Navy Logistics Specialist Bibliography Maker


March 2018 Regular Exam

Gunner’s Mate (GM)

E-4 Bibliography (Bib)

Effective October 2017


Occupational References 



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TM 9-1005-213-10 (1-2016), MACHINE GUN, 50; BROWNING M2, HEAVY BARREL


TM 9-1005-317-10 (2016), PISTOL, CALIBER 9MM, M9 SEMI AUTOMATIC

Professional Military Knowledge References


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"SEAL" and "Navy SEALs" redirect here. For other uses, see SEAL (disambiguation) and Navy SEALs (disambiguation).

US Navy special operations force

The United States Navy'sSea, Air and Land Teams, commonly abbreviated as the Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's primary special operations force and a component of the Naval Special Warfare Command. Among the SEALs' main functions are conducting small-unit maritime military operations that originate from, and return to, a river, ocean, swamp, delta, or coastline.[5] The SEALs are trained to operate in all environments (sea, air, and land) for which they are named.

As of August 2017, all active SEALs are currently male and members of the U.S. Navy.[5][6][7][8][Note 1] The CIA's highly secretive and elite Special Operations Group (SOG) recruits operators from SEAL Teams,[10] with joint operations going back to the MACV-SOG during the Vietnam War.[11] This cooperation still exists today, as evidenced by military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.[12][13]



The modern day U.S. Navy SEALs can trace their roots to World War II.[5] The United States Navy recognized the need for the covertreconnaissance of landing beaches and coastal defenses. As a result, the Amphibious Scout and Raider School was established in 1942 at Fort Pierce, Florida.[8] The Scouts and Raiders were formed in September of that year, just nine months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, from the Observer Group, a joint U.S. Army-Marine-Navy unit.

Scouts and Raiders[edit]

Recognizing the need for a beach reconnaissance force, a select group of Army and Navy personnel assembled at Amphibious Training Base Little Creek, Virginia on August 15, 1942 to begin Amphibious Scouts and Raiders (joint) training. The Scouts and Raiders mission was to identify and reconnoiter the objective beach, maintain a position on the designated beach prior to a landing, and guide the assault waves to the landing beach.[5]

The first group included Phil H. Bucklew, the "Father of Naval Special Warfare," after whom the Naval Special Warfare Center building is named. Commissioned in October 1942, this group saw combat in November 1942 during Operation Torch on the North African Coast. Scouts and Raiders also supported landings in Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, Normandy, and southern France.[14]

A second group of Scouts and Raiders, code-named Special Service Unit No. 1, was established on 7 July 1943, as a joint and combined operations force. The first mission, in September 1943, was at Finschhafen in Papua New Guinea. Later operations were at Gasmata, Arawe, Cape Gloucester, and the east and south coasts of New Britain, all without any loss of personnel. Conflicts arose over operational matters, and all non-Navy personnel were reassigned. The unit, renamed 7th Amphibious Scouts, received a new mission, to go ashore with the assault boats, buoy channels, erect markers for the incoming craft, handle casualties, take offshore soundings, clear beach obstacles and maintain voice communications linking the troops ashore, incoming boats and nearby ships. The 7th Amphibious Scouts conducted operations in the Pacific for the duration of the conflict, participating in more than 40 landings.[5]

The third and final Scouts and Raiders organization operated in China. Scouts and Raiders were deployed to fight with the Sino-American Cooperative Organization, or SACO. To help bolster the work of SACO, Admiral Ernest J. King ordered that 120 officers and 900 men be trained for "Amphibious Raider" at the Scout and Raider school at Fort Pierce, Florida. They formed the core of what was envisioned as a "guerrilla amphibious organization of Americans and Chinese operating from coastal waters, lakes and rivers employing small steamboats and sampans." While most Amphibious Raider forces remained at Camp Knox in Calcutta, three of the groups saw active service. They conducted a survey of the upper Yangtze River in the spring of 1945 and, disguised as coolies, conducted a detailed three-month survey of the Chinese coast from Shanghai to Kitchioh Wan, near Hong Kong.[5]

Naval Combat Demolition Units[edit]

In September 1942, 17 Navy salvage personnel arrived at ATB Little Creek, VA for a week long course in demolitions, explosive cable cutting and commando raiding techniques. On November 10, 1942, the first combat demolition unit successfully cut cable and net barriers across the Wadi Sebou River during Operation Torch in North Africa. This enabled the USS Dallas (DD-199) to traverse the water and insert U.S. Rangers who captured the Port Lyautey airdrome.

