United States Navy SEALs

United States Navy SEALs

Overview
The United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

's Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command
United States Naval Special Warfare Command
The United States Naval Special Warfare Command was commissioned on April 16, 1987, at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in San Diego, California...

 (NSWC) as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command
United States Special Operations Command
The United States Special Operations Command is the Unified Combatant Command charged with overseeing the various Special Operations Commands of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps of the United States Armed Forces. The command is part of the Department of Defense...

.

The acronym is derived from their capacity to operate at sea, in the air, and on land. In the War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

, SEALs have been utilized almost exclusively for land-based operations, including Direct Action
Direct action (military)
In the context of military special operations, direct action consists of: "Short-duration strikes and other small-scale offensive actions conducted as a special operation in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments and which employ specialized military capabilities to seize, destroy,...

, Hostage Rescue, Counter Terrorism, Special Reconnaissance
Special reconnaissance
Special reconnaissance is conducted by small units of highly trained military personnel, usually from special forces units or military intelligence organisations, who operate behind enemy lines, avoiding direct combat and detection by the enemy. As a role, SR is distinct from commando operations,...

, unconventional warfare
Unconventional warfare
Unconventional warfare is the opposite of conventional warfare. Where conventional warfare is used to reduce an opponent's military capability, unconventional warfare is an attempt to achieve military victory through acquiescence, capitulation, or clandestine support for one side of an existing...

 and foreign internal defense
Foreign internal defense
Foreign internal defense is a term used by a number of Western militaries, including the United States, France and the United Kingdom, to describe an approach to combating actual or threatened insurgency in a foreign state called the Host Nation . The term counter-insurgency is more commonly used...

 operations.
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Encyclopedia
The United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

's Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command
United States Naval Special Warfare Command
The United States Naval Special Warfare Command was commissioned on April 16, 1987, at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in San Diego, California...

 (NSWC) as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command
United States Special Operations Command
The United States Special Operations Command is the Unified Combatant Command charged with overseeing the various Special Operations Commands of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps of the United States Armed Forces. The command is part of the Department of Defense...

.

The acronym is derived from their capacity to operate at sea, in the air, and on land. In the War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

, SEALs have been utilized almost exclusively for land-based operations, including Direct Action
Direct action (military)
In the context of military special operations, direct action consists of: "Short-duration strikes and other small-scale offensive actions conducted as a special operation in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments and which employ specialized military capabilities to seize, destroy,...

, Hostage Rescue, Counter Terrorism, Special Reconnaissance
Special reconnaissance
Special reconnaissance is conducted by small units of highly trained military personnel, usually from special forces units or military intelligence organisations, who operate behind enemy lines, avoiding direct combat and detection by the enemy. As a role, SR is distinct from commando operations,...

, unconventional warfare
Unconventional warfare
Unconventional warfare is the opposite of conventional warfare. Where conventional warfare is used to reduce an opponent's military capability, unconventional warfare is an attempt to achieve military victory through acquiescence, capitulation, or clandestine support for one side of an existing...

 and foreign internal defense
Foreign internal defense
Foreign internal defense is a term used by a number of Western militaries, including the United States, France and the United Kingdom, to describe an approach to combating actual or threatened insurgency in a foreign state called the Host Nation . The term counter-insurgency is more commonly used...

 operations. Without exception, all SEALs are male members of either the United States Navy or the United States Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

.

The CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

's highly secretive Special Activities Division
Special Activities Division
The Special Activities Division is a division in the United States Central Intelligence Agency's National Clandestine Service responsible for covert operations known as "special activities"...

 (SAD) and more specifically its elite Special Operations Group (SOG) recruits operators from the SEAL Teams. Joint Navy SEALs and CIA operations go back to the famed MACV-SOG during the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. This cooperation still exists today and is seen in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more recently in the finding and killing of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 in Pakistan.

Origins


Navy SEALs can trace their roots to the Second World War. The United States Navy recognized the need for the covert reconnaissance
Amphibious reconnaissance
The concept of amphibious reconnaissance, or commonly amphib recon, are used primarily in conjunction with ground and naval reconnaissance concerning the littoral area bordering coastal or maritime areas of interests...

 of landing beaches and coastal defenses. As a result the Amphibious Scout and Raider School was established in 1942 at Fort Pierce, Florida
Fort Pierce, Florida
Fort Pierce, also spelled Ft. Pierce, is a city in St. Lucie County, Florida, USA. It is known as The Sunrise City. The population was 37,959 at the 2004 census. As of 2008, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 41,000. It is the county seat of St. Lucie County.Fort Pierce is part...

. The Scouts and Raiders were formed in September of that year, just nine months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, from the Observer Group
Observer Group
The Observer Group was a joint-United States Army/Marine Corps unit that was the first in the United States and Fleet Marine Force to be organized and trained specifically for amphibious reconnaissance...

, a joint Army-USMC-Navy unit.

First Group


The first group included Phil H. Bucklew, the "Father of Naval Special Warfare," after whom the Naval Special Warfare Center building is named. Commissioned in October 1942, this group saw combat in November 1942 during Operation Torch, the first allied landings in Europe, on the North African coast. Scouts and Raiders also supported landings in Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, Normandy, and southern France.

Second Group


A second group of Scouts and Raiders, code-named Special Service Unit #1, was established on 7 July 1943, as a joint and combined operations force. The first mission, in September 1943, was at Finschafen on New Guinea. Later operations were at Gasmata, Arawe, Cape Gloucester, and the East and South coast of New Britain, all without any loss of personnel. Conflicts arose over operational matters, and all non-Navy personnel were reassigned. The unit, renamed 7th Amphibious Scouts, received a new mission, to go ashore with the assault boats, buoy channels, erect markers for the incoming craft, handle casualties, take offshore soundings, blow up beach obstacles and maintain voice communications linking the troops ashore, incoming boats and nearby ships. The 7th Amphibious Scouts conducted operations in the Pacific for the duration of the conflict, participating in more than 40 landings

Third Group


The third Scout and Raiders organization operated in China. Scouts and Raiders were deployed to fight with the Sino-American Cooperative Organization, or SACO. To help bolster the work of SACO, Admiral Ernest J. King ordered that 120 officers and 900 men be trained for "Amphibious Raider" at the Scout and Raider school at Fort Pierce, Florida. They formed the core of what was envisioned as a "guerrilla amphibious organization of Americans and Chinese operating from coastal waters, lakes and rivers employing small steamboats and sampans." While most Amphibious Raider forces remained at Camp Knox in Calcutta, three of the groups saw active service. They conducted a survey of the upper Yangtze River in the spring of 1945 and, disguised as coolies, conducted a detailed three-month survey of the Chinese coast from Shanghai to Kitchioh Wan, near Hong Kong.

Naval Combat Demolition Units


Along with the Scouts and Raiders were the Naval Combat Demolition Units. They specialized in demolitions, explosive cable cutting, and commando raiding techniques. On May 7, 1943, Lieutenant Commander Draper L. Kauffman, "The Father of Naval Combat Demolition," was directed to set up a school and train people to eliminate obstacles on an enemy-held beach prior to an invasion. On June 6, 1943, LCDR Kaufmann established Naval Combat Demolition Unit training at Fort Pierce. By April 1944, a total of 34 NCDUs were deployed to England in preparation for Operation OVERLORD, the amphibious landing at Normandy. On June 6, 1944, in the face of great adversity, the NCDUs at Omaha Beach managed to blow eight complete gaps and two partial gaps in the German defenses. The NCDUs suffered 31 killed and 60 wounded, a casualty rate of 52%. Meanwhile, the NCDUs at Utah Beach met less intense enemy fire. They cleared 700 yards (640 m) of beach in two hours, another 900 yards (820 m) by the afternoon. Casualties at Utah Beach were significantly lighter with six killed and eleven wounded. During Operation OVERLORD, not a single demolitioneer was lost to improper handling of explosives. In August 1944, NCDUs from Utah Beach participated in the landings in southern France, the last amphibious operation in the European Theater of Operations. NCDUs also operated in the Pacific theater. NCDU 2, under LTjg Frank Kaine, after whom the Naval Special Warfare Command building is named, and NCDU 3 under LTjg Lloyd Anderson, formed the nucleus of six NCDUs that served with the Seventh Amphibious Force tasked with clearing boat channels after the landings from Biak to Borneo.

