The Birth of Modern Riverine Warfare
US Riverine Operations In The Vietnam War
This paper examines U.S. riverine operations in the Vietnam War. With the current drive to establish a riverine capability within the U.S. Armed Forces as an integral part of the GWOT and small wars of the future, the evolution and operation of the U.S. riverine force during the Vietnam War serves as an effective blueprint for the conduct of modern riverine warfare. American riverine forces in Vietnam operated in a diverse range of brown and green water environments, successfully conducting a wide variety of missions. The evolution of these forces reflected the continuing need to develop the capabilities necessary for these operations. Their success was largely derived from experience which resulted in the creation of a variety of discrete riverine task forces specially configured for their specific missions as the situation dictated. U.S. riverine operations in Vietnam illustrate the complex nature of operations in brown and green water and the inherently joint requirement of the forces involved. The lessons learned as a result of these operations should be incorporated as a fundamental part of the creation of any modern riverine force.