This Campaign was from 1 July 1970 to 30 June 1971. In July the Vietnamese Navy assumed sole responsibility f or the Ready Deck operation, which was given a Tran Hung Dao designator like the other for
... Moremer SEALORDS areas. Also in July, the U.S. Navy ceased its combat activity on I Corp's Cua Viet and Hue Rivers. The Americans then transferred the last combatant vessels of Task Force Clearwater to the Vietnamese. A final turnover of river craft at the end of 1970 enabled the Vietnamese Navy to take charge of the Search Turn, Barrier Reef, and Breezy Cove efforts deep in the Mekong Delta. Except for continued support by HAL-3 and VAL-4 aircraft and SEAL detachments, the U.S. Navy's role in the SEALORDS campaign ended in April 1971 when Solid Anchor (previously Sea Float and now based ashore at Nam Can) became a Vietnamese responsibility.
The Vietnamese Navy, which grew from 18,000 men in the fall of 1968 to 32,000 men at the end of 1970, instituted organizational changes to accommodate the new personnel, material, and operational responsibilities. The Vietnamese grouped their riverine assault craft in riverine assault interdiction divisions (RAID) and their PBRs into river interdiction divisions (RID) and river patrol groups (RPG). They also augmented the existing RAGs and coastal groups, the latter now consolidated into 20 units for lack of sufficient patrol junks.
This dramatic change in the nature of the allied war effort reflected the rapid but measured withdrawal from South Vietnam of U.S. naval forces. NAVFORV strength dropped from a peak of 38,083 personnel in September 1968 to 16,757 at the end of 1970. As Admiral Zumwalt transferred resources to the Vietnamese Navy, he disestablished U.S. naval commands and airlifted personnel home. With the redeployment of the Army's 9th Infantry Division and the turnover of 64 riverine assault craft in June 1969, the joint Mobile Riverine Force halted operations. When the Riverine Assault Force (Task Force 117) stood down on 25 August 1969, it became the first major naval command deactivated in Vietnam. By December 1970, COMNAVFORV had transferred to Vietnam the remaining river combatant craft in his command, which included 293 PBRs and 224 riverine assault craft. That month, the River Patrol Force was disestablished and the Task Force 116 designator reassigned to Commander Delta Naval Forces, a new headquarters controlling SEAL and naval aircraft units still in-country. Hide
This Campaign period was from 1 May to 30 June 1970. The allied push into Cambodia during the spring of 1970 brought the SEALORDS forces into a unique operational environment. At 0730 local time on 9
... MoreMay, 10 days after ground troops crossed the border, a combined Vietnamese-American naval task force steamed up the Mekong River to wrest control of that key waterway from North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces.
The flotilla, led by a Vietnamese naval officer, was composed of American PCFs, ASPBs, PBRs, HAL-3 and VAL-4 aircraft, Benewah, Askari, Hunterdon County, YRBM 16, YRBM 21 and 10 strike assault boats (STAB) of Strike Assault Boat Squadron 20, a fast-reaction unit created by Admiral Zumwalt in 1969. The Vietnamese contingent included riverine assault craft of many types, PCFs, PBRs, and marine battalions.
Naval Advisory Group personnel sailed with each Vietnamese vessel. By the end of the first day, Vietnamese naval units reached the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, while to the south the combined force stormed enemy-held Neak Luong, a strategic ferry crossing point on the river. For political reasons, no U.S. personnel were allowed past Neak Luong, midway to Phnom Penh.
Although the American component pulled out of Cambodia by 29 June, the Vietnamese continued to guard the Mekong and evacuate to South Vietnam over 82,000 ethnic Vietnamese jeopardized by the conflict. Hide
This Campaign period was from 2 November to 22 February 1969. When Admiral Zumwalt launched SEALORDS in October 1968 with the blessing of the new COMUSMACV, General Creighton Abrams, allied naval forc
... Morees in South Vietnam were at peak strength. The U.S. Navy's Coastal Surveillance Force operated 81 Swift boats, 24 Coast Guard WPBs, and 39 other vessels. The River Patrol Force deployed 258 patrol and minesweeping boats; the 3,700-man Riverine Assault Force counted 184 monitors, transports, and other armored craft; and Helicopter Attack Squadron Light (HAL) 3 flew 25 armed helicopters.