In early May 1943, a two-phase "Naval Demolition Project" was directed by the Chief of Naval Operations "to meet a present and urgent requirement". The first phase began at Amphibious Training Base (ATB) Solomons, Maryland with the establishment of Operational Naval Demolition Unit No. 1. Six Officers and eighteen enlisted men reported from the Seabee's NTC Camp Peary dynamiting and demolition school, for a four-week course. Those Seabees were immediately sent to participate in the invasion of Sicily.[16] At that time Lieutenant Commander Draper L. Kauffman, "The Father of Naval Combat Demolition," was selected to set up a school for Naval Demolitions and direct the entire Project. The first six classes graduated from "Area E" at NTC Camp Peary.[17] LCDR Kauffman's needs quickly out-grew "Area E" and on 6 June 1943 he established NCDU training at Fort Pierce. Most of Kauffman's volunteers came from the navy's Civil Engineer Corps and enlisted seabees. Training commenced with a gruelling week designed to filter out under-performing candidates. By April 1944, a total of 34 NCDUs were deployed to England in preparation for Operation Overlord, the amphibious landing at Normandy. On 6 June 1944, in the face of great adversity, the NCDUs at Omaha Beach managed to blow eight complete gaps and two partial gaps in the German defenses. The NCDUs suffered 31 killed and 60 wounded, a casualty rate of 52%. Meanwhile, the NCDUs at Utah Beach met less intense enemy fire. They cleared 700 yards (640 metres) of beach in two hours, another 900 yards (820 metres) by the afternoon.

Casualties at Utah Beach were significantly lighter with six killed and eleven wounded. During Operation Overlord, not a single demolitioneer was lost to improper handling of explosives. In August 1944, NCDUs from Utah Beach participated in the landings in southern France, the last amphibious operation in the European Theater of Operations. NCDUs also operated in the Pacific theater. NCDUs 1-10 were staged on Florida Island in the Solomon Islands (archipelago) during January 1944.[18] A few were temporarily attached to UDTs.[18] Later NCDUs 1-10 were combined to form Underwater Demolition Team A.[18] It is most commonly referred to by its USN phonetic UDT"Able". NCDU 2, under LTjg Frank Kaine, after whom the Naval Special Warfare Command building is named, and NCDU 3 under LTjg Lloyd Anderson, formed the nucleus of six NCDUs that served with the Seventh Amphibious Force and were the only remaining NCDUs at the end of the war.

OSS Maritime Unit[edit]

Some of the earliest World War II predecessors of the SEALs were the Operational Swimmers of the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS.[13] Many current SEAL missions were first assigned to them. OSS specialized in special operations, dropping operatives behind enemy lines to engage in organized guerrilla warfare as well as to gather information on such things as enemy resources and troop movements.[19] British Combined Operations veteran LCDR Wooley, of the Royal Navy, was placed in charge of the OSS Maritime Unit in June 1943. Their training started in November 1943 at Camp Pendleton, California, moved to Santa Catalina Island, California in January 1944, and finally moved to the warmer waters of The Bahamas in March 1944. Within the U.S. military, they pioneered flexible swimfins and diving masks, closed-circuit diving equipment (under the direction of Dr. Christian J. Lambertsen),[19][20] the use of Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (a type of submersible), and combat swimming and limpet mine attacks.[13] In May 1944, Colonel "Wild Bill" Donovan, the head of the OSS, divided the unit into groups. He loaned Group 1, under Lieutenant Choate, to Admiral Nimitz, as a way to introduce the OSS into the Pacific theater. They became part of UDT-10 in July 1944. Five OSS men participated in the very first UDT submarine operation with the USS Burrfish in the Caroline Islands in August 1944.

Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT)[edit]

Main article: Underwater Demolition Teams

On 23 November 1943, the U.S. Marines suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Tarawa, as the second wave of landing crafts ran aground on coral reefs because of unexpectedly shallow tide. As a result, Admiral Kelly Turner ordered the formation of nine underwater demolition teams to do advance landing reconnaissance and demolition of beach obstructions. UDTs 1 & 2 consisted mostly of Seabees plus a few Amphibious Scouts and Raiders personnel.[21] They all had been through the NCDU program and additionally trained at Waimanalo, on Maui.[16] Seabees made up the vast majority of the men in teams 1-9 and 13 and were referred to as Seabee Teams.[21] Seabees were roughly 20% of UDT 11.[21] The officers were mostly CEC.[22] When Teams 1 and 2 were initially formed they were "provisional" with 180 men total.[23] They wore fatigues with life-vests and were not expected to leave their boats similar to the NCDUs. However, at Kwajalein Fort Pierce protocol was changed. Admiral Turner ordered daylight reconnaissance and CEC Ens. Lewis F. Luehrs and Seabee Chief Bill Acheson wore swim trunks under their fatigues anticipating they would not be able to get what the Admiral wanted by staying in the boat. They stripped down, spent 45 minutes in the water in broad daylight. When they got out were taken directly to Admiral Turners flagship to report, still in their trunks. Admiral Turner concluded that daylight reconnaissance by individual swimmers was the way to get accurate information on coral and underwater obstacles for upcoming landings. This is what he reported to Admiral Nimitz.[24] The success of those UDT 1 Seabees not following Fort Pierce protocol rewrote the UDT mission model and training regimen.[25] As a result of UDT 1 the Naval Combat Demolition Training & Experimental Base was created at Kihei on Maui and was distinctly different from Fort Pierce. Those seabees also created the image of UDTs as the "naked warriors".

Eventually, 34 UDT teams were established. Their combat uniform of the day was: trunks, fins, diving masks and Ka-bars. These "Naked Warriors" saw action across the Pacific in every major amphibious landing including: Eniwetok, Saipan, Kwajalein, Tinian, Guam, Angaur, Ulithi, Peleliu, Leyte, Lingayen Gulf, Zambales, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Labuan, and Brunei Bay. The last UDT operation of the war was on 4 July 1945 at Balikpapan, Borneo. The rapid demobilization at the conclusion of the war reduced the number of active duty UDTs to two on each coast with a complement of seven officers and 45 enlisted men each.[8]

Korean War[edit]

The Korean War began on 25 June 1950, when the North Korean army invaded South Korea. Beginning with a detachment of 11 personnel from UDT 3, UDT participation expanded to three teams with a combined strength of 300 men. During the "Forgotten War" the UDTs fought intensively, beginning to employ demolition expertise gained from WWII and use it for an offensive role. Continuing to use water as cover and concealment as well as an insertion method, the Korean Era UDTs targeted bridges, tunnels, fishing nets and other maritime and coastal targets. They also developed a close working relationship with the Republic of Korea naval special forces which continues today.[5]

The UDTs refined and developed their commando tactics during the Korean War, through their focused efforts on demolitions and mine disposal. The UDTs also accompanied South Korean commandos on raids in the North to demolish train tunnels. This was frowned upon by higher-ranking officials because they believed it was a non-traditional use of Naval forces. Due to the nature of the war the UDTs maintained a low operational profile. Some of the missions include transporting spies into North Korea and the destruction of North Korean fishing nets used to supply the North Korean Army.[5]

As part of the Special Operations Group, or SOG, UDTs successfully conducted demolition raids on railroad tunnels and bridges along the Korean coast. The UDTs specialized in a somewhat new mission: Night coastal demolition raids against railroad tunnels and bridges. The UDT men were given the task because, in the words of UDT Lieutenant Ted Fielding, "We were ready to do what nobody else could do, and what nobody else wanted to do." (Ted Fielding was awarded the Silver Star during Korea, and was later promoted to the rank of Captain).[26] On 15 September 1950, UDTs supported Operation Chromite, the amphibious landing at Incheon. UDT 1 and 3 provided personnel who went in ahead of the landing craft, scouting mud flats, marking low points in the channel, clearing fouled propellers, and searching for mines. Four UDT personnel acted as wave-guides for the Marine landing. In October 1950, UDTs supported mine-clearing operations in Wonsan Harbor where frogmen would locate and mark mines for minesweepers. On 12 October 1950, two U.S. minesweepers hit mines and sank. UDTs rescued 25 sailors. The next day, William Giannotti conducted the first U.S. combat operation using an "aqualung" when he dove on the USS Pledge. For the remainder of the war, UDTs conducted beach and river reconnaissance, infiltrated guerrillas behind the lines from sea, continued mine sweeping operations, and participated in Operation Fishnet, which devastated the North Koreans' fishing capability.[5]

Birth of Navy SEALs and the Vietnam War[edit]