OSS Operational Swimmers


Some of the earliest World War II predecessors of the SEALs were the Operational Swimmers of the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS.[9] Many current SEAL missions were first assigned to them. OSS specialized in special operations, dropping operatives behind enemy lines to engage in organized guerrilla warfare as well as to gather information on such things as enemy resources and troop movements. [10]
British Combined Operations veteran LCDR Wooley, of the Royal Navy, was placed in charge of the OSS Maritime Unit in June 1943. Their training started in November 1943 at Camp Pendleton, California, moved to Santa Catalina Island, California in January 1944, and finally moved to the warmer waters of The Bahamas in March 1944. Within the U.S. military, they pioneered flexible swimfins and diving mask
Diving mask
A diving mask is an item of diving equipment that allows scuba divers, free-divers, and snorkelers to see clearly underwater. When the human eye is in direct contact with water as opposed to air, its normal environment, light entering the eye is refracted by a different angle and the eye is unable...

s, closed-circuit diving equipment (under the direction of Dr. Chris Lambertsen), the use of Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (a type of submersible), and combat swimming and limpet mine attacks.[9] In May 1944, General Donovan, the head of the OSS, divided the unit into groups. He loaned Group 1, under Lieutenant Choate, to Admiral Nimitz, as a way to introduce the OSS into the Pacific theater. They became part of UDT-10 in July 1944. Five OSS men participated in the very first UDT submarine operation with the USS Burrfish (SS-312) in the Caroline Islands in August 1944.

Underwater Demolition Teams


On November 23, 1943, the U.S. Marine
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 landing
Battle of Tarawa
The Battle of Tarawa, code named Operation Galvanic, was a battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II, largely fought from November 20 to November 23, 1943. It was the first American offensive in the critical central Pacific region....

 on Tarawa Atoll
Tarawa Atoll
Tarawa is an atoll in the central Pacific Ocean, previously the capital of the former British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. It is the location of the capital of the Republic of Kiribati, South Tarawa...

 emphasized the need for hydrographic reconnaissance and underwater demolition of obstacles prior to any amphibious landing. Offshore coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

s and other obstacles in the surf had resulted in many of the Marines drowning or being hit by enemy fire because their landing craft could not reach the beach. After the Tarawa
Battle of Tarawa
The Battle of Tarawa, code named Operation Galvanic, was a battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II, largely fought from November 20 to November 23, 1943. It was the first American offensive in the critical central Pacific region....

, Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner
Richmond K. Turner
-Footnotes:...

 directed the formation of nine Underwater Demolition Team
Underwater Demolition Team
The Underwater Demolition Teams were an elite special-purpose force established by the United States Navy during World War II. They also served during the Korean War and the Vietnam War...

s. 30 officers and 150 enlisted men were moved to the Waimānalo
Waimanalo, Hawai'i
Waimānalo is a census-designated place in the City & County of Honolulu, in the District of Koolaupoko on the island of Oahu. This small windward community is located near the eastern end of the island. In the Hawaiian language Waimānalo means "potable water"; it is so named for the many brackish...

 Amphibious Training Base to form the nucleus of a demolition training program. This group became Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) ONE and TWO.

The UDTs saw their first combat on January 31, 1944, during Operation Flintlock in the Marshall Islands. FLINTLOCK became the real catalyst for the UDT training program in the Pacific Theater. In February 1944, the Naval Combat Demolition Training and Experimental Base was established at Kīhei, Maui, next to the Amphibious Base at Kamaole. Eventually, 34 UDT teams were established. Wearing swim suits, fins, and dive masks on combat operations, these "Naked Warriors" saw action across the Pacific in every major amphibious landing including: Eniwetok, Saipan, Guam, Tinian, Angaur, Ulithi, Peleliu, Leyte, Lingayen Gulf, Zambales, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Labuan, Brunei Bay, and on July 4, 1945 at Balikpapan on Borneo, which was the last UDT demolition operation of the war.
The rapid demobilization at the conclusion of the war reduced the number of active duty UDTs to two on each coast with a complement of seven officers and 45 enlisted men each.

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when the North Korean army invaded South Korea. Beginning with a detachment of 11 personnel from UDT 3, UDT participation expanded to three teams with a combined strength of 300 men. As part of the Special Operations Group, or SOG, UDTs successfully conducted demolition raids on railroad tunnels and bridges along the Korean coast. On September 15, 1950, UDTs supported Operation Chromite, the amphibious landing at Incheon. UDT 1 and 3 provided personnel who went in ahead of the landing craft, scouting mud flats, marking low points in the channel, clearing fouled propellers, and searching for mines. Four UDT personnel acted as wave-guides for the Marine landing. In October 1950, UDTs supported mine-clearing operations in Wonsan Harbor where frogmen would locate and mark mines for minesweepers. On October 12, 1950, two U.S. minesweepers hit mines and sank. UDTs rescued 25 sailors. The next day, William Giannotti conducted the first U.S. combat operation using an "aqualung" when he dove on the USS Pledge (AM-277). For the remainder of the war, UDTs conducted beach and river reconnaissance, infiltrated guerrillas behind the lines from sea, continued mine sweeping operations, and participated in Operation Fishnet, which severely damaged the North Korean's fishing capability.


Vietnam



President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, aware of the situations in Southeast Asia, recognized the need for unconventional warfare
Unconventional warfare
Unconventional warfare is the opposite of conventional warfare. Where conventional warfare is used to reduce an opponent's military capability, unconventional warfare is an attempt to achieve military victory through acquiescence, capitulation, or clandestine support for one side of an existing...

 and special operations
Special operations
Special operations are military operations that are considered "special" .Special operations are typically performed independently or in conjunction with conventional military operations. The primary goal is to achieve a political or military objective where a conventional force requirement does...

 as a measure against guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

. In a speech to Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 on 25 May 1961, Kennedy spoke of his deep respect for the United States Army Special Forces. While his announcement of the government's plan to put a man on the moon drew all of the attention, in the same speech he announced his intention to spend over $100 million to strengthen U.S. special operations forces and expand American capabilities in unconventional warfare.

The Navy needed to determine its role within the special operations arena. In March 1961, Arleigh Burke
Arleigh Burke
Admiral Arleigh Albert '31-knot' Burke was an admiral of the United States Navy who distinguished himself during World War II and the Korean War, and who served as Chief of Naval Operations during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations.-Early life and naval career:Burke was born in Boulder,...

, Chief of Naval Operations
Chief of Naval Operations
The Chief of Naval Operations is a statutory office held by a four-star admiral in the United States Navy, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Navy. The office is a military adviser and deputy to the Secretary of the Navy...

, recommended the establishment of guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 and counter-guerrilla units. These units would be able to operate from sea, air or land. This was the beginning of the Navy SEALs. Most SEALs came from the Navy's Underwater Demolition Teams, who had already gained extensive experience in commando
Commando
In English, the term commando means a specific kind of individual soldier or military unit. In contemporary usage, commando usually means elite light infantry and/or special operations forces units, specializing in amphibious landings, parachuting, rappelling and similar techniques, to conduct and...

 warfare in Korea
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

; however, the Underwater Demolition Teams were still necessary to the Navy's amphibious force.
The first two teams were on both US coasts: Team One at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado
Naval Amphibious Base Coronado
Naval Amphibious Base Coronado is a naval installation located across the bay from San Diego, CA. The base, situated on Silver Strand, between the San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean, is a major Navy shore command, supporting over 30 tenant commands, and is the West Coast focal point for special...

, in San Diego, California and Team Two at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
The Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek is the major operating base for the Amphibious Forces in the United States Navy's Atlantic Fleet. The base comprises four locations in three states, including almost 12,000 acres of real estate. Its Little Creek location in Virginia Beach, Virginia totals...

, in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay...

