Marines: Who Rules The Riverine Realm

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August 29,2008:  While the U.S. Navy has issued many press releases about its three new Riverine Squadrons, the marines and army have also obtained boats for units that have rivers in their AO (Area of Operation). The navy Riverine Group One has three squadrons (each with 230 sailors and twelve 39 foot boats). With headquarters and support troops, the group has 900 personnel and 36 armed boats. Each boat has a crew of sixteen and is armed with machine-guns and automatic grenade launchers. For nearly two years, at least one squadron has been in Iraq.

But the army has been doing riverine operations since the American Revolution. While the navy often got involved with this, the army would always scrounge up boats when the navy wasn't around. This was often the case when the waterways were far inland. But anything near the ocean would attract navy assistance. Based on its Vietnam experience, the army issued a manual on riverine operations in 1971 (FM 31-75).

 

 


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