The MSSC (Medium SEAL Support Craft) was
designed specifically for SEAL operations, and MST-2 detachments were designed
specifically to operate it. The MSSC was a 36-foot-long, aluminum-hulled
catamaran, low to the water, and, with a top speed of over 30 knots, it was one
of the fastest boats on the river. The MST crew was seven. The coxswain
(boat driver) and the OIC sat in the cockpit just aft of the bow, the driver to
the left. On the OIC’s side of cockpit were the boat’s radar and radios. The
compartment aft of the cockpit and forward of the engine compartment held a SEAL
platoon and the other five MST crewmembers manning the guns. On each side of the
MSSC were mounted a M-60 machine gun forward and a .50 caliber machine gun aft.
The seventh crewmember manned a 6000 round-per-minute minigun on the stern.
Additionally, the crew all carried M-16s as personal weapons, and the OIC might
also carry a .45. In combat, the crew wore flack jackets and helmets. The SEALs,
of course, were armed to the teeth, and more than willing to add to our
firepower if they were on board when the shooting started. The walls of
the “troop” compartment were lined with anti-shrapnel curtains, and the
compartment was covered with a canvas canopy designed to deflect rockets, or so
we were told and chose to believe.