. Men of the newly formed SEAL Teams were trained in such unconventional areas as hand-to-hand combat, high-altitude parachuting, demolitions, and foreign languages. The SEALs attended Underwater Demolition Team replacement training and they spent some time training in UDTs. Upon making it to a SEAL team, they would undergo a SEAL Basic Indoctrination (SBI) training class at Camp Kerry in the Cuyamaca Mountains
Cuyamaca Peak
Cuyamaca Peak is a mountain in San Diego County roughly from the Pacific Ocean, in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park east of San Diego and southwest of Julian...

. After SBI training class, they would enter a platoon
Platoon
A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two to four sections or squads and containing 16 to 50 soldiers. Platoons are organized into a company, which typically consists of three, four or five platoons. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer—the...

 and conduct platoon training.

The Pacific Command
United States Pacific Command
The United States Pacific Command is a Unified Combatant Command of the United States armed forces responsible for the Pacific Ocean area. It is led by the Commander, Pacific Command , who is the supreme military authority for the various branches of the Armed Forces of the United States serving...

 recognized Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 as a potential hot spot for unconventional forces. At the beginning of 1962, the UDTs started hydrographic survey
Hydrographic survey
Hydrographic survey is the science of measurement and description of features which affect maritime navigation, marine construction, dredging, offshore oil exploration/drilling and related disciplines. Strong emphasis is placed on soundings, shorelines, tides, currents, sea floor and submerged...

s and along with other branches of the US Military, the Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) was formed. In March 1962, SEALs were deployed to South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

 as advisors for the purpose of training Army of the Republic of Vietnam
Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The Army of the Republic of Viet Nam , sometimes parsimoniously referred to as the South Vietnamese Army , was the land-based military forces of the Republic of Vietnam , which existed from October 26, 1955 until the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975...

 commando
Commando
In English, the term commando means a specific kind of individual soldier or military unit. In contemporary usage, commando usually means elite light infantry and/or special operations forces units, specializing in amphibious landings, parachuting, rappelling and similar techniques, to conduct and...

s in the same methods they were trained themselves.

The Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 began using SEALs in covert operation
Covert operation
A covert operation is a military, intelligence or law enforcement operation that is carried clandestinely and, often, outside of official channels. Covert operations aim to fulfill their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or carried out the operation...

s in early 1963. The SEALs were involved in the CIA sponsored Phoenix Program
Phoenix Program
The Phoenix Program |phoenix]]) was a controversial counterinsurgency program designed, coordinated, and executed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency , United States special operations forces, and the Republic of Vietnam's security apparatus during the Vietnam War that operated...

 where it targeted key North Vietnamese Army personnel and Vietcong sympathizers for capture and assassination.

The SEALs were initially deployed in and around Da Nang
Da Nang
Đà Nẵng , occasionally Danang, is a major port city in the South Central Coast of Vietnam, on the coast of the South China Sea at the mouth of the Han River. It is the commercial and educational center of Central Vietnam; its well-sheltered, easily accessible port and its location on the path of...

, training the South Vietnamese in combat diving, demolitions, and guerrilla/anti-guerrilla tactics. As the war continued, the SEALs found themselves positioned in the Rung Sat Special Zone where they were to disrupt the enemy supply and troop movements and in the Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is the region in southwestern Vietnam where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea through a network of distributaries. The Mekong delta region encompasses a large portion of southwestern Vietnam of . The size of the area covered by water depends on the season.The...

 to fulfill riverine
Brown-water navy
Brown-water navy is a term that originated in the United States Navy, referring to the small gunboats and patrol boats used in rivers, along with some of the larger ships that supported them as "mother ships," from which they operated...

 operations, fighting on the inland waterways.

Combat with the Viet Cong
National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam
The Vietcong , or National Liberation Front , was a political organization and army in South Vietnam and Cambodia that fought the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War . It had both guerrilla and regular army units, as well as a network of cadres who organized...

 was direct. Unlike the conventional warfare methods of firing artillery into a coordinate location, the SEALs operated within inches of their targets. Into the late 1960s, the SEALs were successful in a new style of warfare, effective in anti-guerrilla and guerrilla actions. SEALs brought a personal war to the enemy in a previously safe area. The Viet Cong referred to them as "the men with green faces," due to the camouflage
Camouflage
Camouflage is a method of concealment that allows an otherwise visible animal, military vehicle, or other object to remain unnoticed, by blending with its environment. Examples include a leopard's spotted coat, the battledress of a modern soldier and a leaf-mimic butterfly...

 face paint the SEALs wore during combat missions.

SEALs continued to make forays into North Vietnam and Laos, and covertly into Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, controlled by the Studies and Observations Group. The SEALs from Team Two started a unique deployment of SEAL team members working alone with South Vietnamese Commandos (ARVN
Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The Army of the Republic of Viet Nam , sometimes parsimoniously referred to as the South Vietnamese Army , was the land-based military forces of the Republic of Vietnam , which existed from October 26, 1955 until the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975...

). In 1967, a SEAL unit named Detachment Bravo (Det Bravo) was formed to operate these mixed US and ARVN units, which were called South Vietnamese Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRUs).

At the beginning of 1968, the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong orchestrated a major offensive against South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

: the "Tet Offensive". The North hoped it would prove to be America's Dien Bien Phu
Dien Bien Phu
Điện Biên Phủ is a city in northwestern Vietnam. It is the capital of Dien Bien province, and is known for the events there during the First Indochina War, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, during which the region was a breadbasket for the Việt Minh.-Population:...

, attempting to break the American public's desire to continue the war. As propaganda, the Tet Offensive was successful in adding to the American protest of the Vietnam war. However, North Vietnam suffered tremendous casualties, and from a purely military standpoint, the Tet Offensive was a major disaster for the Communists.

By 1970, President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 initiated a Plan of Vietnamization, which would remove the US from the Vietnam War and return the responsibility of defense back to the South Vietnamese. Conventional forces were being withdrawn; the last SEAL advisor left Vietnam in March 1973 and Vietnam fell to the communists in 1975. The SEALs were among the highest decorated units for their size in the war. SEALs were awarded 2 Navy Cross
Navy Cross
The Navy Cross is the highest decoration that may be bestowed by the Department of the Navy and the second highest decoration given for valor. It is normally only awarded to members of the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Coast Guard, but can be awarded to all...

es, 42 Silver star
Silver Star
The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States armed forces for valor in the face of the enemy....

s, 402 Bronze Stars, 2 Legions of Merit, 352 Commendation Medals, 3 Presidential Unit Citations and 3 Medals of Honor.

Grenada



Both SEAL Team 4 and SEAL Team 6, the predecessor to DEVGRU, participated in the US invasion of Grenada. The SEALs' two primary missions were the extraction of Grenada's Governor-General
Paul Scoon
Sir Paul Scoon, GCMG, GCVO, OBE was Governor General of Grenada for 14 years, from 1978 to 1992.-Biography:Sir Paul was born on 4 July 1935 in Gouyave, a town on the west coast of Grenada. He attended St. John's Anglican School and then the Grenada Boys' Secondary School...

 and the capture of Grenada's only radio tower. Neither mission was well briefed or sufficiently supported with timely intelligence and the SEALs ran into trouble from the very beginning. One of their two transport planes missed its drop zone, and four SEALs drowned in a rain squall while making an airborne insertion with their boats off the island's coast. Their bodies were never recovered.

After regrouping from their initial insertion the SEALs split into two teams and proceeded to their objectives. After digging in at the Governor's mansion, the SEALs realized they had forgotten their SATCOM
SATCOM
SATCOM or Satcom may refer to:* Short for Satellite Communications and used frequently in the context of VSAT * Communications satellites or comsats...

 gear on the helicopter. As Grenadian and Cuban troops surrounded the team, the SEALs' only radio ran out of battery power, and they used the mansion's land line telephone to call in AC-130 fire support. The SEALs were pinned in the mansion overnight and were relieved and extracted by a group of Force Recon
United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance
The Force Reconnaissance Companies , are one of the United States Marine Corps's special operations "capable" forces that provide essential elements of military intelligence to the command element of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force ; supporting the landing or joint task force commanders, and...

 Marines the following morning.

