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United States Navy SEALs, who are they,
what do they do, why are they so secretive? A Navy SEAL is a highly
trained individual. He must go through the toughest training in the
world. The government will send them to the ends of the earth to
do tasks that would send chills up most of our spines. Most of their
operations even though top secret involve capturing an individual of power,
to get information through capturing anything our government thinks important
. They are sometimes required to kill certain individuals.
They rarely work alone, they depend on each other. Some say that
your swim buddy is closer to you than your wife. This is just a glance
at what they do.
A history lesson on how the Navy SEALs
came to be, started back in World War Two. The navy considers the
Scouts and Raiders to be the direct-and earliest-frontrunners of todayís
SEALs. But despite the original intention, the Scouts and Raiders
did not become broad-based commandos like the SEALs. In most of their
operations, they were limited to direct support of the amphibious force,
guiding marine and army units ashore. Later a few of them served
with guerrilla units behind enemy lines in China, and many were blended
in with the Underwater Demolition Teams involved in the campaign against
the Japanese in the Pacific. One of the first missions to bring fame
to the Scouts and Raiders started out with seventeen sailors boarded a
small, wooden-hulled boat and headed up the Wadi Sebou, a stream that went
through Port Lutey (now Kenitra, Morocco). Their task was to cut
the cables anchoring a boom and antishipping net stretched across the river
directly under the machine guns and cannons in a fort overlooking the river.
With the way cleared, American warships would be able to fight their way
up the river and protect soldiers moving in to seize the cityís military
Not being limited to just sabotage the
Scouts and Raiders were also becoming experts in bomb disposing, one was
a two-thousand Ėpound mine dropped by parachute. If the mine came
down on land instead of water, it was supposed to go off seventeen seconds
later. But sometimes the fuzzes jammed and the experts were called
in. If in tinkering with the mine, the bomb-disposal man started
it ticking again, he had something less than seventeen seconds to get away.
The reliance on physical stress as a way
of testing a manís capability and screening out those who donít measure
up remains an important part of the training of the navyís SEALs to this
day. Todayís SEALs are also experts on using explosives and, if need
be, disarming enemy munitions. So there is a direct link back to
the bomb-disposal experts trained half a century ago.
The first volunteers came mostly from Seabees,
(construction workers for the navy) with officers raided from the bomb-disposal
school. Training began with a one-week ordeal that is still known
as Hell Week and that quickly eliminated forty percent of the class.
The survivors were proud of their accomplishment, but they joked that "Hell
Week separated the men from the boys; the men had sense enough to quit
and left us with the boys."
The trainees at Fort Pierce spent much
of their time in rubber boats and in the mud, and they ran miles every
day. But surprisingly, little attention was paid to swimming.
The assumption was that they would paddle ashore as part of an amphibious
operation and do their demolition work in relatively shallow water while
army demolition experts took over at the high-water mark.
Although men of the Underwater Demolition
Teams later prided themselves on their nickname of the Naked Warriors,
the trainees at Fort Pierce were anything but naked. They did their
work dressed in soggy fatigues, with heavy boondocker shoes on their feet
and awkward metal helmets on their heads. Much of their training
was done at night.
The men quickly became very good at handling
high explosives. Those who couldnít overcome their fear of being
blown to kingdom come were sent off to other assignments. They were
probably the smart ones. As the UDT men later realized, they and
their explosives-filled rubber boats were disasters waiting to happen.
The newly trained men now will use their
tactics. Operating from small rubber boats at night, the men took
soundings of the water depth all along the planned invasion beaches.
They even crawled ashore one night and brought back a bucketful of sand
so army experts could test it to determine how well it would support tanks
and other heavy vehicles as they came ashore. Perhaps more important,
they also studied the
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Military organization, Special forces, Military engineering, Underwater Demolition Team, Construction, United States Navy SEALs, Underwater demolition, Pinniped, Amphibious warfare, United States Naval Special Warfare Command, National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum
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