United States Naval Special Warfare



Although the history of littoral warfare dates back over 900 years, Special Boat Units trace their origins to the "Brown Water" naval force employed during the Vietnam conflict. Literally starting from scratch in 1965, by the end of their seven years of active involvement this force had grown into three specialized task forces totaling over 700 craft and 38,000 men.

On 30 January 1967 the Naval Inshore Operations Training Center was commissioned in Mare Island, California, and charged with the mission of providing instruction and functional training for the prospective crewmen of Task Forces 116 (River Patrol) and 117 (River Assault). Training for the prospective crews of Task Force 115 (Coastal Surveillance) was conducted at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado , California . In the 11-week River Assault Craft training program, sailors were exposed to the special features of joint operations, counter-insurgency, SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape), and all aspects of riverine warfare. One unit in particular, however, was commissioned during this period to modify, test, evaluate and operate combatant craft in support of Navy SEALs in Vietnam : Boat Support Unit One. Home ported at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, BSU- 1 was a component of the Naval Operations Support Group commanded by Captain Phil H Bucklew, USN, a pioneer of Naval Special Warfare and the namesake of our training center