In a parting shot, the outgoing CNO put out a memo on 06 JUL outlining where he sees the Navy needs to go to “expand the Navy’s capabilities to prosecute” the war. (NB: look at the timing. OUTGOING CNO. Read, lame-duck, little advocacy until the 1-2-3 star underlings get a reading on what the NEW CNO thinks.)
I am treading on VERY thin ice here, but very respectfully and fully understanding the politics of the Puzzle Palace – WHERE THE HELL WAS THIS MEMO A FEW YEARS AGO!!!!
I’ll take what I can get, but this is just not the way we should do business. That being said, there is some good, some bad, and some ugly to be looked - all that I support 100%. The major areas are covered, and more professional opinion provided, in the
A sidebar states that Navy endstrength “should not grow.” Well, no kidding. OPNAV already has us going down to 318,000 or so by FY11. Why? It is hard to justify endstrength WHEN YOU ARE FOUR YEARS LATE IN TURNING-TO IN THE NEW THREATS FACING OUR NATION.
There. I feel better. Of all the above, as
Go up to any
Luck for me, I have a reader who knows more about where we stand right now on Riverine forces than about anyone, and he has the gouge. As a snapshot,
Naval Special Warfare owns all the Navy's Combat Craft; MK V, NSW RHIB, SOC-R, PBL, etc. They are primarily a mobility asset for NSW. Insert and extract SEALs. The last time Special Boats did much 'presence' duty was Gulf War 1. Since then the craft have migrated almost exclusively to SEAL mobility role.Now, if the new CNO takes on what the old CNO stated in his memo, this is going to change. The shame in this all is that until very recently, we had a nascent, but viable Riverine force on life support.
Almost all the money comes from MFP 11 (SOCOM).
The PCs that started out as a NSW craft under SOCOM were not the right craft for NSW/SpecOps and have migrated to the Fleet/USCG, and NSW does not currently have a requirement to fulfill LOC control in the Riverine environment.
The Navy Reserve did at one time have an entire command dedicated to Riverine Craft and operations; Special Boat Unit 11. It had PBRs, MATCs, Monitors(YEA BABY, Monitors…)
, etc. It was decommissioned in 1997. Most of its assets were transferred to SBU 22, now SBT 22 (Special Boat Team 22), and to a Reserve Detachment in Sacramento (SBT-Riverine Operations and Training).The new structure will have one active and two reserve components. Personally, I would like to see double that, with most all the items C-17 transportable.
That’s OK. We have a start.
JULY 12, 2005To my source, thanks for the tip. It warms the soul to see that things are moving in the right direction.
MEMO for Distribution
From Director, Navy Staff
Subj; IMPLEMENTATION OF CNO GUIDANCE ON GWOT CAPABILITIES
1. BLAH BLAH
2. TAKE FOR ACTION (normal navy language).....
a. Establish a Riverine Force in Active and Reserve Components. By 24 August 2005, OPNAV N6/N7 will, IAW blah blah blah...provide a plan to establish an AC Riverine Squadron in FY05/06 and 2 RC Riverine Squadrons on 07/08
Again, this isn’t a rice bowl issue. This is about pulling your load in a war. Riverine OPS is low hanging fruit for the Navy. This memo should have come out three years ago, but I’ll take it now. We need a Riverine presence as long as we have troops on the ground. More importantly, we need them available from day 1 of the next conflict. Almost every country has at least one river. It’s a no-brainer.
One last thing, there are some special things about Riverine OPS that make it a very unique speciality, one that the USGC isn't set up for. He makes a great reason why we should always have a cadre of Riverine experts around so we don't learn those hard lessons won in earlier conflicts.
Riverine operations are worlds away from most Navy ops. ... you can not imagine the mind warp required in just navigating, assessing danger close and mission planning. GPS/ Dead Rec navigation doesn't work. Charts? For Iraq/Iran/Kissmyassistan? Not too trustworthy. Situational/Battlespace Awareness? On a narrow river with high banks? Urban environment? Low/no light? Getting kinda sporty.A growth industry. I'm feeling a bit of envy....
USCG Harbor Defense / Port Security has virtually no knowledge in Riverine Ops, nor would I want to use them. There primary mission is Force Protection, a different mission than offensive, combat ops. Different mind set, different tactics, different C3I.