How the riverines will fare in such a convoy is one of the things the squadron's leadership is eager to see during the exercise.
Shortly after beginning its 24-hour exercise rotation the previous night, the 2nd detachment riverines stopped at a checkpoint near a small "shantytown" made of two-story plywood homes.
Even as they prepare for their first deployment, officers in the Navy's Riverine Group One are contemplating potential missions beyond the imminent one in Iraq.
Mike Egan, executive officer for Riverine Squadron One, during a pre-deployment exercise here.
For us to be involved with the establishment of the squadron is a huge honor," said Ralph Christopher, a Vietnam riverine veteran and author of the book "River Rats.
A directive from the Chief of Naval Operations ADM Mike Mullen calls for a total of three riverine squadrons to be established under NECC.
But for the foreseeable future, they will continue to operate the Marines' boats, which are called small unit riverine craft, or SURC, said Capt.
This will ensure "commonality of training," he said, allowing all three planned riverine squadrons to become familiar with it.
To understand the importance of the riverine environment, one first must understand the rivers place within the global context.
The relevance of grand geopolitical theory in the context of this article, of course, is that this contested rimland, this arc of instability, the strategic and tactical focus for Western defense planners, is also the home of the world's great riverine systems.
Many of the manning requirements for these boats go beyond a normal riverine mission.
We had a lot of retooling to complete in order to get us out of using traditional riverine operations mindset all the time," said Simons.