Structure

Naval Special Warfare Command

NSWC or “WARCOM” was established in 1987 in Coronado, CA to have responsibility for all the rapidly expanding Naval Special Warfare (NSW) forces. It is the Navy piece of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) – a Joint force of Army, Navy and Air Force Special Operations Forces (SOF). It provides vision, leadership, doctrinal guidance, resources and oversight for all NSW forces, and maintains a continuous overseas NSW presence.

Commanded by a two-star Navy SEAL Rear Admiral, NSWC’s mission is to train, equip and deploy SEAL, SWCC (Special Boat operators) and SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) personnel to conduct maritime special operations overseas. It is responsible for the total NSW budget, policies, doctrine, war plans, training curriculum and equipment. However, day-to-day operations, training, deployments and actual combat operations are executed by its subordinate commands.

NSWC also spearheads the development of NSW’s unique high-performance maritime craft, submersible vehicles, desert patrol vehicles, specialized equipment and weapons. The low-profile, high-speed maritime craft are manned by Special Warfare Combatant-Crew (SWCC) personnel. SWCC is a critical, relatively new NSW Warfare Specialty whose purpose is to clandestinely deliver SEALs on-target in dangerous, denied areas and safely exfiltrate them once mission objectives are accomplished.

Active Duty and Reserve Forces

NSW is a remarkably small, elite force. There are 2,450 active duty SEALs, (just 1% of all Navy personnel), and 600 active duty SWCC. These forces spearhead our global maritime security worldwide. NSW reserves number 325 SEALs, 125 SWCC, and 775 support personnel. Navy SEALs have proven so potent a “force multiplier” in the war against terror in Afghanistan and in Iraq, that President Bush has made it a priority to increase the number of active duty SEALs by ( ) % over the next ( ) years.

NSW Subordinate Commands

NSWC is the parent command to a total of 5,400 active duty and 1,200 reserve NSW personnel. It oversees four subordinate Major Commands known as NSW Groups 1-4, and their lower commands: eight SEAL Teams, two SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams (SDVT), and three Special Boat Teams (SBT). All even-numbered Groups and Teams are located on the East Coast, and all odd-numbered ones on the West Coast of the U.S.

The chart below lists NSWC’s subordinate commands and their assigned geographic Areas of Responsibility. However, the relatively small size of the elite SEAL forces and high demand for them to conduct strategic missions requires that all teams shift focus any time the U.S. is engaged in a major conflict or war. The September 11, 2001 attack on the United States, our retaliation in Afghanistan, and the ongoing war against Iraq since 2003 have required all NSW commands to routinely deploy their forces to the Middle East. NSW and other SOF forces will continue to spearhead the Global War on Terrorism.

NSW Groups

Naval Special Warfare Command has four operational Groups or “Echelon III Major Commands” under its operational and administrative control. They are Naval Special Warfare Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4. Each Group is commanded by a Navy Captain (O-6). A Group is largely a staff during peacetime, charged with overseeing and supporting the training, equipping, deployment and operational use of its subordinate commands. Its departments, staffed by active duty and civilian personnel, include Intelligence, Operations/Plans, Communications, Personnel, and Research/Development/Testing and Engineering.

Naval Special Warfare Group ONE
Coronado, CA

Team
Geographic Responsibility
Environment
SEAL Team 1
Western Pacific
Jungle, Desert & Urban
SEAL Team 3
Middle East
Desert & Urban
SEAL Team 5
Korea
Arctic, Desert & Urban
SEAL Team 7
Western Pacific
Jungle, Desert & Urban

Naval Special Warfare Group TWO
Little Creek, Virginia

Team
Geographic Responsibility
Environment
SEAL Team 2
Northern Europe
Desert & Urban
SEAL Team 4
South & Central America
Desert & Urban
SEAL Team 8
Mediterranean/S. Europe
Desert & Urban
SEAL Team 10
Mediterranean/S. Europe
Desert & Urban

Naval Special Warfare Group THREE
Coronado, CA

Team
Geographic Responsibility
Environment
SDVT-1
Pacific (ASDS is worldwide)
Undersea
SDVT-2
Atlantic & Mediterranean
Undersea

Naval Special Warfare Group FOUR
Little Creek, VA

Team
Geographic Responsibility
Environment
SBT-12
Pacific & Middle East
Maritime & Coastal
SBT-20
Europe, Med & Middle East
Maritime & Coastal
SBT-22
Worldwide
Riverine

 

Naval Special Warfare Group ONE

NSWG-1 is based in Coronado, CA. It commands, trains, equips and deploys SEAL Teams 1, 3, 5, and 7. It also exercises administrative control of Naval Special Warfare Unit 1 (NSWU-1) in Guam, and Naval Special Warfare Unit 3 (NSWU-3) in Bahrain. It has assigned geographic responsibility for the Middle East, Korea, and Western Pacific.

Naval Special Warfare Group TWO

NSWG-2 is based in Little Creek, VA. It commands SEAL Teams 2, 4, 8, and 10. It also has administrative control of Naval Special Warfare Unit 2 (NSWU-2) in Stuttgart, Germany, and Naval Special Warfare Unit 10 (NSWU-10) in Rota, Spain. Its assigned geographic responsibility is all of Europe, Central and South America, and the Mediterranean.

