Patrol Boat Riverine (PBR)
Patrol Boat Riverine (PBR) for Brown Water Naval Operations in Vietnam
PBRs provided SEALs the capability to operate in the shallow canals and massive rivers of Vietnam during their earliest deployments; serving as an insertion and extraction platform and providing direct fire support if needed.
In 1965 there were an estimated 80,000 Viet Cong and VC sympathizers in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam. Of these some 30,000 were thought to be regular troops and 50,000 part-time guerrillas capable of operating in battalion-size units. The VC was the target of the SEALs.
The task of recapturing the waterways was assigned to Task Force 116, code named Game Warden. Its original mission was to patrol inland waterway, enforce curfews, search river traffic, and deny the Vietcong an opportunity to infiltrate and re-supply.
The PBRs were replaced with boats specifically designed for SEAL operations. These were the Light SEAL Support Craft (LSSC) and Medium SEAL Support Craft (MSSC). Several were dedicated to each SEAL Platoon, and operated and maintained by the Boat Support Unit ONE Mobile Support Teams (MSTs)
The LSSCs and MSSCs were never returned from Vietnam; however, the PBR was returned to Naval Special Warfare inventory Reserve Components and assigned to Special Boat Units 13 and 22. Like those on display at The National Navy SEAL Museum, PBRs and the MSSC and LSSC typically operated in pairs.