How are Expeditionary Riverine Forces Relevant to a Fleet Commander
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI NEWPORT United States
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Within the United States Navy, there is a security guard on the water stereotype with regards to expeditionary riverine forces. This, in turn, results in expeditionary riverine forces being underemployed, creating an unrecognized loss of combat potential for fleet commanders. Subsequently this leads to overkill with the assignment of larger and more capable forces that are, at best, distracted from upper tier assignments and, at worst, unable to conduct primary mission functions. Broadening the scope of expeditionary riverine forces employment improves combat potential to achieve fleet level objectives across the conflict continuum. Expeditionary riverine forces remains relevant for the following three reasons. First, expeditionary riverine forces are able to achieve localized sea control. Second, expeditionary riverine forces are able to simultaneously alter relative combat potential assessments favorably for friendly forces and negatively for enemy forces. Finally, expeditionary riverine forces are able to conduct missions that require particular forces rather than high-end surface combatants or exquisite special operations forces.
- Naval Surface Warfare