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Patrol Torpedo Fast (PTF)

The development of a robust riverine warfare capability during the Vietnam War produced the forerunner of the modern Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman. Mobile Support Teams provided combat craft support for SEAL operations, as did Patrol Boat, Riverine (PBR) and Swift Boat sailors. In February 1964, Boat Support Unit ONE was established under Naval Operations Support Group, Pacific to operate the newly reinstated Patrol Torpedo Fast (PTF) program and to operate high-speed craft in support of NSW forces.

During the, period March-June 1964 a total of eight Patrol Torpedo Fast (PTF) boats were delivered to the U.S. Naval Advisory Detachment (USNAD) at Danang for use under the operational control of the Maritime Operations Section of MACSOG. PTF's 1 and 2 were reactivated U.S.-built aluminum hull boats while PTF's 3-8 were new Norwegian-built wooden hull boats of the "Nasty" Class. All eight boats were capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and were each armed with two 20-millimeter and two 40-millimeter single mounts. PTF's 7 and 8 were later armed with 81-millimeter mortars. Training of approximately 145 Vietnamese Navy crew members was accomplished by U.S. Navy Mobile Support Team #1-64. Maintenance, repair and logistical support for the PTF's was provided by COMAVPHIL.

In late 1964 the first PTFs arrived in Danang, Vietnam. In 1965, Boat Support Squadron ONE began training Patrol Craft Fast crews for Vietnamese coastal patrol and interdiction operations. As the Vietnam mission expanded into the riverine environment, additional craft, tactics, and training evolved for riverine patrol and SEAL support.



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