Inshore Boat Unit Fifteen
Inshore Boat Unit 15 supplies men and boats to conduct antiterrorism operations for U.S. maritime assets in littoral regions world-wide. These operations include force protection, harbor defense, protection of Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) ships, and coordination with Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Units (MIUW) for surveillance operations. IBU 15 is a commissioned unit located in Corpus Christi, Texas and manned by three officers and 30 hard charging full time and selected reservist Sailors.
Inshore Boat Units evolved from the Cold War Craft of Opportunity (COOP) Program which used Yard Patrol Craft (YP's) that were converted for mine hunting duties in the inshore harbor area. The current unit evolved from COOPMINEUNIT 2215 and Mine Search Unit 2 which were based in Galveston, Texas from 1985 to October 1999.
In 1995, Mine Search Unit 2 decommissioned its COOP craft (CT-15) and on 1 April 1997, Inshore Boat Unit 15 was commissioned. The unit's first boats were Monarch patrol craft. In 1998, the Inshore Boat Squadrons that had formerly been over the IBU's were decommissioned and IBU-15 moved under the charge of Naval Coastal Warfare Group 1 (then Inshore Undersea Warfare Group 1). In 1999, the unit moved to Naval Reserve Center Houston, Texas then in early 2000 the unit moved to Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, its present home.
As the unit's command structure has evolved, so has its mission. While once relegated to performing exercises INCONUS, Inshore Boat Units now deploy around the globe for real-world force protection operations
In 2000, IBU-15 took part in Natural Fire 2000 which took place in Kenya. Operating under the tactical control of the MIUW units, the IBU was able to move quickly to investigate surface contacts and maintain a secure zone around the MPF ship. It also deployed sonobuoys for underwater surveillance. Reservists also conducted extensive training with Kenyan forces and other local nation forces for IBU operations, lighterage operations, port security and harbor defense. Kenyan crews augmented U.S. forces in all phases of the exercise. Multilateral operations included the participation of Tanzanian and Ugandan forces.
In May 2001 seven members from IBU-15 deployed to a port near Chilpo Beach in the Republic of Korea to participate in exercise Turbo Cads/Combined Joint Logistics Over The Shore 2001. TC/CJLOTS is a U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Transportation Command sponsored exercise designed to train service members on logistical movement of munitions and equipment from the U.S. to overseas destinations. IBU-15 members manned boats providing force protection for the exercise.
In June 2001, IBU 15 and MIUWU 108 supported MCMRON 3 in GOMEX 01-02 in Ingleside, Texas.
In late 2001, sailors from Inshore Boat Unit 15 based in Corpus Christi deployed to Port Dukhaila, Egypt, where they were providing force protection in support of Exercise Bright Star '01.
Bright Star is a multinational exercise involving more than 74,000 troops from 44 countries that is designed to enhance regional stability and military-to-military cooperation among the U.S., our key allies, and our regional partners. IBU 15 was not involved in the exercise play, but rather provided real world force protection for U.S. ships offloading military equipment for the exercise. The unit deployed with four armed 27 foot patrol boats and maintained a security zone around U.S. ships around the clock while they were pier side and transiting through the harbor.
The unit deployed a few days after the 11 September terrorist attacks and operated the entire time in a high force protection condition. IBU 15 Sailors were proud to apply the skills they had practiced each drill weekend into an important real world mission. "We were on very high alert during the operation. This actually gave us an opportunity to do in real life what we train for every month," noted Boatswain's Mate Third Class Daniel Wiesepape of College Station, Texas, who served as a patrol boat gunner during the deployment.
In addition to waterside force protection, IBU 15 routinely practices combat skills in a field environment. In November 2001, the unit held training and a battle exercise at Cabaniss Air Field in Corpus.
Inshore Boat Unit 15 and Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 108 Naval Reserve units, based in Corpus Christi, Texas, conducted port security and force protection exercises during GOMEX 02-2
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