This air component was soon augmented by the 15 fixed-wing OV-10 Bronco aircraft of Attack Squadron Light (VAL) 4, activated in April 1969. The lethal Bronco flown by the "Black Ponies" of VAL-4 carried 8 to 16 5- inch Zuni rockets, 19 2.75-inch rockets, 4 M-60 machine guns, and a 20-millimeter cannon. In addition, five SEAL platoons supported operations in the delta.
Complementing the American naval contingent were the Vietnamese Navy's 655 ships, assault craft, patrol boats, and other vessels. To focus the allied effort on the SEALORDS campaign, COMNAVFORV appointed his deputy the operational commander, or "First SEALORD," of the newly activated Task Force 194. Although continuing to function, the Game Warden, Market Time, and Riverine Assault Force operations were scaled down and their personnel and material resources increasingly devoted to SEALORDS.
Task Force 115 PCFs mounted lightning raids into enemy- held coastal waterways and took over patrol responsibility for the delta's larger rivers. This freed the PBRs for operations along the previously uncontested smaller rivers and canals. These intrusions into former Viet Cong bastions were possible only with the on-call support of naval aircraft and the heavily armed riverine assault craft.
In the first phase of the SEALORDS campaign allied forces established patrol "barriers," often using electronic sensor devices, along the waterways paralleling the Cambodian border. In early November 1968, PBRs and riverine assault craft opened two canals between the Gulf of Siam at Rach Gia and the Bassac River at Long Xuyen. South Vietnamese paramilitary ground troops helped naval patrol units secure the transportation routes in this operational area, soon named Search Turn.
Later in the month, Swift boats, PBRs, riverine assault craft, and Vietnamese naval vessels penetrated the Giang Thanh-Vinh Te canal system and established patrols along the waterway from Ha Tien on the gulf to Chau Doc on the upper Bassac. As a symbol of the Vietnamese contribution to the combined effort, the allied command changed the name of this operation from Foul Deck to Tran Hung Dao I.
Then in December U.S. naval forces pushed up the Vam Co Dong and Vam Co Tay Rivers west of Saigon, against heavy enemy opposition, to cut infiltration routes from the "Parrot's Beak" area of Cambodia. The Giant Slingshot operation, so named for the configuration of the two rivers, severely hampered Communist resupply in the region near the capital and in the Plain of Reeds.
Completing the first phase of the SEALORDS program, in January 1969 PBRs, assault support patrol boats (ASPB), and other river craft established patrol sectors along canals westward from the Vam Co Tay to the Mekong River in Operation Barrier Reef. Thus, by early 1969 a patrolled waterway interdiction barrier extended almost uninterrupted from Tay Ninh northwest of Saigon to the Gulf of Siam. Hide
This Campaign period was from 23 February to 8 June 1969. The overall composition of the SEALORDS task force in South Vietnam reflected the growing role of the Vietnamese Navy in the war. The newly el
... Moreected administration of President Richard M. Nixon formally adopted as U.S. policy the Vietnamization program early in 1969.
The naval part of that process, termed ACTOV (Accelerated Turnover to the Vietnamese), embodied the incremental transfer to Vietnam of NAVFORV's river and coastal combatant fleet and the logistic support establishment. ACTOV was more than the provision of material, however, for the Vietnamese Navy needed training in the operation, maintenance, and repair of the U.S. equipment and in the efficient functioning of the supply system. Leadership skills at all command levels required improvement as did the general morale of naval personnel before the Vietnamese Navy would be able to fight on alone.
Spearheaded by the 564 officers and men of the Naval Advisory Group early in 1969, the U.S. Navy integrated Vietnamese sailors into the crews of American ships and craft. When sufficiently trained, the Vietnamese bluejackets and officers relieved their American counterparts, who then rotated back to the United States. As entire units came under Vietnamese Navy command, control of the various SEALORDS operations passed to that naval service as well. Hide
This Campaign period was from 9 June to 31 October 1969. In the Mekong Delta proper, Swift boat, PBR, riverine assault craft, SEAL, and Vietnamese ground units struck at the Viet Cong in their former
... More strongholds, which included the Ca Mau Peninsula, the U Minh Forest, and the islands of the broad Mekong River system.
