Leveraging Naval Riverine Forces to Achieve Information Superiority in Stability Operations [open pdf - 2MB]
"The conflicts of Iraq and Afghanistan have provided an undeniable storyline: U.S. forces can conduct a conventional mission better than any in the world, but that mission, accomplished in short order, leaves behind a situation for which conventional forces and equipment are ill-prepared. This situation requires a new mission: Stability Operations. The blue-water is not where these 21st century conflicts will likely take place, and forces such as the U.S. Navy Riverines are among the many forces that provide a capability to integrate and communicate with local populations that cannot be matched by blue-water forces. While the riverine force's mission set is one that could become heavily utilized in stability operations, the ability to conduct those missions is currently hindered by a lack of implementation of information technology. The current disadvantages that greatly increase operational risk include a reduced capability to engage the population, reduced situational awareness, and limited communication reach-back capability. A riverine force properly equipped with and trained with biometric, unmanned, and information sharing systems would provide the NECC [Naval Expeditionary Combat Command], and U.S. Navy as a whole, a more comprehensive ability to conduct stability operations in brown-water areas, something no other conventional Navy unit can currently accomplish."
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: http://www.nps.edu/Library/index.aspx