Navy Riverine Operations
Created for the U.S. Navy, we enter the world of the soldiers who patrolled the waterways during the Vietnam War. The difficulties of navigating a water based terrain and monsoon weather gave the enemy an advantage that the soldiers had to strategize around. The first strategy is the “Hearts and Minds” campaign that is waged by educating locals about democracy and setting up clinics to offer services to the locals. This film also focuses on the daily life of patrolling and the arduous task of identifying an unseen grounded enemy firing at vessels in open water. You can see one of these firefights at 12:15 and at 19:17 mark, the wrecked carnage of a downed helicopter being salvaged in the shallow water amidst the fire fight.
Scene opens with a soldiers silhouetted against a pink sunset.
Soldiers are rowing out with canoes, we then see soldiers working with the Vietnamese children to help with rebuilding efforts. Children are taught how democracy works in the class room, A battle to win the “Hearts and Minds”.
2:04 Blue Jackets operating a shallow water warfare. Hunting down to destroy the water born Vietcong.
2:49 Operation Market Time: Off the coast navy stops to search small ships. Drying up the arterial life line from North Vietnam.
3:20 Navy Aircraft Carrier, floating mobile Airbase working as the core of the Naval operation. Workdays range between 12 and 18 hours for the 4000 people occupying the mobile city.
4:27 Search and rescue helicopter deployed, watch a rescue with a stranded pilot.
5:13 An abrupt cut to a soldier shaking hands with a boy, followed by footage of local villagers. This is followed by a more serene image of soldiers passing idle time smoking and eating. Out on patrol.
6:04 Another abrupt cut to a scene with medical supplies being carried through the village on Hong Mih, what appears to be an isolated village. The voice of singing school children can be heard as the soldiers hand out something indiscernible, candy maybe. A clinic has been set up to help locals battling disease.
The work in the clinics is emphasized for being as important as the battlefield.
8:35 Monsoon season beings in the torrential rains as the soldiers continue their river patrol. Rain does not stop for days as everything floods, clogs and rusts.
9:54 Officers are planning how to engage with the enemy, “Charlie” who has been using the rains to their advantage.
10:44 The boats patrol through the shallow waters,
12:15 Live firefight on open water with American troops first taking, then returning fire. The enemy is never shown in the shot; they appear to be firing towards land. The soldiers call in for support. We watch as soldiers scramble to get out to the site in helicopters. Everyone has a well-orchestrated role that comes together at these critical moments. Final checks are made and the soldiers issue a Clear signal and begin take off.
15:21 We see strategies being called out to the ships who are coordinating to repel the enemy. Helicopters are assessing the situation by radio with each other and the ships.
16:41 The helicopters begin an assault against the enemy who is beached. They are also having trouble seeing the enemy. They identify the enemy through the smoke.
17:48 The soldiers won and follow up to destroy any near b bases to further destabilize the Vietcong fighters.
18:48 Missiles fired at targets. They cruise through the air and create unbelievable explosions on the ground.
19:17 We cut to a scene of a helicopter that’s been shot down by a sniper. The soldiers begin recovery of what’s salvageable and rescue the wounded. Everyone returns to the Aircraft carrier.
20:35 Sunset fades to a night time firefight with almost no visibility. The film ends at dawn with silhouettes of a machine gunner and soldiers patrolling.
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Credit : PeriscopeFilm