Tag Archives: navy vietnam

Goodbye RIVRONs, hello MESF

The Navy announced recently they have “officially changed the name and mission of the Coastal Riverine squadrons to reflect their role amid a new era of great power competition; they are now known as the Maritime Expeditionary Security Force.”

The prerequisite moto video, tying the new units to the old Brown Water PBR gang of Southeast Asia (although the SWCC guys of SBT22 will most likely dispute ownership of this lineage, as they carried the dim candle of the small boat shop at Rodman for decades):

“As we maintain a connection to our legacy we must honor those warriors that come before us and learn from their heroism,” said RADM Joseph DiGuardo, commander NECC, “we must continuously evolve to meet the needs of the Navy and the Nation for Great Power Competition, crisis, and conflict. The change to Maritime Expeditionary Security Force clearly articulates the mission of our sailors to reinforce lethality in the blue water and dominate in the littorals.”

The MESF now consists of two groups; one in San Diego and one in Virginia Beach. The force includes two expeditionary security detachments in Guam and Bahrain, seven Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadrons, and 31 Maritime Expeditionary Security Companies.

The original three Coastal Riverine squadrons of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (RIVRON 1, 2, and 3) were all formed in 2006-07, modeled after the Marines Small Craft Company (SCCO) of 2D MAR Div– then the only specialized small boat company in the Marines– which had been disbanded the year prior although that forgotten unit of Devil Dogs in tiny boats had been bloodied and proved their mandate in the marshes and reservoirs around Haditha, fighting the kind of war that was familiar to Vietnam. Their Riverine Assault Craft, zodiacs, and Raider boats were handed over to the Navy, although Big Blue soon bought lots of new go-fasts.

Marines from Small Craft Company tether their Riverine Assult Crafts together during a break in training. Marines from Small Craft Company, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, demonstrated their capabilities to Paraguayan Marines in the Joint Training Exercise Unitas. The exercise was conducted in Asuncion, Paraguay. USMC Photo by LCPL Tyler J. Mielke. 29/09/1999

“People think it’s money or manpower problems, but no one knows for sure why they’re getting rid of us,” said Marine Gunnery Sgt. Brian Vinciguerra, who had spent 14 years with the SCCO, on the occasion of the unit’s disbandment in Feb. 2005. “The capabilities we provided to the Marine Corps, Special Forces, and Navy SEALS in Iraq are too big to be gone for long. We’re leaving an avenue of approach open for the enemy now,” he said. “I think Small Craft Company will be back in a few years when people realize what we brought to the fight.”

Now, after a similar 14-year run, the Navy’s trio of RIVRONs have a name change, and, notably, are moving to more 80+ foot platforms such as the MKVI. Not a lot of “river” about that.

Oh well, at least SBT22 and NAVSCIATTS are still around, keeping that lamp tended for the next time.

Take a break to celebrate the Brown Water Navy today

Nothing says “get some” like a twin M2

Remember, today is National Vietnam War Veterans Day:

 

 

With that being said, dig this far out training film covering the “Small Boat Navy” as it was called in the 1960s, which consisted that wide range of Vietnam-era shallow watercraft such as the PBR, RPC, PGM, PTF, et. al

 

For your reference: (Drawn from Boats of the United States Navy, NAVSHIPS 250-452, 1967)

  

Navy completes Vietnam War book series

USS Saint Paul bombarding communist positions off Vietnam, Oct 1966

With the publication last week of End of the Saga: The Maritime Evacuation of South Vietnam and Cambodia, the Naval History and Heritage Command has announced the completion of its nine-year, nine-book series titled The U.S. Navy and the Vietnam War.

All books in the U.S. Navy and the Vietnam War series are available online for free download as 508-compliant PDF files, MOBI versions for Kindle devices, and the ePub for most other readers. Readers can download their free copy and enjoy them on the go. If you want a hard copy, you can purchase one from the Government Printing Office (GPO).

The series traces its roots to the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act, which directed the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

The titles in the series include (with pdf hyperlinks in the titles):

1.) The Approaching Storm: Conflict in Asia, 1945-1965

2.) Nixon’s Trident: Naval Power in Southeast Asia, 1968-1972

3.) The Battle Behind Bars: Navy and Marine POWs in the Vietnam War

4.) Navy Medicine in Vietnam: Passage to Freedom to the Fall of Saigon

5.) Combat at Close Quarters: Warfare on the Rivers and Canals of Vietnam

6.) Naval Air War: The Rolling Thunder Campaign

7.) Knowing the Enemy: Naval Intelligence in Southeast Asia

8.) Fourth Arm of Defense: Sealift and Maritime Logistics in the Vietnam War

9.) End of the Saga: The Maritime Evacuation of South Vietnam and Cambodia

Enjoy, and get to reading.