SBU-11 History


SBU-11 Command History


Special Boat Unit ELEVEN, located at Mare Island, California was established on 1 October 1978, and was charged with maintaining the Navy's and U.S. Special Operations Command's expertise In riverine warfare. Originally established as Coastal River Division ELEVEN in June 1972, Special Boat Unit ELEVEN is the proud successor to the Naval Inshore Operations Training Center (NIOTC). From Its base at Mare Island and throughout the sloughs and waterways of the Napa and Sacramento River Deltas, NIOTC trained over 15,000 American and foreign students In riverine warfare between 1966 and 1972. Of the five Special Boat Units now In the Navy, only Special Boat Unit ELEVEN and Special Boat Unit TWENTY-TWO, located In New Orleans, Louisiana, continue to exclusively train for riverine warfare. This type of warfare requires the use of heavily armed, shallow draft, high speed boats capable of Interdicting, pursuing and striking the enemy In his camps located along the coastal bays, Inland rivers and waterways.

Since March 1988, Special Boat Unit ELEVEN has reported operationally to the U.S. Special Operations Command and its naval component: Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command. Special Boat Unit ELEVEN is a subordinate unit of Commander, Special Boat Squadron ONE. In addition, Special Boat Unit ELEVEN liaisons with Naval Reserve Readiness Command Region TWENTY. TWO and Commander Naval Surface Reserve Force for reserve matters.

Until recently, Special Boat Unit ELEVEN operated and maintained over 24 craft manned and supported by 150 active and selected reserve personnel, making Special Boat Unit Eleven the largest Naval Special Warfare Naval Reserve Force command. Using the "ONE NAVY CONCEPT," these active and reserve sailors trained, operated and deployed together.

Responsible for the Pacific and Southwest Asian operational theaters, Special Boat Unit ELEVEN routinely conducted advanced training deployments to Thailand and recently conducted the first Navy to Navy training in the Kingdom of Cambodia In over twenty-two years. Additionally, SPECIAL BOAT UNIT ELEVEN provided disaster relief In 1986 by rescuing and evacuating citizens of the flooded Russian River Valley. Beginning in August 1987, Special Boat Unit ELEVEN supported Operation EARNEST WILL by providing a total of eight PBR Detachments until its conclusion In August 1989.

Following the devastating Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989, Special Boat Unit ELEVEN provided two weeks of around- the-clock water taxi service to over 2,900 military and civilian personnel between Naval Station Treasure Island and Naval Supply Center Oakland. During Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, from 1990 to 1991, Special Boat Unit ELEVEN mobilized reserves to provide 24-hour waterborne security to vital munitions loading operations at Concord Naval Weapons Station. Each spring from 1985-1995, Special Boat Unit ELEVEN provided training and orientation in Riverine Warfare to over 50 total foreign naval officers as part of the International Riverine and Coastal Operations course. Each October, Special Boat Unit ELEVEN participated in San Francisco's Fleet Week festivities and performed numerous demonstrations at many other local, civic and military celebrations throughout the year.

With the disestablishment of Special Boat Unit ELEVEN the title of The "Brown
Water Navy "lives on with its sister unit, Special Boat Unit TWENTY-TWO.


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