The Coastal Riverine Community Needs Attention
By Lieutenant Ryan C. Law, U.S. Navy
Coastal riverine forces have been an important U.S. military asset since Operation Market Time—a joint U.S. Navy and South Vietnamese mission to block the influx of supplies to North Vietnamese forces along the rivers of Vietnam in 1965. These brown-water forces laid the foundation for modern-day coastal riverine squadrons (CRSs) and could play an important role in the current administration’s vision for the future. In a 2012 interview, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell said, “The most important thing on the part of the United States is to secure a strong position in the Asian Pacific region.”1 With the Obama administration’s evolving “Pivot to the Pacific” plan, the Navy needs to create a professional officer corps and a specialized enlisted rating focused on coastal riverine operations.