Tag Archives: frogman

Ohio CRRCs

The Navy has recently released a sizzle reel and some additional images of the exercise earlier this month of Force Recon Marines and their combat rubber raiding craft (CRRCs) on the converted boomer USS Ohio (SSGN 726) off Okinawa. 

(U.S. Marine Corps photos by Sgt. Audrey M. C. Rampton)

Notably, there are some rare detailed shots of Ohio’s lockout chamber, converted Trident SLBM tubes, being used to store the CRRCs and their outboards.

 

Sub-Marine ops, Back In style

The Marines have been rubber boating around, a skill they are used to as each Battalion Landing Team for years has typically included a designated “Boat Company,” trained to run about on 15-foot Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC, or “Crick”).

What is interesting about this is that they recently did so in conjunction with a converted boomer in the Philippine Sea, embarking on some expeditionary training. The standard Dry Deck Shelters used by the Navy’s submarines are each able to carry an SDV minisub for use by SEALs– or four CRRCs, enough to carry a platoon-size Marine maritime raid force.

PHILIPPINE SEA (Feb. 2, 2021) The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726), deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, rendezvous with a combat rubber raiding craft, attached to U.S. Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance Company, III Marine Expedition Force (MEF), for an integration exercise off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. The exercise was part of ongoing III MEF-U.S. 7th Fleet efforts to provide flexible, forward-postured, and quick response-options to regional commanders. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Audrey M. C. Rampton)

“This training demonstrates the ability of Force Reconnaissance Marines in III MEF to operate with strategic U.S. Navy assets,” said III MEF Force Reconnaissance Company Commanding Officer Maj. Daniel Romans. “As the stand-in force in the first island chain, it is critical that Force Reconnaissance Marines are capable of being employed across a myriad of U.S. Navy platforms in order to enhance the lethality of the fleet in the littoral environment. Reconnaissance Marines have a proud history of working with submarines and we look forward to sustaining these relationships in the future.”

It is not a dramatically new concept.

On 17 August 1942, just nine months after Pearl Harbor, 211 Marines of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion embarked aboard the submarines USS Argonaut and Nautilus crept ashore at Makin Island and did what the Raiders were meant to do– hit hard in the most unexpected area they could find and jack up a small Japanese garrison.

Then of course, throughout the 1950s and 60s, Marines on submarines were a regular sight…

Reconnaissance scouts of the 1st Provisional Marine Air-Ground Task Force load into a rubber boat from Greenfish, a submarine of the Pacific fleet as they leave on a night mission against “enemy” installations on the island of Maui. The training afforded the Marines of the Task Force, which is based at the Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, is the most versatile offered to Marines anywhere October 7, 1954. Note the classic WWII “duck hunter” camo which had by 1954 been out of use for almost a decade except for special operations units. (Sgt D.E. Reyher DEFENSE DEPT PHOTO (MARINE CORPS) A290040.)

Feeling froggy? Like 1944 froggy?

IMA  has a great grouping from a frogman of Underwater Demolition Team 7 during WWII.They include a set of Owen Churchill of LA swim fins, a Waterproof Bag BG 160 by U.S. Rubber Company, a wetsuit with feet and hood, as well as decorations from one D.A. Leavy of UDT 7 for action in the summer of 1944 off Saipan and Tinian.

It is a really great set, head on over and check it out in detail.

More on UDT 7 here.

Got a CRRC in your neck?

140910-N-UD469-180 PHILIPPINE SEA (Sept. 10, 2014) Marines, assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU), depart the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) in combat rubber raiding crafts during amphibious operations. Germantown is part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group and is conducting joint forces exercises in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Amanda R. Gray/Released) -Click to big up-

140910-N-UD469-180
PHILIPPINE SEA (Sept. 10, 2014) Marines, assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU), depart the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) in combat rubber raiding crafts during amphibious operations. Germantown is part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group and is conducting joint forces exercises in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Amanda R. Gray/Released) -Click to big up-

Each of the 7 Marine Expeditionary Units (a battalion landing team with a bunch of stuff bolted onto it and a harrier/helicopter airwing for support) has a bunch of different ways to get to the beach. These include of course the choppers, navy landing craft (LCU, LCAC, etc), and the Marines own amtrac swimming APCs. However, each one of these MAUs also has 18 of these little rubber zodiac-style boats, designated Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC, or ‘Crick’). Just 15.5-feet long and powered by an outboard (or two) these can motor out from a task force still some 20 miles out at sea and approach an enemy-held beach, port, or vessel with a very little footprint. They are hard to spot by eyeball, radar, or other means, especially in a light chop state. It’s a wet ride for the Marines aboard and anyone who has ever ridden one through the surf doesn’t look forward to doing it a second time– especially on a contested beach.

PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 30, 2013) Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (13th MEU) depart from the stern gate of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) in a combat rubber raiding craft (CRRC). Boxer is underway as part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, comprised of Boxer, the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian P. Biller/Released) -click to big up-

PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 30, 2013) Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (13th MEU) depart from the stern gate of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) in a combat rubber raiding craft (CRRC).U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian P. Biller/Released) -click to big up-

For landings, a company of the battalion landing team is designated the “Boat Company” and they spend a couple weeks figuring these boats out. This includes sending as many as 36 of its force before deployment through a four-week coxswains school where they learn seanav, and what not to do with these temperamental craft and others to scout swimmer school where they learn the finer points of exiting a rubber raft on fins and doing frogman shit.

In the end, Cricks allow a 144-man company to be landed on a strip of beach or empty pier in three, six-boat waves. The former was done under OOTW conditions by Marines in Somalia in 1992.

Air transportable, Cricks can be slid out the rear ramp of larger (think CH-46 and bigger) helicopters or parachuted from cargo planes such as the C-130 (and Navy C-2 CODs), can be launched from surface vessels such ranging from Amphibious assault ships (shown) or smaller craft like patrol boats, LCS and frigates. They can also be (and are) carried up from submerged submarines by divers for inflation on the surface.

New Anti Swimmer Grenade

Ever since man has taken to the sea in boats, other men sought to sink those boats. The easiest and best place to sink or otherwise cripple a vessel in question is while it is in port. This accomplishes not only taking the ship out, but also may foul the harbor and further prevent its use to other ships. These harbor attacks occurred in the ancient world and have continued into the present. Combat swimmers, men who took to the open water at attack these ships with explosives have become a very real threat. The Italians sank the mighty Austrian Battleship Viribus Unitis at anchor in 1918.

This feat was repeated by British commandos in world war two on both the German Battleship Tirpitz and the Japanese heavy cruiser Takao. The United States Navy suffered one of these attacks in 1964 when Vietnamese swimmers sank the old aircraft carrier USS Card in the Saigon River in 1964 and four US Navy Seals repaid the favor to the Panama Defense Forces patrol boat Presedente Porres in 1989.

These swimmers are dangerous, and now the US Navy has finally developed an offensive weapon to counter them. The new AGS (Anti-Swimmer Grenade) is set to be tested in 2008. Replacing the elderly Mk3 concussion grenade the AGS will be more of a hand-held depth charge with variable explosive depth settings of 10-100 feet. It is also to have three times the explosive power of the old Mk3 not to mention several safety features previously not encountered.

When dropped on a cue from sensitive inshore underwater sensors, these could prove to be a very nasty surprise to future frogmen around the world.