News: NECC reaches back to original Brown Water sailor
Story by STEVEN HOSKINS
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Navy Expeditionary Combat Command hosted the Gamewardens Association, Vietnam to Present, Jan. 12 to discuss the past and future of the Navy’s Riverine Force.
The meeting brought together experienced Riverines from past and present. Historically, the members of the Gamewardens served in Vietnam securing and establishing patrol operations along inland waterways to defeat enemies and prevent the transportation of enemy supplies. Today’s Riverines perform a similar role as a combat-arms force ensuring enemy forces are surveyed and denied waterborne activities.
Rear Adm. Michael Tillotson, NECC commander, stressed the importance of having experienced individuals, such as the Gamewardens, engaged in discussions of the future roles of today’s Riverines.
Tillotson led the discussion explaining that the focus is to assure the Riverine Force can continue to provide inland security and littoral capabilities through streamlining and reorganization.
Topics discussed included mission, equipment and methods utilized for current Riverine operations. Representatives of the Gamewardens shared valuable knowledge learned in the field and offered ideas for future Riverine Forces.
“The whole idea is we’re going to maintain the high end Riverine capability,” said Tillotson. “We’re going to increase the level of proficiency and the thought process of expeditionary security.
The Navy’s mission does not stop at the blue water where the aircraft carriers operate,” said Tillotson. “The Navy mission goes right up to the shore and into the littorals.”
Expeditionary forces will continue to keep the Gamewardens involved within the NECC organization for insight, he said.
In addition to their valuable input, the Gamewardens also carry on traditions of the original Riverines. Each year, the Gamewardens ceremoniously present a black beret to a Riverine sailor who demonstrates the warrior ethos and outstanding leadership. The award promotes the legacy of the original Riverines and the awardee becomes an honorary member of the Gamewardens.
Today’s Riverines are deployed in the Persian Gulf and recently deployed in support of Southern Partnership missions to establish and maintain control of rivers and waterways for military and civil purposes.
Riverine forces, part of NECC, are a combat arms force that deploys anywhere in the world in support of combat operations to establish and maintain control of rivers and waterways for military and civil purposes.