The team sent to the radio station also ran into communication problems. As soon as the SEALs reached the radio facility they found themselves unable to raise their command post. After beating back several waves of Grenadian and Cuban troops supported by BTR-60s, the SEALs decided that their position at the radio tower was untenable. They destroyed the station and fought their way to the water where they hid from patrolling enemy forces. After the enemy had given up their search the SEALs, some wounded, swam into the open sea where they were extracted several hours later after being spotted by a reconnaissance plane.

Persian Gulf



During the closing stages of the Iran-Iraq War
Iran-Iraq War
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

 the United States Navy began conducting operations in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 to protect US flagged ships from attack by Iranian naval forces. A secret plan was put in place and dubbed Operation Prime Chance
Operation Prime Chance
Operation Prime Chance was a United States Special Operations Command operation intended to protect U.S.-flagged oil tankers from Iranian attack during the Iran–Iraq War. The operation took place roughly at the same time as Operation Earnest Will , the largely Navy effort to escort the tankers...

. Navy SEAL Teams 1 and 2 along with several Special Boat Units and Navy EOD
United States Navy EOD
United States Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians render safe all types of ordnance, including improvised, chemical, biological, and nuclear. They perform land and underwater location, identification, render-safe, and recovery of foreign and domestic ordnance...

 teams were deployed on mobile command barges and transported by helicopters from the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Over the course of the operation SEALs conducted VBSS (Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure) missions to counter Iranian mine laying boats. The only loss of life occurred during the take down of the Iran Ajr
Iran Ajr
Iran Ajr, formerly known as the Arya Rakhsh, was a Japanese-built landing craft used by Iran to lay naval mines during the Iran–Iraq War. Built in 1978, the 614-ton, 54-meter ship was powered by two diesel engines and featured a bow ramp for unloading cargo...

. Evidence gathered on the Iran Ajr by SEALs and EOD techs later allowed the US Navy to trace the mines that struck the USS Samuel B. Roberts
USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58)
USS Samuel B. Roberts is one of the final ships in the United States Navy's Oliver Hazard Perry class of guided missile frigates . The ship was severely damaged by an Iranian mine in 1988, leading U.S. forces to respond with Operation Praying Mantis.-Commissioning and namesake:The frigate was...

. This chain of events lead to Operation Praying Mantis
Operation Praying Mantis
Operation Praying Mantis was an attack on April 18, 1988, by U.S. naval forces within Iranian territorial waters in retaliation for the Iranian mining of the Persian Gulf during the Iran Iraq war and the subsequent damage to an American warship....

, the largest US Naval surface engagement since the Second World War.
During Operation Desert Shield and Storm, Navy SEALs trained Kuwaiti Special Forces. They set up naval special operations groups in Kuwait, working with the Kuwaiti Navy in exile. Using these new diving, swimming, and combat skills, these foreign SEALs took part in combat operations such as the liberation of the capital city.

Panama


The United States Navy contributed extensive special operations assets to the invasion of Panama, code named Operation Just Cause. This included SEAL Teams 2 and 4, Naval Special Warfare Unit 8, and Special Boat Unit 26, all falling under Naval Special Warfare Group 2; and the separate Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DevGru). DevGru fell under Task Force Blue, while Naval Special Warfare Group 2 composed the entirety of Task Force White. Task Force White was tasked with three principal objectives: the destruction of Panamanian Defense Forces (PDF) naval assets in Balboa Harbor and the destruction of Manuel Noriega's
Manuel Noriega
Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno is a Panamanian politician and soldier. He was military dictator of Panama from 1983 to 1989.The 1989 invasion of Panama by the United States removed him from power; he was captured, detained as a prisoner of war, and flown to the United States. Noriega was tried on...

 private jet at Paitilla Airport (collectively known as Operation Nifty Package
Operation Nifty Package
Operation Nifty Package was a United States Navy SEALs-operated plan conducted in 1989 designed to capture Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega. When Noriega took refuge in the Vatican embassy, deafening music and other psychological warfare were used to convince him to exit and surrender himself.The...

), as well as isolating PDF forces on Flamenco Island.

The strike on Balboa Harbor by Task Unit Whiskey is notably marked in SEAL history as the first publicly acknowledged combat swimmer mission since the Second World War. Prior to the commencement of the invasion four Navy SEALs, Lt Edward S. Coughlin, EN-3 Timothy K. Eppley, ET-1 Randy L. Beausoleil, and PH-2 Chris Dye, swam underwater into the harbor on Draeger LAR-V rebreathers and attached C4 explosives
C-4 (explosive)
C4 or Composition C4 is a common variety of the plastic explosive known as Composition C.-Composition and manufacture:C4 is made up of explosives, plastic binder, plasticizer and usually marker or odorizing taggant chemicals such as 2,3-dimethyl-2,3-dinitrobutane to help detect the explosive and...

 to and destroyed Noriega's personal gunboat the Presidente Porras.

Task Unit Papa was tasked with the seizure of Paitilla airfield and the destruction of Noriega's plane there. Several SEALs were concerned about the nature of the mission assigned to them being that airfield seizure was usually the domain of the Army Rangers
75th Ranger Regiment (United States)
The 75th Ranger Regiment , also known as Rangers, is a Special Operations light infantry unit of the United States Army. The Regiment is headquartered in Fort Benning, Georgia with battalions in Fort Benning, Hunter Army Airfield and Joint Base Lewis-McChord...

. Despite these misgivings and a loss of operational surprise, the SEALs of TU Papa proceeded with their mission. Almost immediately upon landing, the 48 SEALs came under withering fire from the PDF stationed at the airfield. Although Noriega's plane was eventually destroyed, the SEALs suffered four dead and thirteen wounded. Killed were Lt. John Connors, Chief Petty Officer Donald McFaul, Torpedoman's Mate 2nd Class Issac Rodriguez, and Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Chris Tilghman.

Invasion


In the immediate aftermath of the 11 September attacks, Navy SEALs quickly dispatched to Camp Doha
Camp Doha
Camp Doha was the main US Army base in Kuwait, and played a pivotal role in the US military presence in the Middle East since the 1991 Gulf War and in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The complex is located on a small peninsula on Kuwait Bay, west of Kuwait City...

, and those already aboard US Naval vessels in the Persian Gulf and surrounding waters began conducting VBSS operations against ships suspected of having ties to or even carrying al Qaeda operatives. SEAL Teams 3 and 8 also began rotating into Oman from the United States and staging on the island of Masirah
Masirah Island
Masirah is an island off the East coast of Oman, 95 km long north-south, between 12 and 14 km wide, with an area of about 649 km², and a population estimated at 12,000 in 12 villages mainly in the north of the island...

 for operations in Afghanistan. One of the SEALs' immediate concerns was their lack of suitable vehicles to conduct special reconnaissance
Special reconnaissance
Special reconnaissance is conducted by small units of highly trained military personnel, usually from special forces units or military intelligence organisations, who operate behind enemy lines, avoiding direct combat and detection by the enemy. As a role, SR is distinct from commando operations,...

 (SR) missions in the rough, landlocked terrain of Afghanistan. After borrowing and retrofitting Humvees from the Army Rangers also staging on Masirah, the SEALs inserted into Afghanistan to conduct the SR of what would become Camp Rhino
Camp Rhino
Forward operating base Rhino, also known as Camp Rhino, was the first US land base established in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. It was located in the Registan Desert, southwest of Kandahar.-History:...

, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). These early stages of OEF were commanded by a fellow SEAL, Rear Admiral
Rear admiral (United States)
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. The uniformed services of the United States are unique in having two grades of rear admirals.- Rear admiral :...

 Albert Calland
Albert Calland
Vice Admiral Albert M. Calland, III , United States Navy was the Deputy Director for Strategic Operational Planning at the National Counterterrorism Center. He also previously served as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from July 2005 to July 2006...

.
The SR mission in the region of Camp Rhino
Camp Rhino
Forward operating base Rhino, also known as Camp Rhino, was the first US land base established in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. It was located in the Registan Desert, southwest of Kandahar.-History:...

 lasted for four days, after which two United States Air Force Combat Control Teams made a nighttime HALO jump to assist the SEALs in guiding in Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit
15th Marine Expeditionary Unit
The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit is one of seven Marine Expeditionary Units currently in existence in the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Expeditionary Unit is a Marine Air Ground Task Force with a strength of about 2,200 personnel...

 who seized control of the area and established a Forward operating base
Forward Operating Base
A forward operating base is any secured forward military position, commonly a military base, that is used to support tactical operations. A FOB may or may not contain an airfield, hospital, or other facilities. The base may be used for an extended period of time. FOBs are traditionally supported...

