Most everyone is familiar with the U.S. Navy SEALS or at least the idea of them. However, the SEALS, along with the Special WArfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (SWCC), tend not to work out in the open.
The more cover, the better. There is usually very little information for public consumption about their missions. But in recent years, likely due to the very public killing of Osama bin Laden.
The Navy SEALs date back to World War II, where groups of organized maritime commandos fought together. Training for amphibious missions took place initially at the Amphibious Training Base, Little Creek, Norfolk, VA, in 1942.
They were training for Operation TORCH. Amphibious Scouts and Raiders were made to land on beaches and lead the assault teams to the right location while in the dark.
The first mission was off the Atlantic Coast in North Africa. Another mission had the team launching kayaks from the submarine USS Barb. Next, the team led destroyers USS Cole and USS Bernadou into position close to shore.
Of course, in 1944, they played a big part in the landing at Normandy, with various teams having a hand in the war. However, the original version of the SEALS was the Pacific Underwater Demolition Teams out of Oahu.
The team was created in December 1943. UDT-1 and UDT-2 were created at the Waimanalo Amphibious Training Base near the current Bellows Air Force Station. The Museum tells the history of the crews and will support a Memorial that gives current and future SEALs a place to enjoy for their family or ceremonies.
SEAL Team ONE, created in January 1962, went to Vietnam. CPO Robert Sullivan and CPO Charles Raymond to primary surveys and planned the training for the South Vietnamese.
SEAL Teams went with the U.S. forces in 1983 to invade the island of Grenada during Operation URGENT FURY. The mission was the first time the SEALs were in combat since 1962 during Vietnam.
The SEALs played a huge part in the Global War on Terror. Nacy SEALs and other Special Operations Forces were put on missions to deal with a different enemy in a very different war. Here they used skills from traditional training, plus specialized mission training.
Now there are 10 SEAL Teams of 200 personnel per team. There are also two more in the Naval Reserve Component.