with the craft and crew.
“By allowing junior officers to tackle the challenges that come with early command, our abilities sharpen with each evolution,” said Harvey. “We have been provided with platforms that continue to progress in lethality, complexity, and ability, along with the responsibility and authority to lead them.”
Capt. Michael Ray, commodore of Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 1, provided the keynote remarks during the ceremony.
“One thing I really enjoy about this job is the opportunity to work in concert with, or in direct support of, Seabees, EOD and expeditionary cargo handlers,” said Ray. “While antiterrorism and force protection remain the core competencies of the Coastal Riverine Force, this platform, and the ingenuity of those who take her to sea, will position us to enable and enhance emerging or immature capabilities in the space between surface warfare and the other expeditionary tribes.”
Harvey graduated from Virginia Military Institute with Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering and commissioned in May 2014. Harvey has completed deployments in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation while serving as the fire control officer aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79).
The new Mark VI command positions were created to provide the dedicated and resourceful leadership required to safely maintain and fight the advanced patrol craft that continues to transform the CRF through extended reach and increased combat power.
Lt. Andrew Bergstrom became the Navy’s first officer to assume one of the new patrol boat crew command-at-sea billets in April, followed by Lt. Antionne Winston in May.
Members of the CRF conduct missions in support of port and harbor security, maritime force protection, high-value asset security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and training/partnership exercises with foreign nations.