HomeNewsArticle Display

Charleston Airman earns Navy training distinction

Senior Airman Austin Walworth conducts training with Master at Arms 1st Class Jeremy Krieg and Master at Arms 1st Class Brian Cobb on a Harbor Patrol Unit boat embedded with the 628th Security Forces Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. Walworth recently earned the Navy Small Craft Insignia, or Coxsain Pin, and is believed to be the first Airman to earn the distinction. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Haynes/Released)

Senior Airman Austin Walworth conducts training with Navy Masters-at-Arms 1st Class Jeremy Krieg and Brian Cobb on a Harbor Patrol Unit boat embedded with the 628th Security Forces Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. Walworth recently earned the Navy small craft insignia. (U.S. Navy photo/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Haynes)

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (AFNS) -- A few miles from the bustling runways full of cargo planes at Joint Base Charleston, one Airman is acquiring his sea legs.

Senior Airman Austin Walworth, assigned to the 628th Security Forces Squadron, recently earned the Navy's small craft insignia. The “coxswain pin,” as it is commonly called, originated in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. The pin recognizes elite Sailors who are specially trained to operate small boats in combat.

"This pin signifies that Airman Walworth has achieved the highest levels of qualification in small boat operations and tactics," said Navy Lt. Charles Gatewood, the Naval Support Activity Charleston waterfront operations officer.

To become eligible, Walworth completed several personnel qualification system watch stations, two small boat coxswain courses, and planned and led a small team in completing a mission. Level I, or Shore Installation Management Small Boat Coxswain, introduces small boat terminology and equipment, basic concepts of navigation and maritime law. The Level II Coxswain course builds on that knowledge and teaches operators how to tactically employ the boats.

"Weapons is a big part of the course," said Navy Master-at-Arms 1st Class Brian Cobb, a harbor security training supervisor and lead instructor of the Level II course, "but mostly we discuss high-value asset security and how we maneuver the boats to prevent attacks, as well as conducting insertion/extraction and search and rescue."

After building on the fundamentals in the classroom, students put what they learn into action through live combat scenarios in the water.

"At the end, we got to actually execute the mission we planned," Walworth said. "Seeing everything come full circle and putting all of our training together to get the job done was pretty rewarding."

Because the Air Force and Navy have historically different missions and roles in protecting the U.S., there are some challenges when training between branches. Walworth said this aspect of the qualification process was the most difficult, but it gave him a newfound appreciation for what the Navy does.

"In the Air Force we are used to operating on land, and this type of navigation in the water is completely different," Walworth said. "All I know is air base defense, but once I got onto the boats here, I wanted to be the best I could be at it."

The story of Walworth's climb up the ladder from Airman, to small boat crewmember, to coxswain is beneficial for both branches of service.

"This opens a new avenue for security forces Airmen to see how the Navy does waterborne security," Gatewood said. "After completing the course and earning their pin, it allows multiple services to speak one language on the water to help minimize miscommunications. It also helps planning because the Airmen have a better grasp on factors to be considered when performing a maritime security mission."

Walworth's achievement also shines as an example to other service members assigned to JB Charleston.

"He sets the new standard for all the Airmen following in his footsteps," Cobb said. "After earning his pin, he is considered a subject matter expert on everything related to small boats."

Walworth said he welcomes the expectations that come with breaking down barriers.

"In today's world, anything can happen and we have to be ready to react to any threat out there," he said. "I look forward to seeing and being a mentor to new Airmen coming into the program, and I hope they catch as much of an interest as I did."


Facebook Twitter
Tune in to @AFSpace’s latest episode of Generation Space GPS III (Part 3) featuring our partners at @LockheedMartinhttps://t.co/MHgxgQ64cV
RT @thejointstaff: #GenSelva was greeted with a water salute upon landing @Andrews_JBA for the final flight ✈️ of his 39-year career July 2…
RT @DeptofDefense: This community center may not be open yet, but kids from Amelia’s Ward in Guyana 🇬🇾 got a chance to enjoy it early durin…
“On a daily basis we are involved with creativity, adventure & challenge,” @4CTCS Staff Sgt. Corban Lundborg.… https://t.co/GpzjDqoQup
RT @AirmanMagazine: Getting help to the right location for land rescues in the aftermath of a major hurricane falls to the @usairforce Resc…
#B2 Spirit, a combination of #stealth & advanced avionics. #ThisWeekinHistory https://t.co/Bd7OrB3bbb
RT @AF_WSOC: 👀 who popped up with the big dogs on TopDrawerSoccer’s Top 40 Ranked Recruiting Classes for 2019! Excited to have these fresh…
For saving two fellow wingmen while deployed in Afghanistan, Tech. Sgt. Nick Torres received two bronze star medals… https://t.co/83bcAvqCxG
RT @DefenceHQ: Today the various NATO aircraft flypast at #RIAT19 to mark the 70th anniversary of NATO! Since its creation, NATO has been…
The @DeptofDefense has partnered with the @DeptVetAffairs to implement the first Women's Health Transition Training… https://t.co/JUTFicsXDw
⚡️ “Apollo 11 50th anniversary” https://t.co/GSeJYz6wPJ
The 413th Flight Test Sq. @TeamEglin successfully conducted the 1st #USAF piloted flight of the #HH60W Combat Rescu… https://t.co/wTyTtcmZjv
Jetting into the weekend like... #F16 https://t.co/wEWD7vr476
.@AstroHague showing his #USAF pride during the anniversary week of the #Apollo50 landing. @ISS_Researchhttps://t.co/WdgCFDmz6f
'Only two of us were not shot or dying': #USAF #Airman receives Silver Star for heroism in Afghanistan heroism… https://t.co/IdmKq8gtDx
RT @AFResearchLab: Dr. Lisa Rueschhoff was one of 82 engineers chosen to attend @theNAEng 2019 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium! Sh…
RT @ActingSecAF: .@GenDaveGoldfein is bolstering partners & #allies across Europe, discussing how we can be #StrongerTogether in air, #spac