Navy "Riverine" units look to expand, capitalize on recent success

 
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Navy "Riverine" units look to expand, capitalize on recent success

When I was in Senegal I had a chance to hang out with some of the guys from Riverine Squadron 3 (Rivron 3) and they were some seriously impressive guys.  Today there is a great story in Stars and Stripes that showcases them:

When the U.S. Navy’s Riverine forces were resurrected six years ago to secure Iraq’s rivers and coastal waterways, they functioned much as the highly decorated river rats of the Mekong Delta did in Vietnam. Their success has given new life to the unit and the strategy.

In Iraq, Riverine forces became a quick reaction force — capable of search-and-seizure, insertion or extraction — on swift, agile boats with heavy-caliber weaponry. Between March 2007 and October 2011, the Riverines carried out more than 2,000 missions, trained Iraqi River Police, screened detainees and discovered weapons caches while flying 667 unmanned aerial vehicle hours.

You should go read the whole thing, but one part interested me....

The new force will focus primarily in the Navy’s 5th Fleet area of operations, which includes the Persian Gulf and waterways, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command skipper Rear Adm. Michael Tillotson said at the establishment ceremony for Coastal Riverine Group 2 in June. But, he expects that focus to shift to the Pacific over time.

“We will work with partners along the areas known as Oceana, which includes Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia; we’ll work in the areas and help build relationships with those countries in order to provide security in those areas,”  Tillotson said. “The challenges are out there.”

As most of you know, I am doing a series of stories for the Magazine on the different branches.  I was with the Army in Afghanistan, the Marine Corps in Africa (December Cover Story), and am working on getting up to Alaska to cover the Coast Guard.  Had originally wanted to do something with the Navy hunting the pirates in Somalia, but New Guinea and Malaysia sounds awesome....

Anyway, here is a Pentagon video about the Rivron units. 

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.