Main article: Vietnam War

President John F. Kennedy, aware of the situation in Southeast Asia, recognized the need for unconventional warfare and special operations as a measure against guerrilla warfare. In a speech, to Congress, on 25 May 1961, Kennedy spoke of his deep respect for the United States Army Special Forces. While his announcement of the government's plan to put a man on the moon drew most of the attention, in the same speech he announced his intention to spend over $100 million to strengthen U.S. special operations forces and expand American capabilities in unconventional warfare. Some people erroneously credit President Kennedy with creating the Navy SEALs. His announcement was actually only a formal acknowledgement of a process that had been under way since Korea.[27]

The Navy needed to determine its role within the special operations arena. In March 1961, AdmiralArleigh Burke, the Chief of Naval Operations, recommended the establishment of guerrilla and counter-guerrilla units. These units would be able to operate from sea, air or land. This was the beginning of the Navy SEALs. All SEALs came from the Navy's Underwater Demolition Teams, who had already gained extensive experience in commando warfare in Korea; however, the Underwater Demolition Teams were still necessary to the Navy's amphibious force.[28][29]

The first two teams were formed in January 1962[30] and stationed on both US coasts: Team ONE at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, in San Diego, California and Team TWO at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Formed entirely with personnel from UDTs, the SEALs mission was to conduct counter guerilla warfare and clandestine operations in maritime and riverine environments.[8] Men of the newly formed SEAL Teams were trained in such unconventional areas as hand-to-hand combat, high-altitude parachuting, demolitions, and foreign languages. The SEALs attended Underwater Demolition Team replacement training and they spent some time training in UDTs. Upon making it to a SEAL team, they would undergo a SEAL Basic Indoctrination (SBI) training class at Camp Kerry in the Cuyamaca Mountains. After SBI training class, they would enter a platoon and conduct platoon training.

According to founding SEAL team member Roy Boehm, the SEALs' first missions were directed against communist Cuba. These consisted of deploying from submarines and carrying out beach reconnaissance in prelude to a proposed US amphibious invasion of the island. On at least one occasion Boehm and another SEAL smuggled a CIA agent ashore to take pictures of Soviet nuclear missiles being unloaded on the dockside.[31]

The Pacific Command recognized Vietnam as a potential hot spot for unconventional forces. At the beginning of 1962, the UDTs started hydrographic surveys and along with other branches of the US Military, the Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) was formed. In March 1962, SEALs were deployed to South Vietnam as advisors for the purpose of training Army of the Republic of Vietnamcommandos in the same methods they were trained themselves.

The Central Intelligence Agency began using SEALs in covert operations in early 1963. The SEALs were involved in the CIA sponsored Phoenix Program where it targeted key North Vietnamese Army personnel and Vietcong sympathizers for capture and assassination.

The SEALs were initially deployed in and around Da Nang, training the South Vietnamese in combat diving, demolitions, and guerrilla/anti-guerrilla tactics. As the war continued, the SEALs found themselves positioned in the Rung Sat Special Zone where they were to disrupt the enemy supply and troop movements and in the Mekong Delta to fulfill riverine operations, fighting on the inland waterways.

Combat with the Viet Cong was direct. Unlike the conventional warfare methods of firing artillery into a coordinate location, the SEALs operated close to their targets. Into the late 1960s, the SEALs were successful in a new style of warfare, effective in anti-guerrilla and guerrilla actions. SEALs brought a personal war to the enemy in a previously safe area. The Viet Cong referred to them as "the men with green faces," due to the camouflageface paint the SEALs wore during combat missions.[32]

In February 1966, a small SEAL Team One detachment arrived in Vietnam to conduct direct actions missions. Operating from Nha Be, in the Rung Sat Special Zone, this detachment signaled the beginning of a SEAL presence that would eventually include 8 SEAL platoons in country on a continuing basis. SEALs also served as advisors for Provincial Reconnaissance Units and the Lein Doc Nguio Nhia, the Vietnamese SEALs.[8]

SEALs continued to make forays into North Vietnam and Laos, and covertly into Cambodia, controlled by the Studies and Observations Group. The SEALs from Team TWO started a unique deployment of SEAL team members working alone with South Vietnamese Commandos (ARVN). In 1967, a SEAL unit named Detachment Bravo (Det Bravo) was formed to operate these mixed US and ARVN units, which were called South Vietnamese Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRUs).