. While at Camp Rhino, the CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 passed on intelligence from a predator drone operating in the Paktia province that Taliban Mullah Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa
Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa
Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa is a Taliban official and former governor of Herat, he is currently held in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba....

 was spotted leaving a building by vehicle convoy. SEALs and Danish Jægerkorpset
Jægerkorpset
The Jaeger Corps is the special forces unit of the Royal Danish Army stationed at Aalborg Air Base.-Insignia and status :Jægerkorpset wears the maroon beret with a brass emblem depicting a hunter's bugle on a black felt liner. The beret is issued after completion of an 16 week selection...

 commandos boarded Air Force Pave Low helicopters and seized Khairkhwa on the road less than two hours later. The SEALs continued to perform reconnaissance operations for the Marines until leaving after having spent 45 days on the ground.
Subsequent SEAL operations during the invasion of Afghanistan were conducted within Task Force K-Bar
Task Force K-Bar
Composed of the Special Forces from eight nations, Task Force K-Bar represented one of the first ground assault teams in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan from October 2001 until April 2002....

, a joint special operations unit of Army Special Forces
United States Army Special Forces
The United States Army Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets because of their distinctive service headgear, are a special operations force tasked with six primary missions: unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, hostage rescue, and...

, United States Air Force Special Tactics Teams
Air Force Special Operations Command
Air Force Special Operations Command is the Special Operations component of the United States Air Force and the US Air Force component command to the United States Special Operations Command , a unified command located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida...

, and special operations forces from Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Turkey, under the command of Navy SEAL Captain Robert Harward
Robert Harward
Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, Jr. is a Navy SEAL and the current deputy commander of United States Central Command. He served as the deputy commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command and previously commanded Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435....

. Task Force K-Bar conducted combat operations in the massive cave complexes at Zhawar Kili
Zhawar Kili
Zhawar Kili is the site of a suspected Taliban or al Qaeda base that was bombed in 1998 and 2001.Zhawar Kili is in Khost Province suspected to have been an area where al Qaeda fighters regrouped after the bombardment of Tora Bora....

, the city of Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

 and surrounding territory, the town of Prata Ghar and hundreds of miles of rough terrain in southern and eastern Afghanistan. Over the course of six months Task Force K-Bar killed or captured over 200 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, and destroyed tens of thousands of pounds of weapons and ordnance.

Navy SEALs participated extensively in Operation Anaconda
Operation Anaconda
Operation Anaconda took place in early March 2002 in which the United States military and CIA Paramilitary Officers, working with allied Afghan military forces, and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization and non NATO forces attempted to destroy al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in the Shahi-Kot...

. During insertion, AB1 Neil Roberts was thrown from his helicopter when it took fire from entrenched al Qaeda fighters. Roberts was eventually killed after engaging and fighting dozens of enemies for almost an hour. Several SEALs were wounded in a rescue attempt and their Air Force Combat Controller, Technical Sergeant John Chapman, was killed. Attempts to rescue the stranded SEAL also led to the deaths of several US Army Rangers and an Air Force Pararescueman acting as a Quick Reaction Force.

SEALs were present at the Battle of Qala-i-Jangi
Battle of Qala-i-Jangi
The Battle of Qala-i-Jangi took place between November 25 and December 1, 2001, in Northern Afghanistan. It began with the uprising of foreign Taliban prisoners held at Qala-i-Jangi fortress, and escalated into one of the bloodiest engagements of the War in Afghanistan...

 alongside their counterparts from the British Special Boat Service
Special Boat Service
The Special Boat Service is the special forces unit of the British Royal Navy. Together with the Special Air Service, Special Reconnaissance Regiment and the Special Forces Support Group they form the United Kingdom Special Forces and come under joint control of the same Director Special...

. Chief Petty Officer Stephen Bass was awarded the Navy Cross
Navy Cross
The Navy Cross is the highest decoration that may be bestowed by the Department of the Navy and the second highest decoration given for valor. It is normally only awarded to members of the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Coast Guard, but can be awarded to all...

 for his actions during the battle.

Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy
Michael P. Murphy
Michael Patrick Murphy was a United States Navy SEAL posthumously awarded the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in 2005 during the War in Afghanistan. He was the first person to be awarded the medal for actions in Afghanistan; and the first member of...

 was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor after his four-man counterinsurgency team was almost wiped out during Operation Red Wing
Operation Red Wing
Operation Red Wings was a failed counter-insurgent mission in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, involving four members of the United States Navy SEALs, which took place on June 28, 2005....

 in June 2005.

The SEALs are also known for executing the notorious mission that assasinated Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in April 2011.

Al Faw and Iraqi oil infrastructure


Several days before the beginning of the invasion of Iraq two SDV teams were launched from Mark V Special Operations Craft in the Persian Gulf. Their objectives were the hydrographic reconnaissance
Hydrographic survey
Hydrographic survey is the science of measurement and description of features which affect maritime navigation, marine construction, dredging, offshore oil exploration/drilling and related disciplines. Strong emphasis is placed on soundings, shorelines, tides, currents, sea floor and submerged...

 of the Al Basrah (MABOT) and Khawr Al Amaya (KAAOT) Oil Terminals. After swimming under the terminals and securing their Mark 8 mod 1s
SEAL Delivery Vehicle
The SEAL Delivery Vehicle or is a manned submersible and a type of Swimmer Delivery Vehicle used to deliver United States Navy SEALs and their equipment for special operations missions....

 the SDV SEALs spent several hours taking pictures and surveying Iraqi activity on both platforms before returning to their boats.

On 20 March 2003 the Navy SEALs launched what is the largest single SEAL operation in history from US Naval vessels, Ras al-Qulayah Naval Base and Ali Al Salem Air Base
Ali Al Salem Air Base
Ali Al Salem Air Base is a military airbase situated in Kuwait, approximately 23 miles from the Iraqi border. The airfield is owned by the Government of Kuwait, and during Operation Southern Watch and Operation Telic / Operation Iraqi Freedom hosted Royal Air Force , United States Air Force and...

 in Kuwait as part of a mixed force of US Navy SEALs, Polish GROM
GROM
GROM is one of five special forces units of the Polish Armed Forces. It was officially activated on July 8, 1990...

 and British Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

. Their targets were not only the ABOT and KAAOT platforms but their respective onshore petroleum pumping locks and the Al Faw port and refinery. Each force was to be inserted via helicopter or boat on the perimeter of the targets and then assault the main facilities. The first attacks occurred at the pumping locks for each offshore terminal. At MABOT's pumping lock the team's landing zone was covered in concertina wire
Concertina wire
Concertina wire or Dannert Wire is a type of barbed wire or razor wire that is formed in large coils which can be expanded like a concertina. In conjunction with plain barbed wire and steel pickets, it is used to form military wire obstacles....

 that was unreported by their intelligence and so the SEALs and Royal Marines were forced to hover several feet off the ground. The Royal Marines, led by a Provost Sergeant, were the first off the helicopter followed by the SEALs and all immediately became entangled in the obstacles. In this exposed position the SEALs and Marines began taking fire from the platform's garrison. The landing at the KAAOT pumping lock ran into similar problems with their landing zone but both teams at both locations regrouped and successfully assaulted the pumping locks taking the main buildings and several occupied bunkers. After securing the facility an Iraqi armored vehicle approached the SEALs' position. Their embedded Air Force Combat Controller coordinated with an Air Force A-10 and destroyed the vehicle. In total five Iraqis were killed and sixteen captured.

The assault on the offshore platforms were carried out by SWCC manned rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB) carrying the SEALs and SWCC manned Mk Vs carrying the GROM. The SEALs were assigned MABOT and GROM the KAAOT. Two days before the launch of the operation the Iraqis replaced the MABOT garrison with elite Republican Guard troops
Iraqi Republican Guard
The Iraqi Republican Guard was a branch of the Iraqi military during the presidency of Saddam Hussein. It later became the Republican Guard Corps, and then the Republican Guard Forces Command with its expansion into two corps....

