Naval Base San Diego Community
Navy Lieutenant Assumes Command of Newest Coastal Riverine Force Patrol Boat
Story by LT Kara Yingling on 06/28/2019
Lt. Christopher Lomax became the Navy’s fourth junior officer to assume command of one of the Coastal Riverine Force’s new Mark VI patrol boat command-at-sea billets in a ceremony today onboard Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.
Capt. Michael Ray, Coastal Riverine Group One commodore, provided the keynote remarks for the ceremony.
“Congratulations upon your completion of an arduous training pipeine,” said Ray. “The extended training is, in my view, reflective of both the complexity of the craft and the missions you are responsible for, but also of the Navy’s commitment to ensuring our most junior commanding officers are prepared to fight and win on arrival.”
As Coastal Riverine Squadron Three Bravo Company, Crew 2 Commander, Lomax 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.
“To me, leadership at sea is what it means to be a naval officer, and command at sea is the ultimate form of leadership. Throughout our Navy’s history young naval officers have stepped up and shown what leadership looks like no matter rank,” said Lomax. “The USS Blue, USS Daly, USS Henly, USS Phelps, USS Farragut and USS Worden, all of these ships were commanded by junior officers during the attack on Pearl Harbor in the absence of their commanding officers.’
Lomax credited his family, friends and mentors, specifically the chief petty officers from his previous tours, for assisting him in having a successful career thus far.
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.
Lomax said that the surface force community is entrusting junior officers with early command and showing a renewed dedication to the idea of commanding early and commanding often. He said, “The Mk VI is a great opportunity for junior officers to operate forward, sharpen command skills, and ultimately bring experience with them to command at a more senior level.”
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
Lomax, who is the son of two retired naval officers, grew up in San Diego, California, and is reporting to the Coastal Riverine Force from the guided missile destroyer, USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108).
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.
For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy, or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Coastal Riverine Group 1, visit www.navy.mil/local/crg1/.