Instant Road Repair® Salutes our Navy SEALs
The Navy SEALs originated during the Second World War when the United States Navy recognized the need for soldiers to reconnoiter landing beaches, note obstacles and defenses, and ultimately guide the landing forces in.
As a result the Amphibious Scout and Raider School was established in 1942 jointly by the Army and Navy at Fort Pierce, Florida.
It was intended to train explosive ordnance disposal personnel and experienced combat swimmers from the Army and Marine Corps, becoming the Naval Combat Demolition Unit, or N.C.D.U.
The NCDU was first employed in Operation Torch during the invasion of North Africa in 1942. This unit became the ‘first group’ specialized in amphibious raids and tactics in the United States Navy.
By 1943, the Amphibious Scout and Raider School syllabus had expanded to include underwater demolition. Following the invasion of Tarawa in November 1943, when offshore coral reefs and other obstacles in the surf resulted in many of the Marines drowning or being hit by enemy fire because their landing craft could not reach the beach, Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner directed the formation of nine Underwater Demolition Teams (UDTs) mostly composed of navy personnel from the Naval Construction Battalions (Seabees). These volunteers were organized into special teams and were tasked with reconnoitering and clearing beach obstacles for troops going ashore during amphibious landings, and evolved into Combat Swimmer Reconnaissance Units, becoming the Navy Underwater Demolition Teams.
President John F. Kennedy (a World War II Navy veteran), aware of the situations 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 all 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.
The Navy needed to determine its role within the special operations arena. In March 1961, Arleigh Burke, 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. Many SEAL members came from the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team units, who had already gained experience in commando warfare in Korea; however, the Underwater Demolition Teams were still necessary to the Navy’s amphibious force.
Members of SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two in a Dry Deck Shelter of the submerged USS Philadelphia.The first two teams were 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. 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.
The CIA’s highly secretive Special Activities Division (SAD) and more specifically its elite Special Operations Group (SOG) recruits operators from the SEAL Teams. Joint Navy SEALs and CIA operations go back to the famed MACV-SOG group during the Vietnam War. This cooperation still exists today and is seen in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.