At the beginning of 1968, the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong orchestrated a major offensive against South Vietnam: the "Tet Offensive". The North hoped it would prove to be America's Dien Bien Phu, attempting to break the American public's desire to continue the war. As propaganda, the Tet Offensive was successful in adding to the American protest of the Vietnam war. However, North Vietnam suffered tremendous casualties, and from a purely military standpoint, the Tet Offensive was a major disaster for the Communists.[33]

By 1970, President Richard Nixon initiated a Plan of Vietnamization, which would remove the US from the Vietnam War and return the responsibility of defense back to the South Vietnamese. Conventional forces were being withdrawn; the last SEAL platoon left Vietnam on 7 December 1971, the last SEAL advisor, left Vietnam in March 1973. South Vietnam fell to North Vietnamese communist forces in April 1975. The SEALs were among the highest decorated units for their size in the war, receiving five Navy Crosses, 42 Silver stars, 402 Bronze Stars, two Legions of Merit, 352 Commendation Medals, three Presidential Unit Citations[34][35] and three Medals of Honor. By the end of the war, 48 SEALs had been killed in Vietnam, but estimates of their kill count are as high as 2,000. The Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida, displays a list of the 48 SEALs who lost their lives in combat during the Vietnam War.


On May 1, 1983, UDT–11 was redesignated as SEAL Team FIVE, UDT–21 was redesignated as SEAL Team FOUR, UDT–12 became SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE (SDVT–1), and UDT–22 was redesignated as SDVT–2. SEAL Team THREE, was established October 1, 1983 in Coronado, CA. SEAL Team EIGHT was established on October 1, 1988 at Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, VA.


Main article: Invasion of Grenada

Both SEAL Team FOUR and SEAL Team SIX, the predecessor to DEVGRU, participated in the US invasion of Grenada. The SEALs' two primary missions were the extraction of Grenada's Governor-General and the capture of Grenada's only radio tower. Neither mission was well briefed or sufficiently supported with timely intelligence and the SEALs ran into trouble from the very beginning. On 24 October 1983, twelve operators from SEAL Team SIX and four Air Force Combat Control Team members (CCT) conducted a predawn combat airborne water insertion from C130 Hercules with Zodiac inflatable rubber boats 40 kilometers north of Point Salinas, Grenada. The team inserted with full combat gear in bad weather with low visibility conditions and high winds. Four SEALs drowned and were never recovered. SEALs split into two teams and proceeded to their objectives. After digging in at the Governor's mansion, the SEALs realized they had forgotten to load their cryptographicsatellite phone. As Grenadian and Cuban troops surrounded the team, the SEALs' only radio ran out of battery power, and they used the mansion's land line telephone to call in AC-130 gunship fire support. The SEALs were pinned down in the mansion overnight and were relieved and extracted by a group of Marines the following morning.

The team sent to the radio station also ran into communication problems. As soon as the SEALs reached the radio facility they found themselves unable to raise their command post. After beating back several waves of Grenadian and Cuban troops supported by BTR-60 armoured personnel carriers, the SEALs decided that their position at the radio tower was untenable. They destroyed the station and fought their way to the water where they hid from patrolling enemy forces. After the enemy had given up their search the SEALs, some wounded, swam into the open sea where they were extracted several hours later after being spotted by a reconnaissance aircraft.

Iran–Iraq War[edit]

Main article: Operation Prime Chance

During the closing stages of the Iran–Iraq War the United States Navy began conducting operations in the Persian Gulf to protect US-flagged ships from attack by Iranian naval forces. A secret plan was put in place and dubbed Operation Prime Chance. Navy SEAL Teams 1 and 2 along with several Special Boat Units and EOD techs were deployed on mobile command barges and transported by helicopters from the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Over the course of the operation SEALs conducted VBSS (Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure) missions to counter Iranian mine laying boats. The only loss of life occurred during the take down of the Iran Ajr. Evidence gathered on the Iran Ajr by the SEALs later allowed the US Navy to trace the mines that struck the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58). This chain of events lead to Operation Praying Mantis, the largest US Naval surface engagement since the Second World War.

During Operation Desert Shield and Storm, Navy SEALs trained Kuwaiti Special Forces. They set up naval special operations groups in Kuwait, working with the Kuwaiti Navy in exile. Using these new diving, swimming, and combat skills, these commandos took part in combat operations such as the liberation of the capital city.


