|SWCC||2007-08-26 12:03:28 ET|
The go-fast teams
All Hands, August, 2004 by Robert Benson
They call it the "E-ticket Ride:" a 33-foot Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) vs. Mother Nature. Middle of the night, almost pitch black; a pair of RHIBs race through open waters of the Pacific Ocean. The crew wears night vision gear, but still find it hard to see the waves. Each ocean swell--unpredicted--creates a ramp and sends the craft airborne for what seems like seconds at a time. And when they come down, they come down hard. The crew braces for shock, the boat shudders and a giant plume of boat wash is the only mark left in the faint moonlight as the boat races forward into harm's way.
Forty knots, in the blackness, wind ripping across the open craft--this is daily life for a Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC), (pronounced "swick") and these guys wouldn't have it any other way. "We judge boats by their speed and rounds per minute," said Engineman 1st Class (SWCC) James Martino, a member of Special Boat Team (SBT) 12 in Coronado, Calif. He, like others at the command, wears a command T-shirt that reads "God, Country, and Fast Boats."
Who are these guys--the ones who drive these camouflaged boats on the horizon? First guess for most would be Navy SEALS. But these Special Warfare operators are actually SWCC--aka the "boat guys."
Quinten wants to do this. He has always wanted to do something like this and I am not going to stand in the way of something he wants to do.