the force contained a U.S. Army reinforced brigade consisting of three infantry battalions, an artillery battalion, and other combat and combat service support. The force would be based aboard U.S. Navy ships that would include 5 self-propelled barracks ships, 2 LST's, 2 large harbor tugs, and 2 landing craft repair ships. In addition, two U.S. Navy river assault groups would provide tactical water mobility. Each assault group would be capable of lifting the combat elements of one reinforced infantry battalion. A small salvage craft would be necessary to recover damaged ships or craft. The reinforced brigade would be organized under the current standard ROAD (Reorganization Objective Army Divisions) tables of organization and equipment, with limited augmentation. Certain equipment specified in the tables, such as tents, mess facilities, 106-mm. recoilless rifles, antitank wire-guided missiles, and all wheeled vehicles except artillery prime movers were to be deleted from the force requirements. The number of 90-mm. recoilless rifles in each rifle company was to be reduced from six to three to improve the mobility of the weapons squads. The 4.2-inch mortars would accompany the force and be moved by water or air to field positions as necessary. Radios would be either ship-mounted or man-portable. Coxswains of plastic assault boats were to he designated in the proposed tables and trained upon arrival in Vietnam. Enough troops from each of the units afloat would be left at a land base to maintain equipment left in storage. The plan provided for an augmentation of three counter-mortar radar sections, each manned by nine men, to operate and maintain ship-mounted counter-mortar radars. A mobile Army surgical hospital team, U.S. Air Force tactical air control parties which included forward air controllers, Vietnam Army liaison troops, and additional ANPRC-25 radios were to be furnished from sources outside the parent division of the brigade.
Each river assault group, later designated river assault squadron, was to consist of the following: 52 LCM-6's to serve as armored troop carriers, 5 LCM-6's to serve as command and communication boats, 10 LCM-6's to serve as monitors, 32 assault support patrol boats, and 2 LCM-6's to serve as refuelers. A salvage force would include: 2 2,000-ton heavy lift craft, 2 YTB's for salvage, 2 LCU's (landing craft, utility), and 3 100-ton floating dry docks.
The Assault Support Patrol Boat (ASPB), better known as the "Alpha" boat, was approximately long, its hull was constructed of 7/32 inch steel, from the gunwale 2" up it was 1/8 inch steel, its superstructure was 1/4 inch aluminum. It was armed with two Mk 48 turrets with either 20 mm or .50 cal machine guns, two single 7.62 mm machine guns, one 81 mm mortar, a dragging chain for mine sweeping the river, and had a complement of five crewmen. The boat itself, was built especially strong to resist the explosion of mines; consequently, the "Alpha" boat is mainly remembered for its riverine mine-sweeping duties.
Nonetheless, the Navy created a floating Mobile Riverine Base (MRB) by assigning barracks ships, and barrage barges (non-self propelled) to house both Army and Navy personnel, provide communications and staff support, mooring and support facilities on Ammi pontoons alongside, and refit, rearm, and resupply stores. The MRB also included repair ships (ARLs), and supply ships (LSTs-Landing Ship Tanks). The ships of the MRB also had helicopter landing capabilities, and provided air resupply and medical air evacuation ("dust off") capability, and had significant medical care facilities aboard. Thus, the entire force could move through out the major rivers of the Delta, and launch troops, on boats, into assault operations deep into the narrowest rivulets and canals. Given the low limit speed of perhaps 6 knots (or less if opposing the fierce lower Delta currents), this "MOBILE" capability made boat assault operations in the furthest reaches of the Delta feasible.
Eventually, the MRF included Army floating artillery and mortar barges, which could be moved throughout the Delta and positioned to support the planned area of each assault operation. Integral air support came from newly created Navy gunship helicopter squadron HAL 3 (Helicopter Attack, Light), the SEAWOLVES, based at Dong Tam. This was additional to such air support, both troop insertion and gunfire ships, as the Army tasked to each operation, and air support from Air Force TAC air units on call.