After raiding and harassing operations like Silver Mace II, the combined navies often deployed forces to secure a more permanent Vietnamese government presence in vital areas. In June 1969, for example, the U.S. Navy anchored a mobile pontoon base in the middle of the Ca Mau region's Cua Lon River. This operation, labelled Sea Float, was made difficult by heavy Viet Cong opposition, strong river currents, and the distance to logistic support facilities. Still, Sea Float denied the enemy a safe haven even in this isolated corner of the delta. The allies further threatened the Communist "rear" area in September when they set up patrols on the Ong Doc, a river bordering the dense and isolated U Minh area. Staging from an advance tactical support base at the river's mouth, U.S. and Vietnamese PBRs of Operation Breezy Cove repeatedly intercepted and destroyed enemy supply parties crossing the waterway.
By October 1969, one year after the start of the SEALORDS campaign, Communist military forces in the Mekong Delta were under heavy pressure. The successive border interdiction barriers delayed and disrupted the enemy's resupply and troop replacement from Cambodia. The raiding operations hit vulnerable base areas and the Sea Float deployment put allied forces deep into what had been a Viet Cong sanctuary. In addition, American and Vietnamese forces captured or destroyed over 500 tons of enemy weapons, ammunition, food, medicines, and other supplies. Furthermore, 3,000 Communist soldiers were killed and 300 were captured at a cost of 186 allied men killed and 1,451 wounded. Hide
This campaign was from 1 June 1967 to 29 January 1968.The conflict in South Vietnam remains basically unchanged. As Operation JUNCTION CITY ended, elements of the U.S. 1st and 25th Infantry Divisions,
... More the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, and the forces of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam swung back toward Saigon to conduct another clearing operation, MANHATTAN. This took peace in the Long Nguyen base area just north of the previously cleared "Iron Triangle."
South Vietnamese Armed Forces became more active and capable under U.S. advisors. During the year the Vietnamese Special Forces assumed responsibility for several Special Forces camps and for the CIDG companies manning them. In each case all of the U.S. advisors withdrew, leaving the Vietnamese in full command.
With an increased delegation of responsibility to them, the South Vietnamese conducted major operations during 1967, and, in spite of VC attempts to avoid battle, achieved a number of contacts.
Despite the success of U.S. and South Vietnamese Army operations, there were indications in the fall of 1967 of another enemy build-up, particularly in areas close to Laos and Cambodia. In late October, the VC struck again at the Special Forces Camp at Loc Ninh. Fortunately Vietnamese reinforcements saved the camp. At the same time, approximately 12,000 VC troops converged on a Special Forces camp at Dak To. This camp was located in northern Kontum Province, where the borders of Laos, Cambodia, and South Vietnam meet. In response to this potential threat, the U.S. and South Vietnam committed a total of sixteen battalions to the region to counter a disturbing enemy resurgence at Kontum and Loc Ninh. Hide
This Campaign period was from 1 June 1967 to 29 January 1968. By mid-1967, the Navy's Military Sea Transportation Service operated a fleet of 527 reactivated World War II Reserve Fleet ships and chart
... Moreered vessels under U.S. and foreign registry. Throughout this period, MSTS shipping carried over 40,000 U.S. and allied combat and support troops to South Vietnam. The allied requirements for transportation were passed from MSTS representatives in the ports of Danang, Chu Lai, Qui Nhon, Nha Trang, Cam Ranh, Vung Tau, Phan Rang, and Vung Ro through the MSTS office in Saigon to the MSTS Far East, headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and finally to Commander MSTS in the United States. Many types of vessels sailed in the MSTS fleet, including converted escort carriers Core, Card, Point Cruz (T-AKV 19), and Kula Gulf (T-AKV 8), which served as aircraft ferries. Corpus Christi Bay (T-ARVH 1), formerly seaplane tender Albermarle (AV 5), operated as a helicopter repair ship for the Army. In addition to the great number of standard cargo hulls, the service operated ships that carried cargo stowed in easily handled containers and new roll-on/roll-off ships that could quickly load and unload vehicles through rear or side ports. Arriving at Danang on 1 August 1967, Bienville was the first such container vessel to reach South Vietnam. Fuel tankers included the 190,000-barrel capacity Maumee (T-AO 149), the 140,000-barrel Cache (T-AO 67), and the 30,000-barrel Chattahoochee (T-AOG 82), the latter of which was used for storage and shuttle services in-country.
MSTS also controlled as many as 16 troop transports in the Pacific during the buildup of forces in South Vietnam. A fleet of LSTs, the number of which increased from 17 to 42 by mid-1968, handled cargo shuttling along the coast. In-port lighterage and terminal duties were accomplished by the MSTS-contracted Alaska Barge and Transport Company, which operated 19 tugs and 33 barges. The total MSTS effort ensured that the 550,000-man U.S. contingent in South Vietnam was well supplied, armed, and prepared to stay in the battle against the determined enemy.