Main article: United States invasion of Panama

The United States Navy contributed extensive special operations assets to the invasion of Panama, codenamed Operation Just Cause. This included SEAL Teams 2 and 4, Naval Special Warfare Unit 8, and Special Boat Unit 26, all falling under Naval Special Warfare Group 2; and the separate Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU). DEVGRU fell under Task Force Blue, while Naval Special Warfare Group 2 composed the entirety of Task Force White. Task Force White was tasked with three principal objectives: the destruction of Panamanian Defense Forces (PDF) naval assets in Balboa Harbor and the destruction of Manuel Noriega's private jet at Paitilla Airport (collectively known as Operation Nifty Package), as well as isolating PDF forces on Flamenco Island.

The strike on Balboa Harbor by Task Unit Whiskey is notably marked in SEAL history as the first publicly acknowledged combat swimmer mission since the Second World War. Prior to the commencement of the invasion four Navy SEALs, Lt Edward S. Coughlin, EN-3 Timothy K. Eppley, ET-1 Randy L. Beausoleil, and PH-2 Chris Dye, swam underwater into the harbor on Draeger LAR-V rebreathers and attached C4 explosives to and destroyed Noriega's personal gunboat the Presidente Porras.

Task Unit Papa was tasked with the seizure of Paitilla airfield and the destruction of Noriega's plane there. Several SEALs were concerned about the nature of the mission assigned to them being that airfield seizure was usually the domain of the Army Rangers. Despite these misgivings and a loss of operational surprise, the SEALs of TU Papa proceeded with their mission. Almost immediately upon landing, the 48 SEALs came under withering fire from the PDF stationed at the airfield. Although Noriega's plane was eventually destroyed, the SEALs suffered four dead and thirteen wounded. Killed were Lt. John Connors, Chief Petty Officer Donald McFaul, Torpedoman's Mate 2nd Class Issac Rodriguez, and Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Chris Tilghman.

Persian Gulf War[edit]

Main article: Gulf War

In August 1990, SEALs were the first western forces to deploy to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield. They infiltrated the capital city of Kuwait within hours of the invasion and gathered intelligence and developed plans to rescue US embassy staff should they become hostages. SEALs were also the first to capture Iraqi Prisoners of War when they assaulted nine Kuwaiti Oil platforms on 19 January 1991. On 23 February 1991, a seven-man SEAL team launched a mission to trick the Iraqi military into thinking an amphibious assault on Kuwait by coalition forces was imminent by setting off explosives and placing marking buoys 500 meters off the Kuwaiti coast. The mission was a success and Iraqi forces were diverted east away from the true coalition offensive. The SEALs were first into Kuwait City in their Desert Patrol Vehicles when it was recaptured.

Somali Intervention[edit]

On 6 December 1992, as part of Operation Restore Hope, U.S. Navy SEALs and Special Boat crewmen from Naval Special Warfare Task Unit TRIPOLI began a three-day operation carrying out reconnaissance operations in the vicinity of Mogadishu airport and harbor; ahead of UNITAFs deployment to the country. They suffered only one casualty, who was injured by an IED.[39][40]

In August 1993 a four-man DEVGRU SEAL sniper team was deployed to Mogadishu to work alongside Delta Force as part of Task Force Ranger in the search for Somali warlord Mohammed Farrah Aidid. They took part in several operations in support of the CIA and Army culminating in the 3 October 'Battle of Mogadishu' where they were part of the ground convoy raiding the Olympic Hotel. All four SEALs would be later awarded the Silver Star in recognition of their bravery whilst Navy SEAL Howard E. Wasdin would be awarded a Purple Heart after continuing to fight despite being wounded three times during the battle.[41]

War in Afghanistan[edit]

Main article: War in Afghanistan (2001–present)


Further information on the opening phase of Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan: United States invasion of Afghanistan

In the immediate aftermath of the 11 September attacks, Navy SEALs quickly dispatched to Camp Doha, and those already aboard US Naval vessels in the Persian Gulf and surrounding waters began conducting VBSS operations against ships suspected of having ties to or even carrying al Qaeda operatives. SEAL Teams 3 and 8 also began rotating into Oman from the United States and staging on the island of Masirah for operations in Afghanistan. One of the SEALs' immediate concerns was their lack of suitable vehicles to conduct special reconnaissance (SR) missions in the rough, landlocked terrain of Afghanistan. After borrowing and retrofitting Humvees from the Army Rangers also staging on Masirah, the SEALs inserted into Afghanistan to conduct the SR of what would become Camp Rhino, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan (OEF-A). These early stages of OEF were commanded by a fellow SEAL, Rear AdmiralAlbert Calland.

