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Naval Special Warfare ORGANIZATION AND PERSONNEL The best known component of the Navy's special warfare capability are the SEAL (Sea, Air, and Land) teams. The SEALs, however, represent only a portion of the Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSPECWARCOM), which was commissioned on April 16, 1987, at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, California. This command includes two major groups, with one group each located on the U.S. Pacific and Atlantic coasts (Fig. 2- 1~. Naval Special Warfare Group 1 (NAVSPECWARGRU 1), located in Coronado, California, oversees three SEAL Teams and one SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) Team. Special Boat Squadron 1 oversees the Special Boat Units (SBUs) and Patrol Craft (PCs). NAVSPECWARGRU 2, located in Little Creek, Virginia, performs the same function for the Atlantic fleet. NSW forces deployed "in-theater" receive support from permanent NSW units located in Rodman, Panama; Panzer Kaserne, Germany; Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico; Bahrain, Saudi Arabia; Rota, Spain; and Guam. SELECTION AND TRAINING Individuals interested in joining the SEALs or other NSW units, whether in the military or not, must meet minimum mental and physical requirements, including a minimum score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). Only men 28 years of age or younger are eligible. All candidates must complete the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training program at the Naval Special Warfare Center (NSWC) at Coronado, California. The rigorous training offered and the structure of the program (officers and enlisted personnel train side by side) make BUD/S training unique among military training programs. BUD/S First Phase (Basic Conditioning) The first Phase of BUD/S training is eight weeks in length. Continual physical conditioning, including running, swimming, and calisthenics grow progressively more demanding over the first four weeks of training. Students participate in weekly, four-mile timed runs in boots, navigate timed obstacle courses, and swim (wearing fins) distances up to two miles in the ocean. In addition, small boat seamanship skills are developed. The first four weeks of the first phase are intended to prepare students for the fifth week, known as "Hell 9
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10 .. , , , ,, 1.,: , ............ ... - ..... i .. - - OCEANOGRAPHY AND NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES :::: ...... ...... ........ . ................ ~:~','1~.~ .' I ........ .. .. . . . ... ........ ...... ........ ~. ~. ~i FIGURE 2-1 (NAVSPECWARCOM) organizational chart depicting the relations among various units in the Naval Special Warfare Command. NOTE: CNSWC Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command; DEVGRU NSW Development Group, SBU Special Boat Unit; SDV SEAL Delivery Vehicle, PC Patrol Craft. SOURCE: Naval Special Warfare Center, Coronado, California. Week." During this week, students participate in five and one-half days of continuous training, with a maximum of four hours of sleep. This week is designed as a test of each trainee's physical and mental motivation. Hell Week includes strenuous physical activities that require teamwork, many of which are executed under extreme forms of psychological stress (including weapons firing blank ammunition to simulate live fire and simulated grenade explosions). Dropout rates during this phase of training commonly reach 50 percent or higher. BUD/S trainees are not eliminated, they are simply forced to continue the exercise until they request to be dropped from the program. This intense training is viewed by many in the NSW community as the key to the simultaneous development of military spirit and self-reliance. The remaining three weeks of BUD/S first phase training are devoted to develop- ing various skills including an introduction to methods of combat and hydrographic reconnaissance.
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NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE BUD/S Second Phase (Diving) 11 After completion of the first phase, BUD/S trainees are considered ready for more in-depth training. The second phase lasts seven weeks. During this period, both the physical and the technical training become more rigorous. Second phase instruction concentrates on combat SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing appara- tus). Students are trained in two types of SCUBA: open circuit and closed circuit. Training is centered around a progressive dive schedule that emphasizes the basic combat swimmer skills needed to qualify as a combat diver. These skills, which separate SEALs from all other Special Operations Forces (SOF), are intended to enable successful students to tactically insert and complete their combat objective. BUD/S Third Phase (Land Warfare) The third phase of training emphasizes demolition, reconnaissance, weapons, and tactics and is ten weeks long. In addition to continued physical training, the third phase concentrates on teaching land navigation, small- unit tactics, rappelling, use of military land and underwater explosives, and weapons training. The final four weeks of third phase are spent on San Clemente Island, where students apply the techniques they have acquired in a practical environment. Post-BUD/S Schools BUD/S graduates receive three weeks of basic parachute training at the Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia, prior to reporting to their first SEAL/SDV team. Navy corpsman who complete BUD/S and basic airborne training also attend two weeks of Special Operations Technicians Training at the Naval Special