The Navy uses a wide variety of ships and aircraft to patrol the Arabian Gulf and keep its sea lanes open for transit. Here in 5th Fleet, we use aircraft carriers, destroyers, F-18s and P-3s just to name a few. One of the lesser known (aside from PCs, MCMs and WPBs previously mentioned) and highly important assets may be the Riverine Command Boats, or RCBs
As an all-weather, day- and night-capable platform, the RCB is primarily used for force protection during infrastructure protection operations. The RCB and its crews are also fully trained and qualified in Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure support, insertion and extraction of ground forces, coastal and riparian fire support or assault, combat search and rescue, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in support of national and joint maritime security operations.
RCBs are the only asset in the region that combines the right mix of firepower, armor, and maneuverability to be effective in high-threat force protection operations. Sailors that crew the water-jet propelled RCB are able to bring any one of five crew-served weapons mounts to bare in execution of the force protection mission in the blink of an eye. At night, RCB crews use forward looking infrared radar (FLIR) system and a plethora of night optic devices to execute their mission with no reduction in capability.
The advanced training and capabilities of both RCBs and their crews make them the most suitable candidate for force protection in any high-threat environment.
– 1 MC