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The Riverine Squadrons of the United States Navy are elements of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC). According to the Navy: “The Navy’s Riverine force focuses on conducting Maritime Security Operations and Theater Security Cooperation in a riverine area of operations or other suitable area. The force is capable of combating enemy riverine forces by applying fires directly, or by coordinating supporting fires. It will share battle space with the other Services in an effort to close the seams in Doctrine, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures, and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.”
As of 2008, three riverine squadrons were active in the Navy, all under the command of Riverine Group 1, located in Norfolk, Virginia. Riverine Squadron 1 (RIVRON 1) deployed to Iraq in April 2007 and was relieved by Riverine Squadron 2 (RIVRON 2) in October 2007. Riverine Squadron 3 (RIVRON 3) was established in July 2007 and relieved RIVRON 2 in Iraq when their deployment completed in April 2008.
Riverine Group (RIVGRU 1) and Riverine Squadron 1 were both formally established May 25, 2006, under Navy Expeditionary Combat Command. It was modeled after the Navy Riverine Forces, formed during the Viet Nam War. That Riverine Force was the most highly decorated unit of the war and also had the highest casualty rate. 1 in 3, wounded or killed. The establishment brought together sailors from diverse backgrounds to begin a transformation from blue water to brown water sailors.
Following several months of training in combat skills, SURC operations, and cultural and language skills, RIVRON 1 Advance Party deployed to Iraq on February 13, 2007, followed by RIVRON 1 Main Body deployed March 8. RIVRON 1 conducted integrated maritime combat operations with Marines, Soldiers, Coalition Forces, Iraqi Army, and Iraqi Police. RIVRON 1 assumed patrol duties around Haditha Dam from the Marine Corps, who had previously been performing this task. On 1 August 2012, RIVRON 1 was decommissioned. It was replaced by Coastal Riverine Squadron (CORIVRON) 4, which combined RIVRON 1 with Marine Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) 4. This reorganization combined navy small boat units to provide both offensive and defensive force protection.
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