Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Navy riverine "Brown Water Navy" forces in Iraq

Actually, that title should be a question. Heck, I'm on active duty and have been looking for these guys, the modern version of "Swift Boats", but there are none to be found. The only reference I can find is the Royal Navy's mentoring the Iraqi Riverine Patrol Service and our Special Boat Units who have nothing to do with regular riverine patrols.

Sooooo, while the Army, Reservists, and National Guard are busting a nut with the ground combat part of OIF with multiple 12 month deployments and extensions over the last few years, where is the Navy to shoulder more of the combat load? Seems like our traditional
"Brown Water Navy" experience would be a start, but noooooooo. You know who is doing this Navy mission? Well, the 1st CAV Engineers, Army Reservists, and other National Guard and Army units.

This has nothing to do with "rice bowl" issues. This has everything to do with carrying your load during war. The Army and Marines are asking a lot from their personnel on extended tours in Iraq. The Navy, honestly, is taking a rest with the Fleet Response Plan with a lot of underutilized Sailors that know how to run a damn boat and pull a trigger. We should cowboy up and take the Riverine Patrol from the Army so they can specialize on what they do best: ground combat.

Check out
Squidly for some great mini-movies shot on patrol in Iraq. One has some footage of the Army doing the Navy's "Brown Water" job.

Speaking of doing their job, this would be a natural area for the "Tits on a Boar", errrr, I mean Navy Reserve, especially since the Active Navy seems to think it is more important to man
FF(no-G with the MK-13 removal) with hundreds of Sailors to service a 3" gun than to contribute to the fighting in Iraq. The Coast Guard harbor defense experts could train them in a few months.

Soldiers doing a Sailor's job results in
people drowning and boats capsizing.

We have lost a lot of our blood earned corporate knowledge, and the Army is having to learn it all over again.

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