As part of the CJSOTF (Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force) under the command of General Tommy Franks at CENTCOM SEALs from DEVGRU were part of Task Force Sword, which was established in early October 2001, it was a black SOF (Special Operations Forces) unit under direct command of JSOC. It was a so-called hunter-killer force whose primary objective was of capturing or killing senior leadership and HVT within both al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Sword was initially structured around a two-squadron component of operators from Delta Force (Task Force Green) and DEVGRU (Task Force Blue) supported by a Ranger protection force teams (Task Force Red) and ISA signals intercept and surveillance operators (Task Force Orange) and the 160th SOAR (Task Force Brown). Task Force K-Bar was established on 10 October 2001, it was formed around a Naval Special Warfare Group consisting of SEALs from SEAL Teams 2, 3 and 8 and Green Berets from 1st Battalion, 3rd SFG; the task force was led by SEAL Captain Robert Harward. The task force's principal task was to conduct SR and SSE missions in the south of the country. Other Coalition SOF-particularly KSK, JTF2 and New Zealand Special Air Service were assigned to the task force. As part of the JIATF-CT (Joint Interagency Task Force-Counterterrorism)- intelligence integration and fusion activity manned by personnel from all Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan (OEF-A) participating units- SEALs from DEVGRU were part of Task Force Bowie, they were embedded in the task force in AFOs (Advanced Force Operations). The AFOs were 45-man reconnaissances units made up of a Delta Force recce specialists augmented by selected SEALs from DEVGRU and supported by ISA's technical experts. The AFOs had been raised to support TF Sword and were tasked with intelligence preparation of the battlefield, working closely with the CIA and reported directly to Task Force Sword. The AFOs conducted covert reconnaissance – sending small 2 or 3 man teams into al-Qaeda 'Backyard' along the border with Pakistan, the AFO operators would deploy observation posts to watch and report enemy movements and numbers as well as environmental reconnaissance; much of the work was done on foot or ATVs.

SEALs were present at the Battle of Qala-i-Jangi in November 2001 alongside their counterparts from the British SBS. Chief Petty Officer Stephen Bass was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions during the battle.

Before the US Marines landed at Camp Rhino in November 2001, a SEAL recce team from SEAL Team 8 conducted reconnaissance of the area, they were mistakenly engaged by orbiting AH-1W attack helicopters, but the SEALs managed to get a message through to the Marines before they suffered casualties. The SR mission in the region of Camp Rhino lasted for four days, after which two United States Air Force Combat Control Teams made a nighttime HALO jump to assist the SEALs in guiding in Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit who seized control of the area and established a Forward operating base.


In January 2002, following the Battle of Tora Bora, another series of caves was discovered in Zhawar Kili, just south of Tora Bora, airstrikes hit the sites before SOF teams were inserted into the area. A SEAL platoon from SEAL Team 3, including several of their Desert Patrol Vehicles, accompanied by a German KSK element, a Norwegian SOF team and JTF2 reconnaissance teams spent some nine days conducting extensive SEE, clearing an estimated 70 caves and 60 structures in the area, recovering a huge amount of both intelligence and munitions, but they didn't encounter any al-Qaeda fighters. Subsequent SEAL operations during the invasion of Afghanistan were conducted within Task Force K-Bar, a joint special operations unit of Army Special Forces, United States Air Force Special Tactics Teams, and special operations forces from Norway, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Denmark. Task Force K-Bar conducted combat operations in the massive cave complexes near the city of Kandahar and surrounding territory, the town of Prata Ghar and hundreds of miles of rough terrain in southern and eastern Afghanistan. Over the course of six months Task Force K-Bar killed or captured over 200 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, and destroyed tens of thousands of pounds of weapons and ordnance.

In February 2002, while at Camp Rhino, the CIA passed on intelligence from a Predator drone operating in the Paktia province that Taliban Mullah Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa was spotted leaving a building by vehicle convoy. SEALs and Danish Jægerkorpset commandos boarded Air Force Pave Low helicopters and seized Khairkhwa on the road less than two hours later. The SEALs continued to perform reconnaissance operations for the Marines until leaving after having spent 45 days on the ground.

