?I would have thought this would have come under the role of the USN's new organic infantry force??---Yimmy
I think you misunderstand the role of the Navy Unit. Its stricly Riverine, the only reason they receive Infantry training is b/c they based the Units capabilities off of those present in the Marine Corps Small Craft Company who were mostly infantry.
The only reason the MC let the mission go was b/c Marine Infantry units were operating at around 85%, Rumsfeld asked the Corps to expand its Anti-Terror Brigade, ANGLICO, & the Recon Community& there were talks of the Marines contributing 2500 men to SOCOM.
However, Rumsfeld wanted all of this to take place but was set on not allowing the MC to grow beyond 178,000 base 183,000 w/ a wartime supplement.
Cuts had to be made. But either way the Navy's 'Riverines' are not Infantymen & are limited in scope to riverine ops, not the full list of missions envisioned in these Coastal Forward deployed ops.
There is talk however about doing the coastal and river FID missions that Small Craft used to do in South Am & Africa, but only as an attachment not as a stand alone force.
Also it should be clear that the 'Riverines' main mission besides patrolling the water ways(on the water) is Troop Transport.
Which is another reason the MC dropped the mission, they didn't want to use skilled infantrymen in a support role.
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 11, 2005) -- Marines recently traveled to Toubakouta, Senegal during the West African Training Cruise 06 Nov. 11. The WATC enhances security cooperation and fosters new partnerships between the United States, NATO partners and participating West African nations through real-world training and engagement opportunities.
DOUALA, Cameroon (Nov. 15, 2003) -- U.S. Sailors and Marines on board High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) completed the second phase of West African Training Cruise 2004 here Nov. 14, after a day of challenging joint at-sea rescue and amphibious exercises with members of the Cameroon Naval Infantry. The training was conducted to promote interoperability between the U.S. and host nation, as well as explore and refine operational capabilities of U.S. assets. "We were really impressed with how well the operation went," said Cameroon Navy Lieutenant Emmanuel Sone, liaison officer between his service and participating U.S. units. "Observing the communications and the tactics was very beneficial. I think this showed both sides that it is possible for us to work together if there is ever a problem or crisis in this region. We hope that we can establish a true partnership between the two militaries." On Friday, Swift departed pier side in Douala at 7:30 a.m. with several members of Cameroon's military services on board as observers. An hour later, the ship received a pre-arranged distress signal from a Cameroon naval vessel code-named Charlotte, 14 knots away and taking on water. Swift raced to Charlotte's location, capitalizing on its Caterpillar 3618 marine diesel engines and wave-piercing aluminum hull to close the distance quickly and initiate the search-and-rescue evolution. On scene, Swift crewmembers used the ship's stern slewing telescoping boom crane to launch a wave of boats assigned to Small Craft Company, 2nd Marine Division. The Marines approached Charlotte, rapidly removed nearly 40 members of the Cameroon Naval Infantry staged as stranded passengers, and transferred them back to Swift for debrief. In the process, Marines and the Swift crew also furthered their progress towards a comprehensive set of standard operating procedures."Prior to WATC, we had not worked together," said Staff Sgt. David A. Ruble, a member of the Small Craft Company, which has approximately 20 personnel embarked for the remainder of the exercise. "Most of our projects with the Navy are from traditional amphib ships. Each time we do something, we figure out what works well this variant, consider the equipment we need to bring with us, and work on issues like communications. It's all part of getting that fluid movement going, with each person on their boat learning their job as well as line handlers, the crane operator, and other people on Swift." Mostly members of the nation's elite diving commando units, the Cameroon infantrymen donned gear and weapons while moving back to Swift's portside aft personnel transfer area. Again they boarded Marine Corps rigid raider craft and combat river reconnaissance craft, this time for expeditious delivery to a local beachhead for execution of a simulated amphibious assault. For U.S. Marines, the endeavor was a learning experience. "Any time we get the opportunity to work with a foreign service, it is beneficial," Ruble said. "We used our tactics to bring them in to the release point. From there, they used the techniques they've trained with to do the raid. In the end, we learned from each other." After recovering the Marines and their small boats, Swift returned to the pier in Douala. Today, the Cameroon Navy hosted a reception for U.S. military personnel at their local base, marking a fitting and memorable conclusion to the three-day exercise. Commander Mark Sakaguchi, Commanding Officer of Swift's Gold Crew from Little Creek, Va., exchanged gifts of appreciation with local military officials and thanked the Cameroon service members."It was a privilege to work with you during our stay," Sakaguchi said to the crowd of more than 200 Cameroon military personnel. "We enjoyed the experience and appreciate the hospitality you have shown since we arrived. I hope this is the first of many exchanges to come." Sone shared the sentiment."Training always gives us a splendid opportunity to measure our state of readiness, to figure out how prepared we are to respond to a mission," said Sone, a 1997 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. "Everyone was looking forward to this because the perception is that the U.S. has the best trained and best equipped forces. This exercise really mobilized our whole military because our chain of command wanted to make sure this worked out well. I'm confident they were pleased and look forward to more exercises in the future."Swift will embark more than
That?s a goal that Vice Adm. Samuel Locklear III, the 3rd Fleet commander, and Lt. Gen. Samuel Helland, commander of I Marine Expeditionary Force, have set for what they call ?collaborative shipboard familiarization training.?
