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Laos Table of Contents


Lao People's Navy

In 1975 the Lao People's Navy (LPN) was established with the remnants of the Royal Lao Navy. Composed of approximately twenty United States-made river patrol boats and sixteen amphibious landing craft, the navy in mid-1994 had a personnel strength of around 500. As with the air force, Vietnamese advisers helped organize the LPN and trained Laotian cadre in river operations and boat maintenance. The force is responsible for maintaining the security of inland waterways, which includes controlling the movement of resistance forces from their sanctuaries in Thailand, across the Mekong River. In the early 1980s, the navy received six used Soviet Shmel patrol boats and at least twelve more river patrol boats, bringing its total inventory to around thirtyone patrol boats. By mid-1994, the navy had a total of fewer than fifty river patrol boats and continued to provide a marginal level of security for inland waterways.

Data as of July 1994