In March 2002, SEALs from DEVGRU, SEAL Team 2, 3 and 8 participated extensively in Operation Anaconda. During what would become known as the Battle of Takur Ghar, whilst inserting from an MH-47E Chinook, PO1 Neil Roberts from DEVGRU, was thrown from his helicopter when it took fire from entrenched al Qaeda fighters. Roberts was subsequently killed after engaging and fighting dozens of enemies for almost an hour. Several SEALs were wounded in a rescue attempt and their Air Force Combat Controller, Technical Sergeant John Chapman, was killed. Attempts to rescue the stranded SEAL also led to the deaths of several US Army Rangers and an Air Force Pararescueman acting as a Quick Reaction Force.

Later in 2002, CJSOFT became a single integrated command under the broader CJTF-180 that commanded all US forces assigned to OEF-A, it was built around an Army Special Forces Group (often manned by National Guard units) and SEAL teams. A small JSOC element (formerly Task Force Sword/11) not under direct CTJF command – embedded within CJSOFT, it was manned by a joint SEAL and Ranger element that rotated command, it was not under direct ISAF command, although it operated in support of NATO operations.

In June 2005, Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor after his four-man reconnaissance counterinsurgency team was almost wiped out during Operation Red Wings. After the four man team lost Danny Dietz, he put himself in open view to call in the QRF. He soon after died from injuries sustained. Matthew Axelson also died on this operation. The QRF never reached the scene; it was struck by an RPG killing eight Navy SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers. Marcus Luttrell was the only survivor from this operation.

In early 2010, Brigadier General Scott Miller took command of CJSOTF-Afghanistan and assigned virtually all SOF in the theatre to a new counterinsurgency role that would become known as the ALP/VSO Program (Afghan Local Police/Village Stability Operations), the SOF in Afghanistan were organised into battalion level SOTF (Special Operations Task Forces) each with a geographic area of responsibility-the SEALs were given southeast Afghanistan. To increase security of their assigned VSO village, a SEAL Platoon in Chora District, Uruzgan Province built a wall constructed of 500 metres (550 yd) of HESCO barriers to divert insurgent movements away, this proved successful and eventually the Afghan villagers took ownership of it. SEALs and other SOTF still conducted Direct Action missions, but now partnered with Afghan forces.

On 6 August 2011, seventeen U.S. Navy SEALs were killed when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down by an RPG fired by Taliban militants. The SEALs were en route to support U.S. Army Rangers who were taking fire while attempting to capture a senior Taliban leader in the Tangi Valley. Fifteen of the SEALs belonged to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group.[50][51][52] Two others were SEALs assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit.[50][53] A total of 30 Americans and eight Afghans were killed in the crash, making it the single largest loss of U.S. lives in the Global War on Terrorism.

On 16 June 2012, SEALs in Uruzgan Province conducted a joint operation into the Shah Wali Kot Valley where they suffered the loss of a Black Hawk helicopter when it was struck by an insurgent RPG, the crash killed 11 servicemen (seven US and four Afghan).

In December 2012, SEALs from DEVGRU rescued a US doctor who had been kidnapped a few days earlier. However, during the operation the unit suffered a fatality, Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque.[55] Senior Chief Edward Byers, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during this mission.[56]

In May 2013, Rear Admiral Sean Pybus, commander of Navy Special Warfare stated that the unit would cut in half the number of SEAL platoons in Afghanistan by the end of 2013. Pybus also added that the unit is already "undergoing a transition back to its maritime roots" by placing more emphasis on sea-based missions after being involved in mostly landlocked missions since 2001.[57]

Iraq War[edit]

NCDU 45, Ensign Karnowski CEC, Chief Carpenters Mate Conrad C. Millis, Machinist Mate Equipment Operator 2nd Class Lester Meyers and 3 sailors. They were on Omaha beach with Ens. Karnowski earning the Navy Cross MM2 Meyers the Silver Star[15]
UDT 3 Seabee welcome sign for the U.S. Marine Corps on Guam (U.S. Navy)
UDT members using the casting technique from a speeding boat.
Members of SEAL Team 4 immediately before the start of Operation Just Cause.
Task Force K-Bar SEALs at one of the entrances to the Zhawar Kili cave complex.
Task Force K-Bar SEALs searching munitions found in the Zhawar Kili cave complex.
Navy SEALs LT Michael P. Murphy and STG2 Matthew Axelson in Afghanistan, both of whom were killed in action.
A US Navy SEAL, assigned to Special Operations Task Force-South East, greets children in a village in Uruzgan Province, 30 August 2012.

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