What makes a US Navy SEAL so fearless, brave, committed, and selfless? The answer lies in the training!
SEAL Platoon Training
After the successful completion of SQT (SEAL qualification training), the men can rejoice for they get their Tridents but the Navy SEALs training is far from over. The final part of the training is to get assigned to a Platoon after receiving orders to join a SEAL Team. A SEAL can be assigned to any of these teams: SEAL Team One to Eight or Ten.
The SEAL Platoons are joined by new operators or SEALs as and when their training is completed or anytime during their deployment cycle. There is a pre-deployment work up for each newly assigned SEAL member and it consists of a 12-18 month cycle that can be broadly divided into 3-phases.
Phase-I: this pre-deployment work-up is known as the Professional Development Phase (PRODEV). This phase can last from 1 to several months, as Navy SEALs operators are made to attend different types of courses administered for PRODEV. The salient point of attending these courses is that the acquired qualifications as well as designations allow a SEAL platoon to perform as a single operational combat team. Some of the skills that are acquired during PRODEV include:
1. Sniper: LRTI (Long Range Target Interdiction) / SOTIC (Special Operations Target Interdiction Course) – Sniper School
2. Surreptitious Entry: Electronic and Mechanical Bypass
3. Assault Breacher Training: Methods of Entry / Barrier Penetration
4. Technical Surveillance Operations
5. Advanced Driving Skills: Rural/Urban/Security
6. Advanced Weapons Training
7. Vertical Assaults: Rope Skills / Advanced Climbing
8. Diving Maintenance-Repair and Diving Supervisor
9. Advanced Air Operations: HALO/HAHO
10. Range Safety Officer: Land Warfare, CQC, Indirect Fire, Laser, Mobility, etc
11. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operator
Phase-2: this pre-deployment work up is known as ULT or Unit Level Training. Unit Level Training is basically a 6-month standardized training program provided by the respective SEAL Group Training Detachments, which is NSWG1 (Naval Special Warfare Group One) or NSWG2 (Naval Special Warfare Group Two). NSWG1 is based in Coronado, California and NSWG2 is based in Little Creek, VA.
This is where the SEAL platoons undergo focused training in core mission areas like Land Warfare, Small Unit Tactics, Close Quarters Combat, Hostile Maritime Interdiction (VBSS/GOPLATS), Urban Warfare (SOUC), Combat Swimmer, Special Reconnaissance, Rotary and Fixed Wing Air Operations, Long Range Target Interdiction, and Maritime Operations.
Phase-3: this pre-deployment work up is known as SIT or Squadron Integration Training. This is a 6-month course where 6 SEAL platoons participate in advanced training. Most of the training revolves around the SEAL platoons working with other SEAL or Naval attachments in a Squadron like Medical Teams, Special Boat Squadrons, EOD, Intelligence teams, Clandestine HUMINT Teams, Interpreters, Cryptological Support Teams, and more. At the end of the course, a Certification Exercise is carried out and all SEAL Platoons synchronize their operations with the other SEAL or Naval attachments under a Task Group umbrella. This Certification Exercise is known as CERTEX and once a SEAL Team clears it they become a part of the SEAL Squadron and are ready for deployment.
This Article is written by James Kara Murat