. With this last minute change in opposition in mind, and the added fear of the Republican Guard blowing up the platforms upon attack, the SEALs decided to change their plan to quickly take out all opposition before physically securing MABOT. Once the SEALs assaulted MABOT via RHIB the Republican Guard forces immediately began to surrender. The GROM on KAAOT encountered the same unwillingness by the Iraqis to fight allowing both platforms to be taken with no deaths. Subsequent inspection on MABOT showed that the Iraqi forces had not primed their explosives having been unwilling to destroy the facility.
The assault on the Iraqi positions on the Al Faw peninsula consisted of a DPV
Desert Patrol Vehicle
The Desert Patrol Vehicle , formerly called the Fast Attack Vehicle , is a high-speed, lightly armored sandrail-like vehicle first used in combat during the Gulf War in 1991. Due to their dash speed and off-road mobility, the DPVs were used extensively during Operation Desert Storm. The first U.S...

 mounted SEAL force at the refinery and port with a larger force of US Marines from the 5th Regimental Combat Team of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force
1st Marine Expeditionary Force
The I Marine Expeditionary Force is a Marine Air Ground Task Force of the United States Marine Corps primarily composed of the 1st Marine Division, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and 1st Marine Logistics Group...

 attacking Iraqi positions farther north in the Rumaila oil fields
Rumaila Field
The Rumaila oil field is a giant oil field located in southern Iraq, approximately from the Kuwaiti border. The dispute between Iraq and Kuwait over allegedly slant-drilling in the field was one of reasons for Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. This field was discovered by British Petroleum in...

. Before the operation the SEALs raised objections that the ground looked unsuitable for DPV use but the faulty intelligence was assured by their attached intelligence liaison that the land on Al Faw would be hardpack. The teams went ahead and landed with their DPVs straight off the helicopters but their fears were confirmed when the oil soaked and muddy ground on the peninsula rendered their underpowered, rear wheel drive vehicles useless. Now on foot and surrounded by approximately 300 entrenched Iraqi soldiers and armored vehicles the SEALs relied on their Combat Controller to call in air strikes. In coordination with close air support the SEALs swept the entire facility on foot fighting through enemy positions until day break when they were relieved by the 42 Commando
42 Commando
42 Commando Royal Marines is a battalion sized formation of the British Royal Marines and a subordinate unit within 3 Commando Brigade, the principal Commando formation, under the Operational Command of Commander in Chief Fleet....

 of the British Royal Marines. In total several hundred Iraqis were killed, 100 captured and all the armored vehicles destroyed.

Mukarayin Dam


Coalition military planners were concerned that retreating Iraqi forces would destroy the Mukatayin hydroelectric dam northeast of Baghdad in an attempt to slow advancing US troops. In addition to restricting the maneuver of Coalition forces, the destruction of the dam would deny critical power needs to the surrounding area as well as cause massive flooding and loss of Iraqi civilian life. A mixed SEAL/GROM force was called in to seize the dam. This force was flown several hours by US Air Force MH-53 Pave Lows to the dam. The SEALs employed DPVs into blocking positions to defend against counter-attack and roving bands of Iranian bandits that had been crossing the border and raiding Iraqi towns. As in Al Faw the SEALs found their DPVs to be ineffective and this marked the last time they would employ them in Iraq.

The SEALs and GROM on foot fast-roped out of their helicopters and immediately stormed the dam. The minimal Iraqi security forces on site surrendered, and with the exception of a GROM operator who broke an ankle during the insertion, the operation went off with no casualties. After several hours of searching the dam for remaining hostile forces or any explosives, the SEALs fully secured the dam and were later relieved by advancing elements of the US Army.

Somali Pirates


On 12 April 2009, in response to a hostage-taking incident off of the coast of Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 by Somalian pirates, three Navy SEALs from DEVGRU simultaneously engaged and killed the three pirates who were closely holding the hostage, Captain Richard Phillips, of the freighter ship, the Maersk Alabama. The pirates and their hostage were being towed in a lifeboat approximately 100 yards behind the USS Bainbridge (DDG-96)
USS Bainbridge (DDG-96)
USS Bainbridge is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer in the United States Navy. She is the fifth ship to carry that name, and the 46th destroyer of a planned 62-ship class...

, when the three pirates were killed by three DEVGRU snipers with single shots to each of their heads.

Abbottabad, Pakistan (Death of Osama bin Laden)


In the early morning of 2 May 2011 local time
Pakistan Standard Time
Pakistan Time is the time zone for Pakistan. It is 5 hours ahead of GMT/UTC .The only tz database zone is Asia/Karachi.-History:The current Pakistan time was set up at midnight between 29 September and 30 1951...

, a team of 40 CIA-led Navy SEALs from DEVGRU, 24 on the ground, successfully completed an operation to kill Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 in Abbottabad
Abbottabad
Abbottabad is a city located in the Hazara region of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in Pakistan. The city is situated in the Orash Valley, northeast of the capital Islamabad and east of Peshawar at an altitude of and is the capital of the Abbottabad District...

, Pakistan about 35 miles (56.3 km) from Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

, the country's capital. The Navy SEALs were part of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group
United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group , commonly known as DEVGRU and informally by its former name SEAL Team Six , is one of the United States' four secretive counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units .The vast majority of information about DEVGRU is highly classified, and...

, previously called "Team 6". President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 later confirmed the death of bin Laden, but did not directly mention the involvement of DEVGRU, saying only that a "small team" of Americans undertook the operation to bring down bin Laden. The unprecedented media coverage raised the public profile of the SEAL community, particularly the counter-terrorism specialists commonly known as SEAL Team 6. The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company is the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue. Founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into...

 tried unsuccessfully to trademark the name "SEAL Team 6" the day after the raid.

Wardak Province Helicopter Crash



On 6 August 2011, 17 Navy SEALs, were killed when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down by an RPG fired by Taliban Soldiers. The SEALs were en route to support Army Rangers who were taking fire while attempting to capture a senior Taliban leader in the Tangi Valley. Fifteen were SEALs belonging to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group
United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group , commonly known as DEVGRU and informally by its former name SEAL Team Six , is one of the United States' four secretive counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units .The vast majority of information about DEVGRU is highly classified, and...

. Two others were SEALs assigned to a regular naval special warfare unit. Eight other Americans and eight Afghans were also killed in the crash.

Training


SEAL training is very rigorous, having a reputation as some of the toughest anywhere in the world. The drop out rate for BUDs classes are sometimes over 90 percent. The average Navy SEAL spends over a year in a series of formal training environments before being awarded the Special Warfare Operator Naval Rating and the Navy Enlisted Classification
Navy Enlisted Classification
The Navy Enlisted Classification system supplements the rating designators for enlisted members of the United States Navy. A naval rating and NEC designator are similar to the Military Occupational Specialty designators used in the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps and the Air Force Specialty Code ...

 (NEC) 5326 Combatant Swimmer (SEAL) or, in the case of commissioned naval officers, the designation Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) Officer.

All Navy SEALs must attend and graduate from their rating's 24-week "A" United States Navy SEAL selection and training
United States Navy SEAL selection and training
The average United States Navy SEAL spends over a year in a series of formal training environments before being awarded the Special Warfare Operator Naval Rating and the Navy Enlisted Classification 5326 Combatant Swimmer or, in the case of commissioned naval officers, the designation Naval...


course known as Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) school and then the 28-week SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) program. SQT qualifies all BUD/S graduates in basic SEAL skillsets in MAROPS, Combat Swimmer, Communications, TCCC, Close Quarters Combat, Land Warfare, Staticline/Freefall Parachute Operations, SERE
SERE
SERE is a military acronym for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape, a program that provides military personnel, Department of Defense civilians and private military contractors with training in evading capture, survival skills and the military code of conduct...

 and Combatives
Combatives
Combatives is a United States Army term for hand-to-hand combat training and techniques.-History:Militaries have long taught unarmed combat, both as physical conditioning and as a supplement to armed combat. Among the samurai of Japan, such combatives were known as Bujutsu...

