Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Riverines...a unit in search of a mission...

Want to see a unit that is in search of a mission?  Then take a serious look at the US Navy Riverines.

They cohabitate the mission set of Master At Arms harbor mission and Special Warfare Combatant Craft.

What do I mean?  It's really simple. 

They claim to do the escort mission of amphibs and other high value ships into and out of harbor.  That's also what the Master At Arms do on a daily basis with their patrol boats.  They have force protection as one of their primary jobs and they do it well.

Then there is the actual job of their name.  Coastal Warfare or "Riverine" work like their ancestors did in Vietnam.

The problem there?  Other forces are far better equipped, far more experienced and far more capable than they are.  Look at SOCOM's Special Warfare Combatant Craft.  Those bubbas operate at a high level and often do more than support inserting US NAVY SEALs on objective.  They fight up and down waterways and can easily handle work within 25 miles offshore.

Coastal Rangers as seen in other forces are also trained to a high level and are of the same level of training as our SWCC crewmen (some would say even to a HIGHER level).

So where does that leave our Riverines?

Unfortunately they're a holdover from the war on terror.  In the coming peer vs peer fight I just don't see them having a mission.

Hopping aboard amphibs for transport to the fight will be a major league no-go.  Boat spaces are limited and every inch of the well deck will be occupied with Marine Corps gear to support the fight. 

Riverines have one chance to survive into the future and to give themselves a chance to evolve.  They need to make S. America their home.  They should embrace the Amazon River, sailing up and down that monster, while hovering off shore to assist the Coast Guard in drug interdiction while at the same time adopting the Special Forces "ambassador in uniform" thing while training with every force available.

But what about the here and now?

Today?  Today they're a force in search of a mission and they need to wrap their head around embracing the future.

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