Navy SEALs Brief History – How It All Started (Part 2)

Posted July 28th, 2009 by Navy SEAL

Responding to President Kennedy’s desire for the Services to develop an Unconventional Warfare (UW) capability, the U.S. Navy established SEAL Teams ONE and TWO in January of 1962. Formed entirely with personnel from Underwater Demolition Teams, the SEALs mission was to conduct counter guerilla warfare and clandestine operations in maritime and riverine environments.

SEAL involvement in Vietnam began immediately and was advisory in nature. SEAL advisors instructed the Vietnamese in clandestine maritime operations. SEALs also began a UDT style training course for the Biet Hai Commandos, the Junk Force Commando platoons, in Danang. In February 1966, a small SEAL Team ONE detachment arrived in Vietnam to conduct direct-action missions.

Navy

On May 1, 1983, all UDTs were redesignated as SEAL Teams or Swimmer Delivery Vehicle Teams (SDVT). SDVTs have since been redesignated SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams.

Special Boat Units can also trace their history back to WWII. The Patrol Coastal and Patrol Boat Torpedo are the ancestors of today’s PC and MKV. Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron THREE rescued General MacArthur (and later the Filipino President) from the Philippines after the Japanese invasion and then participated in guerrilla actions until American resistance ended with the fall of Corregidor.

SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams historical roots began during WWII, however with Italian and British combat swimmers and wet submersibles. Naval Special Warfare entered the submersible field in the 1960’s when the Coastal Systems Center developed the Mark 7, a free-flooding SDV of the type used today, and the first SDV to be used in the fleet. The Mark 8 and 9 followed in the late 1970’s. Today’s Mark 8 Mod 1 and the soon to be accepted for fleet use Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS), a dry submersible, provide NSW with an unprecedented capability that combines the attributes of clandestine underwater mobility and the combat swimmer.

In response to the attacks on America Sept. 11, 2001, Naval Special Warfare forces put operators on the ground in Afghanistan in October. The first military flag officer to set foot in Afghanistan was a Navy SEAL in charge of all special operations for Central Command. Additionally, a Navy SEAL captain commanded Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF) South. Commonly referred to as Task Force K-BAR, the task force included U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force and Coalition SOF forces. During Operation Enduring Freedom, NSW forces carried out more than 75 special reconnaissance and direct action missions, destroying more than 500,000 pounds of explosives and weapons; positively identifying enemy personnel and conducting Leadership Interdiction Operations in the search for terrorists trying to escape by sea-going vessels.

Naval Special Warfare has played a significant role in Operation Iraqi Freedom, employing the largest number of SEALs and SWCC in its history. NSW forces were instrumental in numerous special reconnaissance and direct action missions including the securing of the southern oil infrastructures of the Al Faw peninsula and the off-shore gas and oil terminals; the clearing of the Khawr Abd Allah and Khawr Az Zubayr waterways that enabled humanitarian aid to be delivered to the vital port city of Umm Qasr; reconnaissance of the Shat Al Arab waterway; capture of high value targets, raids on suspected chemical, biological and radiological sites; and the first POW rescue since WWII. Additionally, NSW is also fighting the war on terrorism in other global hot spots including the Philippines and the Horn of Africa.

NSW is committed to combating the global terrorist threats. In addition to being experts in special reconnaissance and direct action missions, the skill sets needed to combat terrorism; NSW is postured to fight a dispersed enemy on their turf. NSW forces can operate from forward-deployed Navy ships, submarines and aviation mobility platforms as well as overseas bases and its own overseas units.

Resources: Compiled from mainly sealchallenge.navy.mil and wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Navy_SEALs

This Article is written by James Kara Murat


2 Responses to “Navy SEALs Brief History – How It All Started (Part 2)”

  1. apryl swafford

    I am looking for information on a seal named carl webb jr. he has recently passed away and we are wanting to hold a memorial service on sept 25 in his honor but am looking for all of his past history

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