Warfare Center, Coronado. In addition, they participate in an intense course of instruction in diving medicine and medical skills referred to as 18-D (Special Operations Medical Sergeant Course). This 30-week course provides training in treatment of burns, gunshot wounds, and other trauma. After assignment to a SDV or SEAL Team and successful completion of a six-month probationary period, qualified personnel are awarded the Naval Special Warfare Insignia. New combat swimmers serve the remainder of their first tour (2-3 years) in either a SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) or a SEAL team. Follow-on orders for a SEAL may be to complete additional training before reporting to another SDV or SEAL team. Advanced courses include sniper, diving supervisor, language training, and SEAL tactical communications. Shore duty opportunities are available in research and development, instructor duty, and overseas assignments. CLANDESTINE INFILTRATION AND EXFILTRATION Successful completion of many NSW missions requires that infiltration and exfiltration of a SEAL unit be conducted in such a manner that hostile forces are not aware of its presence until the last possible moment. In other instances, strategic or tactical implications of the mission may require that SEAL units conducting an NSW mission be able to enter and leave an area under the control of a hostile force totally undetected. The following discussions of various clandestine infiltration and exfiltration methods commonly employed by the SEALs (with the help of other NSW units) are intended to provide scientists with a reference frame that may help them understand the impact environmental factors can have on these missions. Airborne Infiltration Although Naval Special Warfare is best characterized as force projected from the sea, SEAL teams are often inserted using a variety of airborne platforms. Infiltration can be accomplished by parachuting from various aircraft or by fast roping from helicopters. Parachuting is a prerequisite for special operations, and BUD/S
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2 OCEANOGRAPHY AND NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES graduates attend jump school at Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia. However NSW personnel are delivered to the target area, they exhibit the same military discipline and employ many of the tactics and tech- niques for which the SEALs are widely regarded (White, 1992~. Static Line Parachuting Static line parachuting was once one of the most common means of infiltration used by SOF worldwide. SEALs typically jump from a variety of fixed-wing aircraft (such as the C-130 Hercules or C-141 Starlifter) and helicopters, using a static line parachute with a reserve. The relatively slow speeds of aircraft dropping static line parachutists into enemy-held drop zones make these aircraft vulnerable to antiaircraft defenses and enemy fighter aircraft. Similarly, once the static line parachute is opened, the warfighter is a visible target and is relatively helpless until reaching the ground. Consequently, static line parachuting is commonly used at night and for drop zones at sea (White, 1992~. LALO Parachuting To reduce the SEALs' exposure during static line parachuting, jumps can be made using a technique referred to as Low Altitude Low Opening (LALO) parachuting. LALO descents involve the parachutist leaving the aircraft at 500 feet. Consequently, the parachutist is visible for a relatively brief period, minimizing the time available for enemy ground troops to react (White, 1992~. HALO and HAHO Parachuting In an effort to decrease the risk from ground fire and increase the clandestine nature of many infiltrations, greater use of aircraft flying at high altitudes as parachute platforms has been made (White, 1992~. Parachutists jump from aircraft at altitudes up to 36,000 feet employing two techniques High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) or High Altitude High Opening (HAHO) parachuting. In both techniques, parachutists are exposed to subzero conditions (at altitudes exceeding 13,000 feet) and must make use of supplemental oxygen systems. Because of the danger of hypoxia and other free-fall related hazards, parachutists employ an automated pressure-activated rip cord (referred to as an FF2~. SEALs employing free-fall HALO techniques achieve terminal velocities of 120-170 miles per hour (mph) and can fall undetected through enemy radar defenses. By using the Ram Air steerable parachute, SEAL team members can navigate quietly and land in a relatively small area (White, 1992~. HAHO parachuting poses other unique challenges and requires tremendous experience, especially when SEAL team members are dropped in groups. Navigating during the long descent at night is particularly challenging. Conse- quently, global positioning systems (GPS) and other navigation aids are extremely important for successful HAHO infiltrations (White, 1992~. Helicopters Helicopter infiltrations using fast ropes are extremely effective methods of getting small groups of men into the target area. During these operations the helicopter approaches the landing zone (LZ) at low altitude to minimize radar detection. When the helicopter arrives, ropes are dropped and the entire squad or platoon can be on the ground and in an established defensive position in less than 90 seconds. This technique is extremely effective for helicopter visit board searches and seizures (referred to as HVBSS, these actions involve rapid transport of SEALs onto vessels underway at sea) or close quarters combat (CQC) missions (where SEAL squads or platoons can bring tremendous fire power to bear on a single position in a rapid and unexpected manner).
