Wargaming with the US Mobile River Force Assault Squadron in Vietnam

River Assault Squadron - Page Title

 

INTRODUCTION & ORGANISATION

'Burn that Bush' - Zippo defoliating!The River Assault Squadron formed the tactical element of the Marine River Force and was maneuvered against the enemy units in the Delta. Each MRF had control of several RAS's. In effect an RAS was a water-borne mobile battalion.

Each RAS was divided into two 'echelons' called A and B respectively. The 'A' Echelon was the combat element and consisted of a battalion of infantry and fire support vessels. The 'B' Echelon was the support and logistics element.


A ECHELON
 

13 x TANGO BOATS



Armored troop carriers based on the LCM 6

Capacity = 1 Platoon
Armament = 2x .30 Cal MGs in the waist, 1x .50 cal MG on each side and 1x 20mm cannon in tub at stern


1 x CHARLIE BOAT



LCM 6 converted to a C&C center for the Battalion

Armament = 1x 20mm cannon in tub at stern, 1x .50 Cal tub on each side and a bow turret with 1x 40mm cannon and 1x .50 Cal MG

1 x ROMEO BOAT



Medical aid vessel based on LCM 6

Has a helipad forward over the tank deck

Armament = 1x .50 Cal tub on each side and 1x 20mm tub at stern

2 x MIKE BOATS

 

Converted LCM 6 monitor

Armament = same as Charlie Boat but with an 81mm direct fire mortar in the waist and 1x .30 Cal mounting on either side


4 x ASPB

Assault Support Patrol Boat faster than LCM 6 and acting as a light monitor

Armament = 2x 20mm turrets and 1x .30 cal on each side


Optional: several PBRs (Patrol Boats River)



Fast launches
Armament = twin .50 Cal mounted in the bow, 1x M60 on a pintle amidships and a light 20mm in the stern


B ECHELON

This would be moored down river and consist of the following;



1 x Romeo Boat (aid station)
  4 x ASPBs for local security
  1 x Tango Boat (refueller)
3 x Artillery Barges carrying a battery of 105mm Howitzers
  1 x Helicopter Barge (fuel and landing pad for 3 Hueys

7 x LCM 8 (5 for towing and resupply of the artillery battery and 2 for the helicopter barge)


INFANTRY BATTALION

Part of the A Echelon transported in the 13 Tango Boats of that echelon and consisting of;



1 x Recce Platoon (light weapons + dog team)
3 x Rifle Company each of;

 
1 x HQ + weapons Platoon
  3 x Rifle Platoon each of 1 x HQ, 1 x Weapons Squad and 3 x Rifle Squad


ORGANIC HELICOPTERS



1 x Dustoff (Medevac Huey)
1 x Huey for aerial Command & Control


ATTACHED HELICOPTER SUPPORT

These may be present and allocated on a mission specific basis from higher HQs;



Blue Team (Aero Rifle Platoon with integral lift of Huey slicks)
Red Team (2 x Gunship)

  Mobile Riverine Force Patch (small)   

GLOSSARY

SOURCES:

Mouth of the Dragon, Rules for Riverine Operations by Paddy Griffith
Free Fire Zone, Wargames Rules for the Vietnam War by Barrie Lovell
Brown Water Navy - article in Dustoff#9 SOTCW Vietnam War Study Group
The Brown Water Navy, Col. Victor Croizat USMC (Retd.), Blandford Press, ISBN 0-7137-1272-4

 

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