SBU-20: The history
On 01 Mar 79 Special Boat Unit TWENTY formally evolved from Coastal River Division-20, one of three operational units under Special Boat Squadron TWO. SBU-20 consisted of an armada of 65ft. MK III Patrol Boats (PBs) and Landing Craft Personnel, Large (LCPLs) and was on call to support Naval Special Warfare (NSW) in littoral waters.
In the Early '80s SBU-20 experienced a transitional phase, testing there capabilities and expanding their horizons. The first onloading of a PB onboard an amphib , the USS Nashville (LPD-13), the first tests of the prototype 36ft. SEAFOX, Special Warfare Craft, Light (SWCL) "Spider One" and insertion of the first SEALs to reconnoiter the beaches of Grenada during Operation Urgent Fury was but a few fo the many accomplishments. The SEAFOX became a standard short range insertion craft for the Special Boat Units in 1982 and subsequently replaced the LCPL. Designed to support a SEAL element with low profile, high speed, and large payload capacity it was designated the NSW combatant craft fot deployment with the amphibious squadrons. SBU-20 deployed the SEAFOX to Machrihanish, Scotland, the Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group (MARG) and the Carribean, in support of NSWU-4 Puetro Rico.
In the Mid '80sSBU-20 experienced explosive growth that continued through the '90s.This growth included the assignment of two new craft types; the 42ft High Speed Boat (HSB) and the 24ft.Riged-Hull Inflatable Boat (RIB) or (RHIB).Combatant Craft Crewman increased from 117 personnel in 1986 to 168 by 01 APR 87, to a final manning of 34 officers and 223 enlisted by the end of 1989. SBU-20 became the gaining command for Naval Reserve Special Boat Unit TWENTY (NR SBU-20) fomerly known as Detachment 306 (DET 306) a 60 man Special Boat Reserve Unit stationed in Richmond, VA. NR SBU-20 conducts their weekend training at SBU-20 and augments the command during high operational tempo periods. SBU-20 expanded their mission responsibilities to include Counter Drug (CD) Operations with the Coast Guard from the Bahamas to Miami, Fl.
Jul 08 2000 11:20:55:000AM