Naval Support Activity, Saigon, which the Navy activated on 17 May 1966, two days after HSAS ceased operations, was charged with providing logistic support to naval units in the II, III, and IV Corps Tactical Zones. The newly created NAVFORV directed the operations of NSA Saigon. The support activity supplied the Navy's Coastal Surveillance Force, River Patrol Force, Riverine Assault Force, and the various specialized headquarters, offices, and detachments operating in the three southern corps areas. NSA Saigon provided the commands with ammunition, weapons, and communications equipment; transported cargo and personnel; repaired and maintained ships and craft; stocked spare parts; and built bases and facilities. Finally, NSA saw to the quartering, messing, payroll, and recreational needs of the naval officers and enlisted personnel in Vietnam.
The Saigon activity developed subordinate support bases for the combat forces similar to those of NSA Danang's. NSA Saigon detachments at Qui Nhon, Nha Trang, Cam Ranh Bay, An Thoi, Cat Lo, and Vung Tau primarily served the Market Time operation, although the last two bases were home to other naval combat units as well. The concentration of the Task Force 115 headquarters, naval air units, and other large contingents at Cam Ranh Bay required greater command authority and logistic resources. As a result, in September 1967, NSA Saigon upgraded the detachment to the Naval Support Facility, Cam Ranh Bay. Detachments were also established at Can Tho (and later moved to nearby Binh Thuy), Nha Be, Vinh Long, Sa Dec, My Tho, Tan Chau, and Long Xuyen. These units saw to the special needs of the Task Force 116 PBR commands. The Naval Support Activity, Saigon, Detachment Dong Tam, supplied only the Mobile Riverine Force naval units. Hide
This campaign was from 1 July to 1 November 1968. During this period a country-wide effort was begun to restore government control of territory lost to the enemy since the Tet offensive. The enemy att
... Moreempted another such offensive on 17-18 August but his efforts were comparatively feeble and were quickly overwhelmed by Allied forces.
In the fall of 1968 the South Vietnamese government, with major U.S. support, launched an accelerated pacification campaign. All friendly forces were coordinated and brought to bear on the enemy in every tactical area of operation. In these intensified operations, friendly units first secured a target area, then Vietnamese government units, regional forces/popular forces, police and civil authorities screened the inhabitants, seeking members of the Viet Cong infrastructure. This technique was so successful against the political apparatus that it became the basis for subsequent friendly operations. Government influence expanded into areas of the countryside previously dominated by the Viet Cong to such an extent that two years later at least some measure of government control was evident in all but a few remote regions. Hide
This Campaign period was from 1 July 1966 to 31 May 1967. The growing Coastal Force devoted most of its attention to amphibious raids, patrols of shallow inlets and river mouths, troop lifts, and bloc
... Moreking support for allied ground sweeps. For instance, during Operation Irving in October 1966, ground forces and junk units in II Coastal Zone killed 681 Viet Cong troops. In addition, the junkmen established a government presence among the fishermen and provided them with medical services and other assistance. Sometimes the Coastal Force sailors convinced Communist soldiers to desert their units.
The enemy, who often attacked the 27 vulnerable Coastal Force bases, overran the triangular-shaped fortifications of Coastal Group 15 at Cua An Hoa in July 1965 and of Coastal Group 16 at Co Luy in August 1967. Other bases, however, withstood repeated assaults. In doing so, these facilities played a part in the allied effort that denied the enemy easy access to the coastal regions.
Viet Cong mines also took their toll of the command's MLMS fleet, which worked to keep open the shipping channel to Saigon. In August 1966 and again in January 1967, enemy mines sank an MLMS in the Rung Sat. The River Force did not fully employ its strength. The political troubles of 1965 and 1966 in the Republic of Vietnam, in which high-ranking River Force officers figured prominently, damaged morale and distracted personnel from their military mission.
The navy and the army rarely launched joint amphibious assaults against the Viet Cong. Operations reflected the River Force's lack of technically skilled crewmen, the poor maintenance and repair of river craft, and the absence of inspired leadership. Usually, only half of the command's units were ready for combat action, and many of these boats were committed by the army to static guard, resupply, troop lift, or other nonoffensive duties.
