For more than eight years now, the United States and its allies have been fighting a war on terror in an effort to flush out Osama bin Laden and destroy the entire Al-Qaeda organization. This war on terror is the response of the Western World to the Al-Qaeda attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 civilians and destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.
The counterattacks of the United States and its allies in this war on terror came mostly in the form of the Operation Enduring Freedom and the Operation Iraqi Freedom, the latter more known simply as the Iraq War. Right in the forefront of these two operations is none other than the elite forces of the US military, the Navy SEALs.
The Navy SEALs in the Operation Enduring Freedom
The Operation Enduring Freedom is an on-going military operation of the United States and its allies that centers mostly on Afghanistan. The goal of the operation was to unseat the Taliban-controlled government of Afghanistan, capture Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and destroy the Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.
In the military missions of the United States in Afghanistan falling under the Operation Enduring Freedom, the Navy SEALs filled in both positions of leadership and of support to other allied units. A SEALs officer took charge of all special operations for Central Command in the invasion of Afghanistan. The SEALs and other Naval Special Warfare forces executed both reconnaissance as well as direct action missions. They were also involved in destroying enemy explosives and weaponry as well as in preventing terrorist elements trying to escape Afghanistan by sea.
The Navy SEALs in the Iraq War
As part of the war on terror, the United States also deployed military forces in Iraq to conduct the Operation Iraqi Freedom, more known as the Iraq War. The invasion and occupation of Iraq saw the largest number of Navy SEALs and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) deployed in a single operation in all the history of the US Naval Special Warfare (NSW).
Just like in any of their missions, the Navy SEALs conducted special reconnaissance and direct action assignments in Iraq. Through the efforts of the Navy SEALs and the other US special forces operating under the banner of the NSW, the forces of the United States were able to secure oil infrastructures and terminals in southern Iraq as well as clear waterways to allow humanitarian aid efforts to come to certain areas of Iraq.
Aside from that, the Navy SEALs were also responsible for capturing enemy targets and for conducting clandestine raids on locations suspected as sites for developing chemical, radiological and biological weapons. The Navy SEALs were also involved in rescuing prisoners of war. Currently, the Navy SEALs and the other NSW forces are still working on missions in Iraq to train counter-terrorist forces and to curtail enemy activity.
The Navy SEALs were formed to address the need for unconventional warfare tactics in any military operations conducted by the United States. This special role is one that the Navy SEALs continue to perform effectively in the United States’ pursuit of the war on terror.
This Article is written by James Kara Murat