Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Navy’s SEAL Team Six

The mission that went into Pakistan and took down Osama bin Laden was lead by the Navy’s SEAL Team Six. In talking to people about the operation I was surprised to find that many had no idea who the SEALs are and what they are capable of doing. So I thought it would be a good idea to give everyone a quick description of this highly trained and skilled special operations force.

First of all Team Six is so elite they do not accept applications. Members are silently recruited. They are designed to be the best in the sea, air or land -- that's what SEAL stands for.

In plain English, it's a self-contained unit that can go any place in the world and literally do nothing but kick ass (that is an actual quote from a former SEAL).

At their training site at the Coronado Naval Amphibious Base in San Diego County recruits are trained to swim nearly 350 feet underwater with their hands and feet bound. They are taught to survive arctic conditions and endure exposure to tear gas. The SEALs, only men ranging in age from 26 to 33, try out to become one of 2,500 SEALs on active duty.

Training takes two years and 3 out of 4 applicants do not make it through. Years more of field experience is needed to even be considered to be admitted to Team Six.

Team Six was started in 1980. On missions, they may jump from a plane 11 miles in the air, sit in deadly silence, camouflage themselves in any environment or hold their breath underwater for more than two minutes without releasing a single bubble. They shoot with pinpoint precision, but their most deadly weapon is their mind.

"The body is only tissue," the former SEAL said. "The brain controls it and the brain will push them beyond what you and I and normal people think the body can take."

The SEALs that killed Bin Laden had gone through thousands of scenarios before assaulting his compound. The CIA provided enough detailed satellite pictures to build a replica compound where the teamed practiced.

For a time, they trained without knowing who their actual target was. But by Sunday, they knew the location of every gate and window and the exact height of the walls. By the time the SEALs ran out of the compound with Bin Laden's body, they could probably count the exact number of steps to the helicopter outside.

Below is a very good report on Team Six’s operations in Afghanistan made by ABC’s 60 Minutes.

Live Long and Prosper.....

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