By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class William S. Parker, Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Public Affairs
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (NNS) — The Sailors of Naval Special Warfare Unit FOUR (NSWU-4) ushered in a new era, Feb. 26, as the command was reestablished during a ceremony on Homestead Air Force Reserve Base in Homestead, Fla.
NSWU-4 was initially commissioned in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico in 1999, and in 2004 disestablished and moved its headquarters to Naval Special Warfare Group TWO (NSWG-2) on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, in Virginia Beach, Va., where it was re-commissioned as Naval Special Warfare Group TWO Detachment South. In 2016 it was decommissioned and relocated to Homestead where it has now been reestablished as NSWU-4 to co-locate with the theater special operations command and to enhance interoperability capabilities.
NSWU-4 is a subordinate command of NSWG-2, and its mission is to plan, coordinate and execute special operations in support of U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) operational and strategic objectives in war, contingency ops, and peace time.
The ceremony began with the arrival of the official party, invocation, and playing of the national anthem. Upon retiring the colors, the guest speaker Brigadier Gen. Kurt Sonntag, Commander, Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH), addressed the crowd.
“This is a great day and I’m very pleased this move and ceremony is finally taking place because when NSWU-4 left Puerto Rico in 2004 the NSW footprint virtually disappeared in this theater, however the need for the unique skills and relations NSWU-4 could provide never did,” said Sonntag. “Critically, the NSWU-4 reestablishment ceremony provides Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) with a trained, rapidly deployable, and flexible special operations command and control headquarters.”
Sonntag concluded his remarks saying, “To all involved in this monumental task, I am honored to accept NSWU-4 back underneath the umbrella of SOCSOUTH, and finally to our teammates at NSWU-4, welcome to Homestead and welcome back to the family, strength and honor.
Sonntag then turned the stage over to the presiding officer Rear Adm. Brian Losey, Commanding Officer, Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC), who addressed the crowd of 200 military members and civilians.
“Today opens another page in NSW training operations and building partnerships in the SOUTHCOM area of responsibility (AOR) as we have a 50 year history working in this AOR,” said Losey. I commit to all of you that NSWC will remain focused on ensuring NSW units for success and that they are effective in executing SOUTHCOM and SOCSOUTH’s most important mission.”
Upon finishing his remarks, Rear Adm. Losey then turned over the stage to Capt. Pete Vasely, Commanding Officer, Naval Special Warfare Group TWO, who then read the establishment directive, officially reestablishing NSWU-4 to command.
“From the Chief of Naval Operations, subject OPNAV Notice 5400, Establishment of NSWU-4, effective immediately establish NSWU-4,” said Vasely.
Cmdr. David E. Murphy then read his orders and assumed command of NSWU-4. He then addressed his command for the first time as commanding officer.
“This ceremony is about the unit and the people that will keep this tradition as it is an honor to be selected to this command and a great honor to be selected to command this newly reestablished unit,” said Murphy. “We will continue the great history of NSW in the SOUTHCOM AOR as we are postured to punch well above our weight class as part of this joint special operations force team.
Cmdr. Murphy concluded his remarks to his command by saying “Predecessors, plank owners, and honorary plank owners thank you for laying the foundation and reputation of this unit. Your collective efforts were no small feat,” said Murphy.
The ceremony then closed with the benediction and a reception to celebrate the newly reestablished NSWU-4.