Behind the Scenes With a US Special Ops Gunboat Crew

#1
Behind the Scenes With a US Special Ops Gunboat Crew

By Erik Sofge
Photographs by Chad Hunt
Published in the March 2009 issue of Popular Mechanics

When the US Special Forces need safe passage along a river, they call on the best-trained boatmen in the world. A PM reporter tags along on a live-fire exercise with the elite gunboat crews of Special Boat Team 22.

Link:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/4303591.html
 
#3
jay2o said:
"they call on the best-trained boatmen in the world"

debatable
I agree! Any such statement is always 'debatable.' Keep in mind that it was made by a media person.
 
#4
Trip_Wire said:
jay2o said:
"they call on the best-trained boatmen in the world"

debatable
I agree! Any such statement is always 'debatable.' Keep in mind that it was made by a media person.
Yes I'm sure that he wasn't informed of that by the SF PR person. :roll:
If you're going to backtrack and criticise the author for his hyperbole why post this sort of glorified PR in the first place?
 
#5
A statement like that is always debateable. But at the same time, when it comes to military boating and small crafts I would challenge someone to name a better trained unit than the Navy's SWCC. There are few units of that kind and those boys go through a very harsh training regimen. It's basically BUD/s without Hellweek and more emphasis on boating.
 
#6
Pitswamper said:
Trip_Wire said:
jay2o said:
"they call on the best-trained boatmen in the world"

debatable
I agree! Any such statement is always 'debatable.' Keep in mind that it was made by a media person.
Yes I'm sure that he wasn't informed of that by the SF PR person. :roll:
If you're going to backtrack and criticise the author for his hyperbole why post this sort of glorified PR in the first place?
If 'no hyperbole' was the standard of reporting required for posting anything by the media here there'd be about 50% fewer threads on Arrse.
 
#7
gimme-shelter said:
A statement like that is always debateable. But at the same time, when it comes to military boating and small crafts I would challenge someone to name a better trained unit than the Navy's SWCC. There are few units of that kind and those boys go through a very harsh training regimen. It's basically BUD/s without Hellweek and more emphasis on boating.
I spent a week in Little Creek with them about ten years ago, they were a squared away bunch. Best in the world I don't know, but they seemed pretty damned good to me.
 
#8
Virgil said:
gimme-shelter said:
A statement like that is always debateable. But at the same time, when it comes to military boating and small crafts I would challenge someone to name a better trained unit than the Navy's SWCC. There are few units of that kind and those boys go through a very harsh training regimen. It's basically BUD/s without Hellweek and more emphasis on boating.
I spent a week in Little Creek with them about ten years ago, they were a squared away bunch. Best in the world I don't know, but they seemed pretty damned good to me.
I want their job.
 
#9
gimme-shelter said:
A statement like that is always debateable. But at the same time, when it comes to military boating and small crafts I would challenge someone to name a better trained unit than the Navy's SWCC. There are few units of that kind and those boys go through a very harsh training regimen. It's basically BUD/s without Hellweek and more emphasis on boating.
The Royal Marine LC Specialisation are one unit that are better trained for a start.
 
#10
the_matelot said:
gimme-shelter said:
A statement like that is always debateable. But at the same time, when it comes to military boating and small crafts I would challenge someone to name a better trained unit than the Navy's SWCC. There are few units of that kind and those boys go through a very harsh training regimen. It's basically BUD/s without Hellweek and more emphasis on boating.
The Royal Marine LC Specialisation are one unit that are better trained for a start.
Why? Because they're British?
 
#12
more exactly because they didn't put "special ops" in their unit title!

what if you need them to do an Op that isnt particularly "special" its just a normal op, but its a bit risky?

do you use a different unit?

the "mundane op" boat crew?
 
#13
gimme-shelter said:
the_matelot said:
gimme-shelter said:
A statement like that is always debateable. But at the same time, when it comes to military boating and small crafts I would challenge someone to name a better trained unit than the Navy's SWCC. There are few units of that kind and those boys go through a very harsh training regimen. It's basically BUD/s without Hellweek and more emphasis on boating.
The Royal Marine LC Specialisation are one unit that are better trained for a start.
Why? Because they're British?
They form the backbone of the Royal Marine Assault Squadrons for a start.
If you want best in the world Speshul Forces boat handling you could of course do worse than British units such as the Royal Engineers shown here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg0CEG-GkVU
Enjoy, :D .
 
