Night ops

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Navy looks back to look ahead


The US Navy is seeking some expertise from the past when it turn to the "Gamewardens" of the Vietnam war as it moves to the future as reported here:
The Navy needs them because it's creating a whole new generation of brown-water sailors.

The Navy began rebuilding a riverine force late last year as part of a new, 40,000-troop command dedicated to sailors-on-the-ground combat and support. The riverine force comprises a small piece of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, about 900 sailors in three squadrons based at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base.

The force plans to deploy to Iraq next year, replacing a Marine unit on the Euphrates River.

It initially will be just a sliver of the Vietnam-era brown-water fleet at its peak. But leaders in the new command quickly reached out to the old river veterans - scattered when the Navy dismantled their unit in the early 1970s.

The Navy began calling in the brown-water sailors, from petty officers to admirals, last fall. Capt. Michael Jordan, commodore of Riverine Group One, said the veterans have offered valuable advice.

The new sailors boarding small, fast boats in foreign waters have no combat experience to draw from. The veterans have been eager to help.

UPDATE: PBR photo added from Warboats.

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