. All sailors entering the SEAL training pipeline with the Navy Hospital Corpsman rating or those chosen by Naval Special Warfare Command must also attend the 26 week Special Operations Combat Medic course and subsequently earn the NEC SO-5392 Naval Special Warfare Medic before joining an operational Team. Once outside the formal schooling environment SEALs entering a new Team at the beginning of an operational rotation can expect 18 months of Professional Development/Schools (PRODEV) and Troop unit level training (ULT) before each 6-month deployment. In total, from the time a prospective SEAL enters military service to the time he finishes his first predeployment training cycle, it can take as much as 30 months to completely train a Navy SEAL for his first deployment.

Navy SEAL Teams and structures


Naval Special Warfare Groups


Naval Special Warfare Command is organized into the following configuration:
  • Naval Special Warfare Group 1: SEAL Teams 1, 3, 5, 7
  • Naval Special Warfare Group 2: SEAL Teams 2, 4, 8, 10
  • Naval Special Warfare Group 3: SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1
  • Naval Special Warfare Group 4: Special Boat Teams 12, 20, 22
  • Naval Special Warfare Group 11: SEAL Teams 17, 18 (formerly Operational Support Teams 1, 2)


The total number of Navy SEALs assigned to Naval Special Warfare Command is approximately 2,000 out of a total staffing of 6,500. About half of the SEAL contingent are based at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base
Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
The Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek is the major operating base for the Amphibious Forces in the United States Navy's Atlantic Fleet. The base comprises four locations in three states, including almost 12,000 acres of real estate. Its Little Creek location in Virginia Beach, Virginia totals...

 and Dam Neck Annex in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

. Most of the remainder are headquartered at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado
Naval Amphibious Base Coronado
Naval Amphibious Base Coronado is a naval installation located across the bay from San Diego, CA. The base, situated on Silver Strand, between the San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean, is a major Navy shore command, supporting over 30 tenant commands, and is the West Coast focal point for special...

, California or with SDVT-1 in Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

, Hawaii.

SEAL Teams


SEAL Teams are organized into two groups: Naval Special Warfare Group One (West Coast), and Naval Special Warfare Group Two (East Coast), which come under the command of Naval Special Warfare Command
United States Naval Special Warfare Command
The United States Naval Special Warfare Command was commissioned on April 16, 1987, at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in San Diego, California...

, stationed at NAB Coronado, California. As of 2006, there are eight confirmed Navy SEAL Teams. The original SEAL Teams in the Vietnam War were separated between West Coast (Team ONE) and East Coast (Team TWO) SEALs. The current SEAL Team deployments include Teams 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 10.
The military team that killed Osama Bin Laden is an elite special forces group unofficially called Seal Team 6. Officially, the team's name is classified and not available to the public, technically there is no team 6. A Tier-One counter-terrorism force similar to the Army's elusive Delta group, Team 6's mission rarely make it to paper much less the newspaper. It shows how important the publicity about Bin Laden's killing is to the U.S. that this morning, Team 6 is front-page news.

The members of Team 6 are all "black" operatives. They exist outside military protocol, engage in operations that are at the highest level of classification and often outside the boundaries of international law. To maintain plausible deniability in case they are caught, records of black operations are rarely, if ever, kept. The development of SEAL Team 6 was in direct response to the 1980 attempt to rescue the American hostages held in Iran. The mission was a terrific failure that fell apart at many points and illustrated the need for a dedicated counter-terrorist team capable of operating with the utmost secrecy. The Team was labeled 6 at the time to confuse Soviet intelligence about the number of SEAL teams in operation at the time. There were only two others.

Team 6 poached the top operatives from other SEAL units and trained them even more intensely from there. Even among proven SEALs the attrition rate for Team 6 is reported to be nearly half. There are no names available for current Team 6 members, but the CIA does recruit heavily from their numbers for their Special Operations Group, so it makes sense that they were chosen to work with the CIA on this mission. Team 6 is normally devoted to missions with maritime authority: ship rescues, oil rigs, naval bases or land bases accessible by water. There are no waterways near Bin Laden's compound. When a former Navy SEAL was called for a comment about this article all he could say was: "You know I'd love to help you man, but I can't say a word about Team 6. There is no Team 6."
The Teams deploy as Naval Special Warfare Squadrons or Special Operations Task Forces and can deploy anywhere in the world. Squadrons will normally be deployed and fall under a Joint Task Force (JTF) or a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF) as a Special Operations Task Force (SOTF).


Each SEAL Team is commanded by a Navy Commander
Commander
Commander is a naval rank which is also sometimes used as a military title depending on the individual customs of a given military service. Commander is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the armed forces, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Commander as a naval...

 (O-5), and has a number of operational SEAL platoons and a headquarters element.

A SEAL Team has a Staff Headquarters element and three 40-man Troops. Each Troop consist of a Headquarters element consisting of a Troop Commander (O-4), a Troop Senior Enlisted (E-8), a Targeting/Operations Officer (O-2/3) and a Targeting/Operations Leading/Chief Petty Officer (E-6/7). Under the HQ element are two SEAL platoons of 16–20 men (two officers, 14–16 enlisted SEALs and sometimes two enlisted EOD Operators making a platoon of 18–20); a company-sized Combat Service Support (CSS) and/or Combat Support (CS) consisting of staff N-codes (the Army and Marine Corps use S-codes); N1 Administrative support, N2 Intelligence, N3 Operations, N4 Logistics, N5 Plans and Targeting, N6 Communications, N7 Training, and N8 Air/Medical.

Each Troop can be easily task organized into four squads or eight 4–5 man fire teams for operational purposes. The size of each SEAL “Team” with Troops and support staff is approximately 300 personnel. The typical SEAL platoon has an OIC (Officer in Charge, usually an O-3), an AOIC (Assistant Officer in Charge, usually an O-2), a platoon chief (E-7), an Operations NCO/LPO (Leading Petty Officer, E-6) and other operators E-4 to E-6. The core leadership in the Troop and Platoon are the Commander/OIC and the Senior Enlisted NCO (Senior Chief/Chief).

Troop core skills consist of: Sniper, Breacher, Communicator, Maritime/Engineering, Close Air Support, Corpsman, Point-man/Navigator, Primary Driver/Navigator (Rural/Urban/Protective Security), Heavy Weapons Operator, Sensitive Site Exploitation, Air Operations Master, Lead Climber, Lead Diver/Navigator, Interrogator, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Technical Surveillance, and Advanced Special Operations.

Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
The Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek is the major operating base for the Amphibious Forces in the United States Navy's Atlantic Fleet. The base comprises four locations in three states, including almost 12,000 acres of real estate. Its Little Creek location in Virginia Beach, Virginia totals...

, a naval base
Naval base
A naval base is a military base, where warships and naval ships are deployed when they have no mission at sea or want to restock. Usually ships may also perform some minor repairs. Some naval bases are temporary homes to aircraft that usually stay on the ships but are undergoing maintenance while...

 in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay...

, is home to SEAL Teams 2, 4, 8, and 10. Naval Amphibious Base Coronado
Naval Amphibious Base Coronado
Naval Amphibious Base Coronado is a naval installation located across the bay from San Diego, CA. The base, situated on Silver Strand, between the San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean, is a major Navy shore command, supporting over 30 tenant commands, and is the West Coast focal point for special...

, a naval base in Coronado, California
Coronado, California
Coronado, also known as Coronado Island, is an affluent resort city located in San Diego County, California, 5.2 miles from downtown San Diego. Its population was 24,697 at the 2010 census, up from 24,100 at the 2000 census. U.S. News and World Report lists Coronado as one of the most expensive...

, is home to SEAL Teams 1, 3, 5, and 7. There is also a SEAL Delivery Vehicle
SEAL Delivery Vehicle
The SEAL Delivery Vehicle or is a manned submersible and a type of Swimmer Delivery Vehicle used to deliver United States Navy SEALs and their equipment for special operations missions....

