Most of us are aware that the US Navy SEALs are the elite of the elite when it comes to the military forces of the United States. They are known for their bravery, courage and decisive delivery when it comes to strategic military operations.
The strength of the Navy SEALs lies not just in the fact that they are highly trained and highly skilled for their dangerous missions, but also in the fact that they excel in teamwork and are backed up by strong support teams. One such support team is the US Navy’s Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen or SWCC.
The SWCC is responsible for operating and maintaining the high-tech and high performance boats used during Navy SEAL missions. It is a role that the SWCC has fulfilled since the Second World War.
The Origins of the SWCC
Officially, the SWCC began its operations in 1965. Its commission was part of the Navy’s response to the call of then-President John F. Kennedy for the military forces of the United States to form special troops that will engage in unconventional warfare. The Navy SEALs were also formed because of this call.
Still, it is often argued that the beginnings of the SWCC can be traced before this call, specifically to the time of the Second World War. After all, the Navy deployed patrol boat teams in their operations in the Asia-Pacific region during this time.
A predecessor of the Special Boat Team, the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three, figured prominently in the rescue of General Douglas MacArthur and then-Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon from the Philippines after the archipelago was invaded by Japan. Special boat patrols were also used in operations in the European front during World War II.
The SWCC During and After the Vietnam War
It was recognized during the Vietnam War that, given the kind of tropical environment that Vietnam has, it was necessary to deploy forces trained in tactics suitable for riverine operations to support the newly formed Navy SEALs. Among these groups that the US Navy created are the Boat Support Units, which operated high-speed craft as part of the support given to Navy SEALs operating on missions in Vietnam.
After the Vietnam War, the Naval Special Warfare groups were reorganized and were regrouped as the SWCC. The Underwater Demolition Teams, which saw action since the Second World War, were retired. On the other hand, the SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams were commissioned and the remaining Boat Support Unit was renamed Special Boat Unit.
The SWCC became integral parts of future military operations launched by the United States after the Vietnam War. The Navy SEALs and the SWCC participated in the Operation Desert Storm during the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991. They were also sent on missions to Haiti, Liberia, Bosnia and Somalia.
The SWCC and the Navy SEALs also took part in the missions to Afghanistan and Iraq following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. They play a special role in the American efforts to fight against groups that sow terror across the world.
This Article is written by James Kara Murat