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Naval Special Warfare Group 4 Changes Hands

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080802-02
Release Date: 8/2/2008 8:27:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robyn Gerstenslager, Naval Special Warfare Group 4 Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Naval Special Warfare Group (NSWG) 4 transferred to another set of hands during a change of command ceremony July 31 outside NSWG 4 headquarters.

Capt. Charles T. Wolf relieved Capt. Evin H. Thompson as commander of NSWG 4.

"From start to finish, Capt. Thompson has led this command and the special boat teams with a steady hand, a hand that was guided in equal measure by a far reaching view of the strategic and vital role the teams play, and a deep respect for the history of the special boat community," said Wolf. "I share this view, and will work hard in the months and years ahead to carry on in the same spirit."

NSWG-4's mission is to organize, train, equip and deploy assigned Naval Special Warfare (NSW) personnel and mobility systems. Additionally, NSWG-4 regularly deploys NSW task force and group level battle groups for command and control of assigned NSW forces. Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) and SEALs from NSWG-4's three component commands - Special Boat Teams (SBT) 20,12 and 22 – operate, deploy and maintain state-of-the-art maritime mobility systems. These special operations craft include the highly capable and advanced Mark-V Special Operations Craft (MK-V), the 11-meter Rigid-hull Inflatable Boat (RIB), and the Special Operations Craft-Riverine (SOC-R).

During his 24 months at the helm of NSWG-4, Thompson led the way in the growth and management of a professional Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) force. Under his watch, the three special boat teams within the NSWG-4 claimancy were deployed in about ten countries around the world in support of theater commanders.

Thompson oversaw the establishment of the only riverine live-fire training range in the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), managed by the SWCC of SBT-22 on Stennis Space Center, Miss. SBT-22 was also actively deployed in support of the Global War on Terror each day of Thompson's command. SBT-12 and 20, the coastal forces under Thompson's cognizance, have continuously been engaged in foreign internal defense mission in Africa, as well as counter reconnaissance missions in Central and South America.

Thompson is reporting as deputy commander, Special Operations Command, South (SOCSOUTH). During his farewell speech, Thompson highlighted the pride he has for the special boat operators.

"These dedicated operators, combat support Sailors and civilians make a difference every single day, and with the Global war on Terror's increasing emphasis on maritime operations, their expertise, courage and determination will continue to have a far-reaching impact," said Thompson. "The experiences I've had with the warriors here have been some of the most satisfying of my entire career. SWCC operators are all over the globe, and their unique and essential support will continue to be a defining force in the war on terror. I could not be more proud of what these men accomplish each and every day."

Wolf, who most recently served as deputy director for operations, Joint Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg, N.C., noted the importance of taking on the responsibility of leading NSWG-4 and the special boat teams.

"I could not be more honored to be joining such a fine group of professionals," said Wolf. "I promise these teams my commitment and my energy. You have accomplished much, and much remains ahead of us. We will move forward together."

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