 (SDV) unit, SDVT-1, located in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. SDVT-2 was based in Virginia; it was disestablished and merged into SDVT-1. SDV Teams are SEAL teams with an added underwater delivery capability. An SDV platoon
Platoon
A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two to four sections or squads and containing 16 to 50 soldiers. Platoons are organized into a company, which typically consists of three, four or five platoons. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer—the...

 consists of 12–15 SEALs.
InsigniaTeamDeployment Number of PlatoonsHQNotes
|SEAL Team 1 Worldwide 6 Platoons Coronado, California
Coronado, California
Coronado, also known as Coronado Island, is an affluent resort city located in San Diego County, California, 5.2 miles from downtown San Diego. Its population was 24,697 at the 2010 census, up from 24,100 at the 2000 census. U.S. News and World Report lists Coronado as one of the most expensive...

|SEAL Team 2 Worldwide 6 Platoons Little Creek, Virginia SEAL Team 2 is the only SEAL Team that has arctic warfare capabilities
|SEAL Team 3 Worldwide 6 Platoons Coronado, California
|SEAL Team 4 Worldwide 6 Platoons Little Creek, Virginia SEAL Team 4 is the only SEAL Team with a viable standing language capability, which is Spanish.
|SEAL Team 5 Worldwide 6 Platoons Coronado, California
United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group , commonly known as DEVGRU and informally by its former name SEAL Team Six , is one of the United States' four secretive counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units .The vast majority of information about DEVGRU is highly classified, and...

Worldwide Classified Dam Neck, Virginia SEAL Team 6 was dissolved in 1987. The operators of SEAL Team Six established the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group , commonly known as DEVGRU and informally by its former name SEAL Team Six , is one of the United States' four secretive counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units .The vast majority of information about DEVGRU is highly classified, and...

, also known as DEVGRU. While DEVGRU is administratively supported by Naval Special Warfare Command
United States Naval Special Warfare Command
The United States Naval Special Warfare Command was commissioned on April 16, 1987, at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in San Diego, California...

, they are operationally under the command of the Joint Special Operations Command.
|SEAL Team 7 Worldwide 6 Platoons Coronado, California
|SEAL Team 8 Worldwide 6 Platoons Little Creek, Virginia
|SEAL Team 10 Worldwide 6 Platoons Little Creek, Virginia
SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One |Worldwide 4 Platoons Pearl Harbor, Hawai'i
Dets in:
Little Creek, Virginia
San Diego, California
SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two Worldwide 4 Platoons Little Creek, Virginia Merged with SDVT-1

United States Navy Parachute Team "Leap Frogs"


The primary mission of the Navy Parachute Team (NPT) is to support Naval Special Warfare recruiting by gaining access and exposure to appropriate candidates through aerial parachuting demonstrations.
The U.S. Navy Parachute Team is a fifteen-man team comprised entirely of U.S. Navy SEAL and SWCC commandos. Each member comes to the team for a three-year tour from one of the two Naval Special Warfare Groups located on the east and west coasts. On completion of the tour, members return to operational units.
The parachute team began in 1969 when Navy SEALs and Frogmen volunteered to perform at weekend air shows. The team was officially commissioned as the U.S. Navy Parachute Team in 1974 by the Chief of Naval Operations and assigned the mission of demonstrating Navy excellence throughout the United States.

A typical Leap Frogs performance consists of fourteen jumpers leaping out of an aircraft at an altitude of 12,500 feet. After freefalling sometimes using smoke or streamers, the Leap Frogs fly their canopies together to build canopy-relative work formations. After performances, the Leap Frogs make themselves available to the public to answer questions about the Navy and the Naval Special Warfare community, as well as to sign autographs.

Women as Navy SEALs


Women are not currently allowed to become Navy SEALs; this is the only Navy position closed to women. However, Admiral Eric T. Olson
Eric T. Olson
Eric Thor Olson is a retired United States Navy admiral who last served as the eighth Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command from July 2, 2007 to August 8, 2011. He previously served as Deputy Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command from 2003 to July 2007...

, a former SEAL and then-commander of United States Special Operations Command
United States Special Operations Command
The United States Special Operations Command is the Unified Combatant Command charged with overseeing the various Special Operations Commands of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps of the United States Armed Forces. The command is part of the Department of Defense...

, suggested in July 2011 that he believes women should serve as SEALs in combat roles, noting that physical strength was not the sole quality important in a SEAL; Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus
Ray Mabus
Raymond Edwin "Ray" Mabus, Jr. is the 75th United States Secretary of the Navy. Mabus served as the 60th Governor of the U.S...

 also did not rule out the idea of a woman becoming a SEAL, observing that while women cannot serve in combat roles, many work in auxiliary roles with Special Ops forces. Such roles include Cultural Support Teams, teams of two to four women troops which can gain access to and information from local women in conservative societies.

National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum and Memorial



The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum, in Fort Pierce, Florida
Fort Pierce, Florida
Fort Pierce, also spelled Ft. Pierce, is a city in St. Lucie County, Florida, USA. It is known as The Sunrise City. The population was 37,959 at the 2004 census. As of 2008, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 41,000. It is the county seat of St. Lucie County.Fort Pierce is part...

, was recognized as a National Museum by an act of Congress and is dedicated to preserving the history of the Navy SEALs and their predecessors. The SEAL Museum stands on the training site of the first Navy frogmen. There through World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, thousands of service members were trained as members of Naval Combat Demolition Units and Underwater Demolition Teams. The Museum houses rare historic artifacts from the founding of the UDT to present day, including weapons, vehicles, equipment, and most recently added, the Alabama Maersk
MV Maersk Alabama
MV Maersk Alabama is a container ship owned by Maersk Line Limited and operated by Waterman Steamship Corporation....

 lifeboat aboard which Somali pirates
Piracy in Somalia
Piracy off the coast of Somalia has been a threat to international shipping since the second phase of the Somali Civil War in the early 21st century...

 held Captain Richard Phillips hostage.

See also


  • List of Navy SEALs
  • Red Cell
    Red Cell
    Red Teams or Red Cells are U.S. government parlance for teams or units designed to test the effectiveness of U.S. tactics or personnel. "Red Cell" was purported to be a U.S. Navy SEAL team which had been organized to attempt to infiltrate and otherwise test the security of U.S...

  • SEAL Delivery Vehicle
    SEAL Delivery Vehicle
    The SEAL Delivery Vehicle or is a manned submersible and a type of Swimmer Delivery Vehicle used to deliver United States Navy SEALs and their equipment for special operations missions....



  • Underwater Demolition Team
    Underwater Demolition Team
    The Underwater Demolition Teams were an elite special-purpose force established by the United States Navy during World War II. They also served during the Korean War and the Vietnam War...

  • United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
    United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
    The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group , commonly known as DEVGRU and informally by its former name SEAL Team Six , is one of the United States' four secretive counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units .The vast majority of information about DEVGRU is highly classified, and...

  • United States Navy SEALs in fiction
    United States Navy SEALs in fiction
    This is a list of occurrences of United States Navy SEALs in fiction.-Games:*SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs series*Counter-Strike Series, features DEVGRU...



Further reading

  • Bosiljevac, T.L. SEALs: UDT/SEAL Operations in Vietnam. Ballantine Books, 1990. (ISBN 0-8041-0722-X)
  • Bosiljevac, T.L. SEAL Team Roll-Back. Avon Books, 1999. (ISBN 0-380-78714-8)
  • Bahmanyar, Mir. US Navy SEALs. Osprey Publishing, 2005. (ISBN 1-84176-807-3)
  • Bahmanyar, Mir with Chris Osman. SEALs The US Navy's Elite Fighting Force. Osprey Publishing, 2008. (ISBN 1-84603-226-1)
  • Couch, Dick. The Sheriff of Ramadi: Navy SEALs and the Winning of al-Anba. U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2008. (ISBN 1591141389)
  • Couch, Dick. The Warrior Elite. The Forging of SEAL Class 228. Three Rivers Press, 2003. (ISBN 1400046955)
  • Couch, Dick. The Finishing School. Earning the Navy SEAL Trident. Three Rivers Press, 2004. (ISBN 0-609-81046-4)
  • Couch, Dick. Down Range. Navy SEALs in the War on Terrorism. Three Rivers Press, 2005. (ISBN 1-4000-8101-7)
  • Luttrell, Marcus. Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10. Little, Brown and Company, 2009. (ISBN 0316044695)

External links