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More than 200 sailors left Norfolk, Va., Thursday to patrol rivers in Iraq, said Senior Chief Petty Officer David Nagle, of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.

The Navy has recently began preparing to resume river patrols after letting its riverine force become dormant after the Vietnam War. Ultimately, the Navy plans on having three riverine squadrons.

The sailors now heading downrange will first partner with Marines already patrolling Iraqi rovers and other inland waterways and eventually take over the riverine mission completely, Nagle said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.

“Riverine Squadron One’s deployment to Iraq is an example of the Navy and Marine Corps team in action,” said Rear Adm. Don Bullard, NECC commander, in a news release. “We have worked closely with the Marines to prepare Sailors for this important mission. Riverine Squadron One is trained and ready.”

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