The reliance on defense over offense reflected the historic Vietnamese strategy of husbanding resources until there was clear advantage over an enemy. The Vietnamese Navy's River Force sailors often fought hard and bravely, killing many of the enemy and suffering heavy losses of their own, but their valor and sacrifice was not rewarded with strategic success. Hide
This campaign was from 25 December 1965 to 30 June 1966. United States operations after 1 July 1966 were a continuation of the earlier counteroffensive campaign. Recognizing the interdependence of pol
... Moreitical, economic, sociological, and military factors, the Joint Chiefs of Staff declared that American military objectives should be to cause North Vietnam to cease its control and support of the insurgency in South Vietnam and Laos, to assist South Vietnam in defeating Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces in South Vietnam, and to assist South Vietnam in pacification extending governmental control over its territory.
North Vietnam continued to build its own forces inside South Vietnam. At first this was done by continued infiltration by sea and along the Ho Chi Minh trail and then, in early 1966, through the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). U.S. air elements received permission to conduct reconnaissance bombing raids, and tactical air strikes into North Vietnam just north of the DMZ, but ground forces were denied authority to conduct reconnaissance patrols in the northern portion of the DMZ and inside North Vietnam. Confined to South Vietnamese territory U.S. ground forces fought a war of attrition against the enemy, relying for a time on body counts as one standard indicator for measuring successful progress for winning the war.
During 1966 there were eighteen major operations, the most successful of these being Operation WHITE WING (MASHER). During this operation, the 1st Cavalry Division, Korean units, and ARVN forces cleared the northern half of Binh Dinh Province on the central coast. In the process they decimated a division, later designated the North Vietnamese 3d Division. The U.S. 3d Marine Division was moved into the area of the two northern provinces and in concert with South Vietnamese Army and other Marine Corps units, conducted Operation HASTINGS against enemy infiltrators across the DMZ.
The largest sweep of 1966 took place northwest of Saigon in Operation ATTLEBORO, involving 22,000 American and South Vietnamese troops pitted against the VC 9th Division and a NVA regiment. The Allies defeated the enemy and, in what became a frequent occurrence, forced him back to his havens in Cambodia or Laos.
By 31 December 1966, U.S. military personnel in South Vietnam numbered 385,300. Enemy forces also increased substantially, so that for the same period, total enemy strength was in excess of 282,000 in addition to an estimated 80,000 political cadres. By 30 June 1967, total U.S. forces in SVN had risen to 448,800, but enemy strength had increased as well.
On 8 January U.S. and South Vietnamese troops launched separate drives against two major VC strongholds in South Vietnam-in the so-called "Iron Triangle" about 25 miles northwest of Saigon. For years this area had been under development as a VC logistics base and headquarters to control enemy activity in and around Saigon. The Allies captured huge caches of rice and other foodstuffs, destroyed a mammoth system of tunnels, and seized documents of considerable intelligence value.
In February, the same U.S. forces that had cleared the "Iron Triangle", were committed with other units in the largest allied operation of the war to date, JUNCTION CITY. Over 22 U.S. and four ARVN battalions engaged the enemy, killing 2,728. After clearing this area, the Allies constructed three airfields; erected a bridge and fortified two camps in which CIDG garrisons remained as the other allied forces withdrew. Hide
This campaign was from 25 December 1965 to 30 June 1966. As the war continued, the Navy continued to patrol the coasts and rivers in brown water operations. Minesweeping craft begin patrolling the Lon
... Moreg Tau River leading to Saigon to keep that vital waterway open to merging traffic.
Navy patrol craft worked to keep Vietnamese's harbors open and safe in operation stable door. Navy helicopters called Seawolves began supporting the newly arrived Navy PBR in Game Warden missions.
On 1 January 1966, the Sea Force was renamed the Fleet Command and reorganized along functional lines. Flotilla I, comprised the submarine chasers (PC) and escorts in Squadron 11, the motor gunboats in Squadron 13, and the large support landing ships (LSSL) in Squadron 15. The minesweepers in Squadron 17 were responsible for sea patrol, inshore patrol, river patrol, and minesweeping duties, respectively. Flotilla II controlled Squadrons 22 and 24, which consisted of the Vietnamese Navy's landing ships and craft, coastal oilers, and other vessels providing logistic support.