Under a memorandum of agreement, officials want to maximize Navy-Marine interoperability for shipboard familiarization training; publicly show the capabilities of the amphibious fleet/MEF war-fighting team; and continue the Marine Corps? maritime heritage a tradition that includes its primary mission of combat operations ?from the sea.?
It?s not a new concept Marine security detachments deployed on carriers until a decade ago, and leathernecks routinely went to sea for short training periods and experimentation in the early 1990s. But six years of deployments and combat rotations, largely to Iraq, have kept Marines who are not part of Marine expeditionary units or carrier-based squadrons stuck on dry land.
?A lot of these guys have never seen a ship ... after three or four deployments? to Iraq, said Lt. Cmdr. Paul Sumagaysay, the Navy liaison to I MEF at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Getting them to sea ?is really about supporting the blue-green team here on the West Coast.?
Under the arrangement the costs are covered by I MEF as many as 200 Marines will embark as a de facto detachment, depending on the size of the ship, according to liaison officers. The detachment, led by a captain or major, reports to the skipper.
So far, 410 Marines have gotten underway, and top commanders want that number to grow in 2008. About 200 Marines joined sailors aboard transport dock Cleveland during Seattle?s annual Seafair celebration, which also included the guided-missile cruiser Bunker Hill and guided-missile frigate Rentz.
The Marines board the ship at Naval Base San Diego, bringing their weapons and perhaps vehicles and equipment, Sumagaysay said. While underway, they conduct troop training, join their shipmates for training such as man-overboard and general quarters? drills and get an orientation about the particular ship and at-sea life. ?They will come aboard with their own training plan,? he added.
But it?s no liberty cruise. ?Marines onboard are not on for a vacation,? said Col. John Pioli, the Marine liaison to 3rd Fleet in San Diego. ?They are there to train.?
Plus, Pioli said, ?it gets them familiar. It gets them educated? about the Navy and the naval tradition.
Each visit is coordinated with the ship?s skipper, who determines how many Marines, as well as any equipment and vehicles, can be accommodated and what uniforms they must bring, because port visits are included. Each detail is planned.
?It?s not like we?re having a party and we?re bringing an extra 50 people,? Pioli noted.
The agreement?s overall goals fall somewhat in line with the new maritime strategy released in October. It states: ?Marines will continue to be employed as air-ground task forces operating from amphibious ships to conduct a variety of missions, such as power projection, but they will also be employed as detachments aboard a wider variety of ships and cutters for maritime security missions.?
West Coast officials use quarterly scheduling conferences to determine which ships might accommodate a detachment. ?This is going to continue as-is, and may expand,? Pioli said.
?It?s simple, but it?s effective because eventually we?re going to go back to the Navy-Marine Corps way of doing business,? he added.
The Corps? top officer wants to see more interoperability at sea.
?We look forward to the day when we can go back aboard ships and exercise with other nations and do large-scale amphibious types of exercises,? Commandant Gen. James Conway told reporters Dec. 5 at a Pentagon briefing, noting that lieutenants attending The Basic School at Quantico, Va., will get a short at-sea embark.
?That familiarization with the Navy and with shipboard life, and all the planning that goes with the landing tables and those typ
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