Part 6: Navy SEALs
SEAL is an acronym for SEa, Land, Air. The Navy SEALs are one of the most elite special operations forces in the world. SEALs conduct special operations alone or in small groups and are experts in weapons, tactics, demolition, martial arts and hand-to-hand combat.
The first SEAL units were authorized by President Kennedy in 1962, as the Navy’s counterpart to the Army’s Green Berets, but Navy SEALs trace their heritage back to the elite frogmen of World War II, who were called Amphibious Scouts and Raiders and Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT’s).
Navy SEALs in action
During WW II, the Navy needed personnel to perform reconnaissance on areas where amphibious assaults were planned, so they recruited divers from Naval Construction Battalions (SeaBees) and gave them advanced training in reconnaissance and demolition. The frogmen scouted the beaches and cleared the approaches of mines and obstacles prior to the amphibious landings in Africa and Europe and during the island hopping campaigns in the Pacific theater.
During the Korean War, the frogmen attacked railroad bridges and tunnels
along the Korean coastline. They also cleared mines and obstacles before
the amphibious assault at Inchon.
On May 2, 2011, Osama bin Laden was shot and killed inside a private residential compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan where he had been hiding for at least the previous five years. Navy SEAL Team 6 and CIA operatives participated in the joint covert operation ordered by President Barack Obama.
SEAL training is conducted at the Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, California. The six-month basic training course is mentally and physically demanding and is designed to test the individual’s stamina, leadership and ability to work as part of a team. During the 18-week advanced training period, SEALs are instructed in airborne assaults, counter-terrorism, small-unit tactics, long-distance reconnaissance, supply interdiction and raids.
Rudy Boesch became famous after his appearance on the first season of
television’s Survivor program. He joined the Navy in 1945 and
volunteered for the Amphibious Scouts and Raiders. Later he completed
UDT (Underwater Demolition Team) training in 1951. In 1962, he was one
of the first men selected to join the original SEAL team. Rudy retired
from the Navy in 1990, after 45 years of distinguished service.
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