Throughout this period, the Vietnamese Navy continued to suffer from serious deficiencies. Perhaps the greatest was the careerism and interservice political activity of many naval officers, which hamstrung coordination and cooperation in operations and lowered the morale and motivation of naval personnel. The emphasis on politics disrupted the training of sailors, many already educationally unprepared in the technical skills essential for the operation of complex vessels, weapons, and equipment.
Aside from the political factor, training in gunnery, seamanship, and communications skills was hurt by the Vietnamese stress on instruction at shore-based schools, rather than on board ships. Unfortunately, few Vietnamese sailors were released from operational duty to receive training ashore.
At the same time, the Recruit Training Center at Cam Ranh Bay, the Advanced Training Center in Saigon, and the Naval Training Center at Nha Trang, which included the Naval Academy, were hard-pressed to handle the great number of men entering the service during this period. Some relief was afforded by the training of Vietnamese officers and men on board U.S. naval vessels and in the United States. The quality of training improved somewhat as a result of these measures and the hard work of many Vietnamese sailors and American advisors.
The material condition of the navy raised even more serious concerns. Officers and men in the operational units often showed little regard for the maintenance of their ships and craft. Compounding the problem was the inability of the ship and boat repair facilities to cope with the growing backlog of work orders generated by the increased tempo of the war and the doubling in size of the navy.
The lack of skilled workmen severely hampered operations at the Eastern Repair Facility at Cuu Long near Saigon and the Western Repair Facility at Can Tho, which handled River Force and Coastal Force work. The same condition existed at the smaller establishments at Danang, Cat Lo, Qui Nhon, An Thoi, and Rach Gia, which supported the Coastal Force exclusively. A number of these repair operations barely functioned.
This campaign was 8 March to 24 December 1965. During this campaign the U.S. objective was to hold off the enemy while gaining time needed to build base camps and logistical facilities. The U.S. also
... Moreattempted to consolidate its ground operations more efficiently. For this purpose, it organized the U.S. Army Vietnam (USARV). U.S. support in the I Corps tactical zone, composed of five northernmost provinces, was to be primarily a Marine Corps responsibility; the U.S. Army was to operate mainly in the II and III Corps tactical zones which comprised the Central highlands, adjacent coastal regions, and the area around Saigon; and ARVN troops were to retain primary responsibility for the Delta region of the IV Corps.
On 19 October 1965. three VC regiments totaling 6,000 men attacked a Civil Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) - U.S. Special Forces at Plei Me, near the entrance to the Ia Drang Valley, in what purported to be the start of a thrust to cut the country in half.
With the assistance of massive air strikes, elements of the newly arrived 1st Cavalry Division thwarted the enemy in a battle that lasted nearly a month and included several engagements. The Ia Drang Valley action was the costliest in terms of casualties to date. The successful defense of the region improved security in and around the Central Highlands and raised the morale of the soldiers involved. Hide
This campaign was 8 March to 24 December 1965. As communist efforts in South Vietnam increased, US carriers continued bombing North Vietnam while US Marines landed from seventh Fleet ships at danang,
... Moremarking the beginning of major combat in involvement in Vietnam.
In April 1965 the Joint General Staff (JGS) decided to enhance their control of the Vietnamese Marine Corps by making it a separate service within the armed forces. In addition, the JGS redesignated the I, II, III and IV Naval Zones as Coastal Zones and, along with the newly created III and IV Riverine Areas, placed them under the operational control of the army commanders of the I, II, III, and IV Corps Tactical Zones. Because of its special riverine characteristics, the Rung Sat remained in the navy's charge. Thus, with the exception of ships steaming outside of territorial waters, most of the navy's combat forces came under army direction.
Administrative responsibility for the navy, however, remained with the Chief of Naval Operations. Another significant reorganization occurred in July 1965 when the JGS formally integrated the 3,500-man, paramilitary Coastal Force into the navy. Thereafter, the command's divisions and the old coastal district designations were dropped and the coastal zones became the operational sectors. In a similar move, in October the following year, the Vietnamese Navy was assigned administrative responsibility for the headquarters and training center of the 24 paramilitary Regional Force Boat Companies and maintenance responsibility for their 192 vehicle and personnel landing craft (LCVP).
The Navy established the coastal surveillance force (dubbed operation Market Time), using its own swift boats and Coast Guard WPBs to stop communist infiltration from the sea. On 18 December, the U.S. Navy began patrolling the rivers of South Vietnam in an operation named game warden. Hide