The need for a single organization dedicated to the support of amphibious operations was recognized as a result of experience gained during the island-hopping campaigns of World War II. The decision to consolidate amphibious assault assets led to the establishment of Naval Beach Group ONE in July 1948.
The initial Naval Beach Group consisted of Headquarters Unit, Boat Unit ONE, Amphibious Construction Battalion ONE, and Underwater Demolition Team ONE. Eventually, Boat Unit ONE became Assault Craft Unit ONE, and Underwater Demolition Team ONE shifted to the control of Naval Special Warfare Command. Additions to the organization have been Beachmaster Unit ONE in 1949,Assault Craft Unit FIVE in 1983 and Naval Beach Unit SEVEN in 2012. With the addition of Assault Craft Unit FIVE came the ability to conduct over-the-horizon assaults using the swift Landing Craft Air-Cushioned (LCAC).
In 1950, Detachments of Naval Beach Group ONE participated in amphibious assaults at Inchon and Pohang, Korea, and shortly thereafter in the evacuation of troops from Hungnam and Inchon. Late in 1954, another Naval Beach Group ONE Detachment assisted Commander Task Force 90 in the withdrawal of French Union Military Forces and 300,000 Vietnamese refugees from Haiphong, French Indochina during OPERATION PASSAGE TO FREEDOM. Naval Beach Group ONE Detachments took part in the evacuation of the Chinese Nationalist Tachen Islands in 1955. Naval Beach Group ONE provided equipment and personnel to assist in a scientific expedition to Danger Island in the South Pacific in conjunction with the International Geophysical Year in 1958. Since 1965, Naval Beach Group ONE elements participated in many amphibious landings in Vietnam, including landings at Chu Lai, Da Nang, and near the DMZ in the Hue area. Assistance in the withdrawal of U.S. Marine Corps personnel and equipment from Vietnam and their offload in CONUS was provided. In 1975, Naval Beach Group Units actively participated in the withdrawal and evacuation of Vietnamese citizens.
In recent years, detachments from Naval Beach Group ONE have participated in OPERATION DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM and IRAQI FREEDOM in the Arabian Gulf, OPERATIONS RESTORE HOPE and UNITED SHIELD in Somalia. Naval Beach Group ONE and its component commands engaged in supporting amphibious task force commanders in the THIRD, FIFTH and SEVENTH Fleets during Operations UNIFIED ASSISTANCE, the humanitarian/disaster relief efforts during the Tsunami that destroyed the Asian Pacific area in 2004, earthquake relief to Pakistan in 2005, Wildfire assistance in southern California, and Operation Tomadachi in Japan.
Today, Beach Group ONE trains detachments to embark in amphibious ships, as part of an Assault Echelon, as well as deploying as the core of the Naval Support Element during Assault Follow-On Echelon operations. The Beach Group routinely participates in Fleet and Theater exercises (RIMPAC, FOAL EAGLE, COBRA GOLD, CARAT, C/JLOTS, and TALISMAN SABRE) and provides a wide variety of support services at Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado. Throughout an illustrious history, from combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, Naval Beach Group ONE has seamlessly operated as the unifying force of Navy and Marine Corps Team, epitomizing the traditional amphibious force motto, “United We Land” with skill, professionalism, and dedication.
Naval Beach Group ONE was decorated by President Truman with the Presidential Unit Citation for action with First Marine Division in Korea (Inchon Landing), Naval Beach Group ONE Western Pacific Detachment earned the Meritorious Unit Citation for its efforts in Southeast Asia from 1965 – 1969Naval Beach Group ONE earned three Navy Unit Commendations (Operation DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM) and also earned the National Defense Medal (One Bronze Star), Korean Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (three Bronze Stars), Vietnam Service Medal, South West Asia Service Medal (two Bronze Stars), GWOT Expeditionary Medal, GWOT Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia).
Since its inception in 19 July 1948, Naval Beach Group ONE and its componant commands have participated in a variety of amphibious operations. From the early years of assaults during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts to the modern and technically sophisticated amphibious operations in Somalia and Iraq, the men and women of the Naval Beach Group have served throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans in support of U.S. policy abroad. Commander, Naval Beach Group ONE functions under two distinct missions. During amphibious assaults, he provides personnel to support and operate causeway lighterage, LCACs, LCUs, , buoyant ship-to-shore bulk fuel systems, beach traffic control, and beach salvage equipment. The second mission is under the Maritime Preposition Force (MPF) concept which uses the equipment and supplies prepositioned on board forward deployed Maritime Preposition Ships (MPS). Joining forces with the Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB), Commander, Naval Beach Group ONE forms and commands the Naval Support Element (NSE) and is airlifted into an objective area to establish camp support, conduct ship-to-shore movement, beach party operations and debarkation operations in support of the offload of each MPF ship.
CNBG-1 is also responsible for conducting Amphibious Specialty Training (PHIBSPECTRA) for all Pacific Fleet amphibious ships. The PHIBSPECTRA Team provides in-depth training in well deck operations to prepare Expeditionary Strike Group ships for deployment to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.