Wargaming US Mobile River Force Landings in Vietnam

Mobile Riverine Force Company Landing - Page Title

 

Schematic Diagram of MRF Company Landing

 

A full Company would be deployed in 4 sections, each of 3 ATC's and 1 Monitor - each section carrying one platoon. The Company would move to the objective in column, with 150-300 meters between sections.

Command Control BoatPreceding the column were ASPB minesweepers, followed by the Force C&C boat carrying the force naval commander. The landing force commander was either embarked on the C&C boat or overhead in a C&C helicopter.

When the force approached to within 500 meters of the landing area artillery and air strikes were lifted and the ASPB's and Monitors assumed responsibility for continuing the preparatory fire support.

The ASPB's would take up station on the flanks of the landing force while the ATC's would turn to shore and land the assault platoons.

Supply ATC's would remain offshore until the landing area was secured.

Once the assault troops made contact then blocking forces would be inserted by boat and helicopter to the rear and flanks of the enemy positions and the force would press the attack in order to finish the enemy.

Diagram of MRF Artillery BargeOne particular problem which faced the US was how to deploy their artillery. US forces operating in the Delta expected fire support as part of their tactical operating procedure. However, the high water table of the Delta generally inhibited the deployment of artillery since the terrain was usually too marshy and given the mobile nature of the River Assault Squadrons it was impractical to build Fire Support Bases since most operations relied on rapid deployment onto an unsuspecting enemy and lasted for only a couple of days. The answer was to deploy the artillery either on a mobile barge with an associated Fire Control Center and ammunition supply or to utilise metal platforms which were lifted into position on a temporary basis. 

 

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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