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Lieutenant assumes command of Mark VI patrol boat crew

10 May 2019

From Lt. Kara Handley, Coastal Riverine Group 1

Lt. Antionne Winston is the second officer to assume one of the Coastal Riverine Force’s new Mark VI patrol boat command-at-sea billets.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Lt. Antionne Winston, from Ozark, Alabama, became the Navy’s second officer to assume command of one of the Coastal Riverine Force’s new Mark VI patrol boat command-at-sea billets in a ceremony onboard Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, May 10.

Capt. Michael Ray, Coastal Riverine Group One commodore, provided the keynote remarks for the ceremony.

“The Mk VI program does not enjoy the well-worn paths of destroyers or amphibious ships, where any action a Sailor or crew takes is governed by long-standing and time-proven guidance. So look for the path, but if you cannot find it, then I challenge you to make one,” said Ray. “You have the support of your crew, your company commander, your squadron leadership, and me and my staff as well.”

As Coastal Riverine Squadron 3’s Bravo Company, Crew 1 commander, Winston will be responsible for commanding one of the Navy’s new cutting-edge Mark VI patrol boats and will deploy with the craft and crew.

"This ceremony marks the Navy’s continued investment in our most important asset—our people. Allowing junior officers to hold a position of such responsibility symbolizes three things: our Navy’s dedicated to lethality at all levels regardless of rank structure, our Navy’s continued focus on leadership development in all of our Sailors, and our Navy’s adaptability to rapidly adjust our methods to the threats and missions of a dynamic environment,” said Winston. “Bravo Company Boat Crew One is ready for any challenge and will remain ready and relevant in this dynamic environment."

The new Mark VI patrol boat command-at-sea billets are one of two new opportunities for Mark VI leadership in the Coastal Riverine Force. Mid-level surface warfare officers can now also serve as Mark VI company commanders, commanding three of the boats.

Lt. Andrew Bergstrom became the Navy’s first officer to assume one of the new patrol boat crew command-at-sea billets in April.

Ray said that command-at-sea opportunities like this afford opportunities for innovation. He said, “In the Coastal Riverine Force, and with the small crew sizes of the Mk VI program, we need innovators and motivated self-starters to help us find our way forward.”

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 Coastal Riverine Force through extended reach and increased combat power.

Members of the Coastal Riverine Force 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.

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