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NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE 13 Seaborne Infiltration and Exfiltration Although air infiltration can be performed in a number of situations where rapid deployment to remote locations is called for, seaborne infiltration is still a SEAL specialty. NSW units can be deployed in a variety of situations using a wide range of dedicated vehicles (see Table 2-1~. SEAL Delivery Vehicle MK VIII The SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) MK VIII is a "wet" submersible, designed to carry combat swimmers and their cargo in fully flooded compartments. Submerged operators and passengers are sustained by the onboard air system as well as closed-circuit breathing apparati. Operational scenarios for the SDV include reconnaissance missions, ship attacks, and over the beach operations. The SDV is propelled by an all-electric propulsion subsystem powered by rechargeable silver-zinc batteries. Buoyancy and pitch attitude are controlled by a ballast and trim system; control in both the horizontal and the vertical planes is provided through a manual control stick to the rudder, elevator, and bow planes. A computerized Doppler navigation sonar displays speed, distance, heading, altitude, and other piloting functions. Instruments and other electronic units are housed in dry, watertight canisters. The special modular construction provides easy removal for maintenance. Dry Deck Shelter The Dry Deck Shelter (DDS) gives a submarine (host ship) the capability of participating in special operations involving the SDV. The DDS allows launch and recovery of the SDV while the host ship is submerged. The DDS can also be used to release SEAL combat swimmers directly, without the use of an SDV, through a maneuver known as a Mass Swimmer Lockout (MSLO). The DDS is installed on the host ship immediately before the mission and removed when the mission is completed. The host ship can carry one DDS or two DDSs mounted side by side. The DDS consists of three pressure modules constructed as one integral unit: a hangar in which the SDV and other system equipment are stowed, a transfer trunk to allow passage between the modules and the host ship, and a hyperbaric chamber for decompression and recompression treatment of divers. The DDS provides a working environment at 1 atmosphere for the mission team during transit and has structural integrity to the diving test depth of the host submarine. The DDS can be provided with a hangar door that opens to starboard or to port. Combat Swimming U.S. Navy SEALs have three SCUBA systems available for the conduct of NSW operations: open-circuit compressed air, closed-circuit (100 percent oxygen) LAR V Draeger UBA, and MK 15 semi closed-circuit (mixed gas) UBA. Open-Circuit Systems: In the open-circuit system, air is breathed from a supply tank and exhausted directly into the surrounding water. The supply tankers) can be worn on the diver (SCUBA), or the diver can breathe from air supplied from tanks mounted aboard an SDV. Personnel may use SDV-supplied air for long offshore transits and switch to closed-circuit systems in hostile areas. Open-circuit systems are limited in duration by the capacity of the air supply, depth, and dive work rate. Long-duration deep dives may require diver decompression following the U.S. Navy Standard Air Decompression Table. Closed-Circuit Oxygen UBA: The LAR V Draeger UBA is a self-contained closed-circuit, 100-percent- oxygen, underwater breathing apparatus, designed for clandestine operations in shallow water. The LAR V is worn on the diver's chest. With this closed-circuit system, the diver breathes 100 percent oxygen and his exhaled
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NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE 15 breath is recirculated in the diving apparatus. The LAR V allows SEAL combat swimmers to approach targets in a clandestine manner by eliminating the familiar bubble trail associated with conventional SCUBA. The divers exhaled breath passes through a chemical filter that removes carbon dioxide, replenishing the oxygen that is consumed. Depth, water temperature, and oxygen consumption rate all affect the duration of the LAR V Draeger. Closed-Circuit Mixed Gas UBA: The MK 15 UBA is a self-contained mixed gas underwater breathing apparatus. Similar in function to the LAR V Draeger, this unit utilizes oxygen mixed with a dilutent gas (normally air) to maintain a preset partial pressure of oxygen (PPO2) level. By maintaining the preset PPO2 level, the MK 15 increases the depth and duration capability of a SEAL swimmer compared to the 100 percent oxygen system of the LAR V. The duration of the MK 15 is limited by the carbon dioxide scrubber system it uses. SEAL swimmers executing long-duration, deep dive profiles may be required to undergo diver decompression as stipulated by the U.S. Navy MK 15 decompression tables. Dedicated Surface Vehicles Patrol Boat MK IV: The Sea Spectre 68-foot PB MK IV was designed as an improved version of the recently retired 65-foot PB MK III. It is capable of carrying a variety of U.S. or foreign weapons in a number of alternate configurations. A modular payload concept was incorporated, allowing the craft to be adapted to a variety of missions in deep rivers and harbors as well as coastal or open sea environments. These boats are also used in a variety of missions, including coastal patrol and interdiction, fire suppression of onshore and floating targets, and infiltration or exfiltration of NSW units. The MK IV was designed to support 25 and 40 mm machine gun mounts and an 81 mm mortar mount. The Sea Spectre MK IV is powered by three high-power, lightweight diesel engines. The engines were designed to decrease the acoustic