#14
Virgil said:
If 'no hyperbole' was the standard of reporting required for posting anything by the media here there'd be about 50% fewer threads on Arrse.
Most of Tripwire's garbage would get culled, that's for sure. :lol:
 
#15
gimme-shelter said:
the_matelot said:
gimme-shelter said:
A statement like that is always debateable. But at the same time, when it comes to military boating and small crafts I would challenge someone to name a better trained unit than the Navy's SWCC. There are few units of that kind and those boys go through a very harsh training regimen. It's basically BUD/s without Hellweek and more emphasis on boating.
The Royal Marine LC Specialisation are one unit that are better trained for a start.
Why? Because they're British?
No, because I've seen the USN boat drills up close and they're shockingly bad (I've got photographic proof somewhere as well-I'll dig it out).

I also had the misfortune of meeting some SWCC creatures before and not only were they fcuking dullards who tried to wear jeans to a formal mess do (that was amusing to watch), they then subjected me to a powerpoint presentation of what they had been up to in a certain part of the world and hyping up blue light patrols as the ultimate requirement of skill, ability and firepower (err, it's not).
 
#16
Pillager said:
more exactly because they didn't put "special ops" in their unit title!

what if you need them to do an Op that isnt particularly "special" its just a normal op, but its a bit risky?

do you use a different unit?

the "mundane op" boat crew?
SWCCs are special ops becase they report to SOCOM and are trained and funded by NSW. It's their job to taxi SEALs and other small SOF teams around. Whereas Royal Marine Landing Craft folks are Royal Marines who transport other Royal Marines, a conventional military unit that is not part of UKSF. It's not a difficult concept to grasp.
 
#17
the_matelot said:
gimme-shelter said:
the_matelot said:
gimme-shelter said:
A statement like that is always debateable. But at the same time, when it comes to military boating and small crafts I would challenge someone to name a better trained unit than the Navy's SWCC. There are few units of that kind and those boys go through a very harsh training regimen. It's basically BUD/s without Hellweek and more emphasis on boating.
The Royal Marine LC Specialisation are one unit that are better trained for a start.
Why? Because they're British?
No, because I've seen the USN boat drills up close and they're shockingly bad (I've got photographic proof somewhere as well-I'll dig it out).

I also had the misfortune of meeting some SWCC creatures before and not only were they fcuking dullards who tried to wear jeans to a formal mess do (that was amusing to watch), they then subjected me to a powerpoint presentation of what they had been up to in a certain part of the world and hyping up blue light patrols as the ultimate requirement of skill, ability and firepower (err, it's not).
Might your inability to give the benefit of the doubt to your yank counterparts have anything to do with your opinion of them? I'm curious. SWCC folks are a selected bunch of highly trained, highly dedicated guys with the funding to keep them on their boats a significant portion of the 48 weeks a year they spend training.

So here they are, with some of the best equipment and training facilities anyone has to offer. What do you think they do with their time? Break out the chalk and play hop-scotch?
 
#18
All that aside, fellas, these geezers must be a force to be reckoned with. Even if it's only for the firepower they can bring to bear.

MsG
 
#19
gimme-shelter said:
Might your inability to give the benefit of the doubt to your yank counterparts have anything to do with your opinion of them? I'm curious. SWCC folks are a selected bunch of highly trained, highly dedicated guys with the funding to keep them on their boats a significant portion of the 48 weeks a year they spend training.

So here they are, with some of the best equipment and training facilities anyone has to offer. What do you think they do with their time? Break out the chalk and play hop-scotch?
I'm not doubting the ability of their kit or their training facilities-I think the RN & RM would do well to get the same gear as what SWCC use but we are making inroads in that respect slowly but we'll always be one step behind on that front (as usual!).

However I fail to see any difference in ability between SWCC crew and RM LC Specialists. The SWCC guys who I met did not strike me as anything special (and I have worked alongside both SEALS and SBS before, albeit on exercise).
 
#20
Rib Team SBS RM Poole, having been in the troop it was far better than any other boat unit. Why, just the depth of experience and training undertook. Most of the lads had been in nearly every sea, river, coastal condition going. They had been underslung under CH47, para dropped with boat out of a C130, submarine deployed, nearly all were Larv5 divers, commando trained and cross trained with SAS boat teams and lots of overseas Ops. Just a personal view.....incoming.......................taxi...............

Personally i found the yanks were "all the gear and no idea".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsNWIi_det8
 

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