River crossings

Discussion in 'The Training Wing' started by BBear, Jun 14, 2007.

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  1. BBear

    BBear LE Reviewer

    We keep on arguing about this at our unit. As far as I'm aware, there's two ways of doing a tactical river crossing - which one do you do? I'd much prefer the first.

    1) Approach water, strip off out of kit and place inside bivvy bag which also contains your bergan and webbing. This is inflated and you cross holding onto this, plus your rifle, in full gortex (maybe socks but not boots). Cross in pairs or singularily. Re-org other side and go firm whilst conducting admin.

    2) Approach water, tie bergans together (everything is waterproofed inside so ought to be bouyant) and cross in full kit first in a pair, then a four, then the final pair. Just tab off again soaked through.

    I appreciate that the 2nd one is more tactical, and probably quicker, but it'd be fairly demanding especially in poor weather.
  2. I think it's more dependant on time available, and the tactical situation which method is chosen.

    Top tip: buy a pair of windersurfer shoes (Neoprene bootee type things with rubber soles). They often cost as little as a fiver and are ideal for river crossings.
  3. What do you do if you haven't got your bergans then? As no-one seems to carry a poncho any more, the prospects for using that as a flotation aid are zero.

    I think you're more likely to need to do an unassisted river crossing on a recce than as a part of a major advance so unless you were inserting an OP etc you might be unlikely to have your bergan.

    Why not try both techniques and see how well they work?

    Then try them again but arrange to get bumped half way across!

    Horses for courses I think as TT says.
  4. 3) Approach water, make sure there's nothing hanging off the wagon (everything is stowed down) and cross in full kit as a crew, then a troop. Just drive off, dry as a bone. F*cking marvellous people are RE Bridging.
  5. Why go across in Goretex? It doesnt keep you dry when you are submersed? Seems like a pointless exercise wearing that!
  6. I would also argue that if you're 'tactical' (ie expecting a contact), removing boots is not for winners ...
  7. 2six month stints doing things in Belize we always went for option 2 fully clothed weapon ontop of bergan in case of contact(unlikely but...), trouser ties undone to allow water to drain away, 9 times out of 10 you were drenched in sweat anyway so it was quite refreshing!
  8. I have only done one river crossing so my thoughts are limited on this subject (oh allright, on a lot of subjects).

    We did the strip off and put goretex on then boots back on. I assumed that the logic behind the goretex was because the water would run off of it once you were on the other bank so you weren't carrying a load of soaking kit. With hindsight I would have put trainers on rather than having to bimble round in soaking wet boots.

    I imagine River crossings in the jungle would be in whatever you're wearing anyway because you're already soaked?

    The issue of farting around getting changed. going in little groups/big groups would surely depend on the tactical situation. I wouldn't be hanging about if I was about to get fucked by 200 bag guys, for example.
  9. BBear

    BBear LE Reviewer

    Yeah, this arguments providence stems from a recce patrol, so would be a quiet and covert crossing. Thanks for the opinions so far, I felt it might come down to just tac conditions and not personal preference.

    The reason we go across in goretex is, so i'm told, you're still camoflaged and not naked. It's also better to get that wet, than all your kit including boots getting soaked.

    Goose_rider. You're absolutely right, you do need to really sort your life out before you do stuff like this. That's why i'm asking questions, i'm but a bod so i just do what i'm told, but if i can subtly suggest a better way i'm all for it.
  10. .

    2 ....zute suits (sp?) are good instead of goretex
  11. BBear

    BBear LE Reviewer

    ...are those the ones made out of green silky stuff?
  12. Whats wrong in going across stark bollock

    Ah the joys of being contacted and assaulting a para regt MG post as nature intended, war face on, rifle loaded and tackle out, it has a very zen feel to I can assure you, you feel attuned to the Celtic warriors of old.

    Oh course the other way I have done it is a mixture of the 2, strip to goretex but go with the waterproof bergan
  13. yup....they dry-out ASAP if you have to tab off before changing

    I think they're pilot issue?

    Our SOP's were to move 1/2k from the river before changing back into normal kit.

    (wellyhead is into body art and just likes rubbing camcream around his manhoop)