noise level, and the all-aluminum hull was designed with a low silhouette to reduce its radar profile cross section. The craft has a fuel, personnel, and storage capacity to remain at sea and conduct unsupported operations for up to five days. The vessel has a multi-frequency communications capability and is equipped with a surface search radar. Due to its size and displacement, the craft and its crew of 8 can operate in combined seas up to 10 feet. MK V Special Operations Craft (MK V SOC): The primary mission of the MK V SOC operating system is to provide medium range infiltration and exfiltration (MRI) support for NSW personnel in a low to medium threat (offshore/coastal) environment. These boats are used in a variety of missions, including coastal patrol and interdiction, fire suppression of onshore and floating targets, and infiltration or exfiltration of NSW units. The MK V SOC was designed to support 4 universal gun mounts for .50-caliber machine guns, M60 machine guns, and 40 millimeter grenade launchers. River Patrol Boats (PBR): The PBR is designed for high-speed riverine patrol operations in contested areas of operations, and infiltration or exfiltration of SEAL team elements. More than 500 units were built when it was first introduced in the Vietnam conflict in 1966, and the current inventory of 24 craft is used exclusively by SEAL reserve units. Capable of being transported by aircraft (e.g., the C-5 Galaxy), the PBR is heavily armed and vital crew areas are protected with ceramic armor. The PBR can be configured with both single and twin .50-caliber machine gun mounts and 40 mm grenade launchers. The PBR reinforced fiberglass hull and two Jacuzzi-type waterjet propulsion pumps allow the unit to operate in shallow, debris-filled water. The craft is highly maneuver- able and can turn 180 degrees and reverse course within the distance of its own length while operating at full power. Engine noise-reducing techniques have been incorporated into the design and improved over the years. The combination of relatively quiet operation and its own on-board surface search radar system make this unit an excellent all-weather picket as well as a shallow water patrol and interdiction craft.
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6 OCEANOGRAPHY AND NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES Light Patrol Boat (PBL): The PBL is a lightly armed Boston Whaler-type craft with no armor. The PBL is constructed of fiberglass with reinforced transom and weapons mount areas. It is powered by dual outboard motors and is highly maneuverable making it useful for intercepting a lightly armed adversary. It functions effectively in harbor control, diving and surveillance operations, riverine warfare, drug interdiction, and other offensive or defensive efforts where it is unlikely to engage a heavily armed or well-organized hostile force. The PBL can be configured with .50-caliber heavy machine guns or 7.62 mm machine guns mounted on 180-degree mounts, providing effective weapon employment in any direction. The unique hull design of the PBL is excellent for the riverine environment, allowing it to operate in virtually any water depth. The PBL displaces 6,500 pounds fully loaded and is transportable via its own trailer, helicopter sling, or C-130 aircraft. Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RIB): The RIB is a high-speed, high-buoyancy, extreme-weather craft with the primary mission of infiltration or exfiltration of SEAL tactical elements from enemy-occupied beaches. The RIB is constructed of glass-reinforced plastic with an inflatable tube made of a new hypalon neoprene/nylon-reinforced fabric. There are three types of RIB s currently in the inventory a 24-foot RIB, a 30-foot RIB, and a 10-meter RIB. For other than heavy-weather coxswain training, operations are limited to 10-foot combined seas and winds of 35 knots or less. Mini-Armored Troop Carrier (MATC): The MATC is a 36-foot all-aluminum hull craft designed for high- speed patrol, interdiction, and combat assault missions in rivers, harbors, and protected coastal areas. The MATC has a large area for transporting combat-equipped troops, for carrying cargo, or for gunnery personnel operating its seven weapons stations. The MAT(: internal water jet propulsion system is similar to that of the MK IV PER. This type of propulsion is especially appropriate for beaching NSW units. A hydraulic bow ramp is designed to aid the infiltration and exfiltration of troops and equipment. The craft has a low radar silhouette that makes it difficult to detect in all speed ranges; it is extremely quiet, particularly at idle speeds. An on-board high-resolution radar and multiple communications suite, provide all-weather surveillance and a command and control presence for interdiction and anti-smuggler operations. Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC): The mission of the CRRC is clandestine surface infiltration and exfiltration of lightly armed SEALs. The CRRC is typically equipped with a 35-55 horsepower engine and is capable of surf passages. It can be launched by air (rubber duck or helo-cast), or by sea craft. (It may also be launched from a submarine, either submerged and on the surface.) It has a low visual electronic signature and is capable of being cached by its crew once ashore. Patrol Coastal Class (PC): The primary mission of the PC is coastal patrol and interdiction, with a secondary mission of NSW support. The PC has two 3350 horsepower engines, and is capable of launching and recovering two CRRCs. NSW operational missions include long range SEAL insertion/extractions, tactical swimmer operations, intelligence collection, operational deception, and coastal/riverine support.
Representative terms from entire chapter: