The Navy SEAL is US Navy’s elite special operations group that consists of men trained in counter-terrorism and unconventional warfare, Hydrographic reconnaissance, recovery missions, special reconnaissance, and much more. Since the creation of the first US Navy SEAL unit in 1962, they have come a long way in unconventional warfare and special ops. Most of their current missions are related to counter-terrorism. According to a statement issued by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, terrorists are “people who operate in the shadows and we have to deal with them in the shadows”. That’s what SEALs do – fight the terrorists in the shadows. Hence, SEAL teams are sent for secret or confidential missions behind the enemy lines.
But the truth is that SEAL missions and assignments are a national secret and the government can’t talk about them in the public. In January 2002, Torie Clark, a Pentagon spokeswoman said, “We don’t talk about …. details for the most obvious reason: it will put people’s life at risk and it will definitely give the bad guys information of what we are doing”. The fact of the matter is that the less the enemy knows about SEALs, the easier it will be for this special ops unit to do their job. Of course, even then there are certain Navy SEAL assignments that have come to the forefront long after the missions were completed. Here is an insight into some of those missions:
January 2002: SEAL Teams were sent to search and seek out terrorists from the underground tunnels in an Al Qaeda camp in Eastern Afghanistan. Al Qaeda is a terrorist outfit responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US. The SEAL teams were flown into enemy territory by helicopters and they were briefed for a 12-hour operation. Once the SEALs were in the caves they found that each tunnel led to deeper caves. So the 12-hour operation became an 8-day operation and the SEALs had to kill goats, cows, and chicken to survive. They built camps within the tunnels to provide protection from the enemy as well as freezing cold outside. They fought through enemy fire and were able to accomplish the mission objectives by destroying all weapon caches within the tunnels. They also destroyed the tunnels so that they can’t be used again by Al Qaeda and recovered all important terrorist documents from there.
March 2003: Navy SEAL Teams were deployed on March 20 to 2 offshore platforms and their primary target was the Mina Al Bakr Oil Terminal (MABOT). SEAL Teams 8 and 10 carried out this operation with GROM (Polish Commandoes). The target for GROM’s was Khor Al Amaya Oil Terminal (KAAOT). Both SEAL teams carried out the covert reconnaissance operation with the help of SDV support teams and MK-8 mini submersibles. A total of 31 SEALs participated in this operation apart from 2 US Navy EOD specialists. MABOT was successfully captured by the SEAL Teams.
March 2003: SEAL teams along with GROM successfully captured Mukarayin Dam, which is approximately 92km north east of Baghdad. The mission included 20 SEALs, 2 EOD operators, 6 SEAL snipers, 35 GROM, and 2 DPV each with a SEAL element. The SEAL and GROM teams secured the Dam and held it for almost 5 days after which they were relieved by I MEF (1st Marine Amphibious Force).
There are many more missions accomplished successfully by SEAL Teams as a part of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom but most of them will probably remain a secret.
This Article is written by James Kara Murat