Naval Special Warfare Group THREE

NSWG-3 is based in Coronado, CA. It commands SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1 (SDVT-1) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 2 (SDVT-2) in Little Creek, VA. This Major Command has worldwide NSW undersea mobility responsibility.

Naval Special Warfare Group FOUR

NSWG-4 is based in Little Creek, VA. It commands Special Boat Team 12 (SBU-12) in Coronado, CA, Special Boat Team 20 (SBU-20) in Little Creek, VA, and Special Boat Team 22 (SBU-22) in Stennis, MS.

Naval Special Warfare Task Group

During time of war, the Commodore of any designated NSW Group may deploy overseas with elements of his operational, intelligence, communications and support departments to establish and lead an operational NSW Task Group. Alternatively, he may be directed to head up a Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF) of Navy, Army and Air Force SOF. In either case, he’s a warfighter conducting operations in support of the Combatant Commander of the geographic region to which he has been deployed.

Naval Special Warfare Task Unit

Each SEAL Team can deploy in multiple Task Units with SEALs, SWCC, SDV, EOD, and Cryptological Support Units assigned to meet the mission. Each Task Unit consists of a Headquarters element with a Task Unit Commander (O-4), a Task Unit Senior Enlisted (E-8/9), a Targeting/Operations Officer (O-2/3) and an Operations Leading/Chief Petty Officer (E-7).

Under the HQ element are from 2 to 4 SEAL Platoons of 16 (2 officers, 14 enlisted SEALs) and support staff. Each SEAL Platoon can be structured into 8-man squads or 4-man fire teams for operational purposes. The size of each SEAL “Team” with Task Units and support staff is approximately ( ) personnel ( of whom are “shooters.”)

Task Unit core skills include: Sniper, Breacher, Communicator, Maritime/Engineering, Close Air Support, Medical, Point-man/Navigator, Primary Driver/Navigator (Rural/Urban/Protective Security), Heavy Weapons Operator, Sensitive Site Exploitation, Air Operations Master, Lead Climber, Lead Diver/Navigator, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and Technical Surveillance.

SEAL Teams

NSW has eight Navy SEAL Teams. The odd-numbered Teams (1, 3, 5 and 7) work for Group ONE in Coronado, CA, and 2, 4, 8, and 10 for Group TWO in Little Creek, VA. A SEAL Team is commanded by a Navy Commander (O-5) and is composed of a HQS element and eight operational 16-man SEAL Platoons. These platoons rotate in a continuous and rigorous planned cycle of training and overseas deployments. Platoons can be structured to operate as 8-man Squads, 4-man Fire Teams, or 2-man Sniper/Reconnaissance Teams, as required. It is this organizational structure that makes the NSW force light, mobile, swift, flexible, effective and virtually undetectable.

SEAL Platoon

A SEAL platoon consists of two junior officers and 14 enlisted. It is led by the more senior of the two officers, a Navy Lieutenant (O-3). A SEAL Platoon is the largest operational element normally used to conduct a tactical mission. More often, SEALs operate as 8-man Squads or 4-man Fire Teams. All SEALs are BUD/S graduates; are dive, parachute, and demolitions qualified; and have completed an advanced 15-week SEAL Qualification Training.

SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams

There are two SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams (SDVT-1 and SDVT-2) under operational and administrative control of NSWG-3. Each is commanded by a Navy Commander (O-5), and supports NSW undersea mobility operations worldwide. The SDV Teams employ and maintain SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDV), Dry Deck Shelters (DDS) and the Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS).

SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE

SDVT-1 is based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It is commanded by a Navy Commander (O-5). SDVT-1 operates and maintains the only Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS), three SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDV), Dry Deck Shelter (DDS) Task Units, and a headquarters element. SDVT-1 conducts NSW undersea operations throughout the Pacific and Middle East geographic areas of responsibility.

SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team TWO

SDVT-2 is based at Little Creek, VA. Commanded by a Navy Commander (O-5), it has three operational SDV/DDS Task Units and a headquarters element. SDVT-2 conducts NSW undersea operations throughout the Europe and Middle East geographic areas of responsibility. SDVT-2 places special emphasis on providing the 2nd and 6th Fleet Commanders with an SDV/DDS capability.

SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Task Units

An SDV Task Unit (SDVTU) is formed to plan, coordinate, and command real-world SEAL Delivery Vehicle operations launched from specially configured submarines equipped with Dry Deck Shelters.  The Commanding Officer of SDVT-1 or SDVT-2 (or his Executive Officer) is in charge of the SDVTU, which consists of one or more SDV or SEAL Platoons.

Special Boat Teams

NSW has three Special Boat Teams: SBT-12 in Coronado, CA; SBT-20 in Little Creek, VA, and SBT-22 in Stennis, MI. SBTs are commanded by a Navy Commander (O-5) who leads Special Warfare Combatant-Craft (SWCC) personnel. SBTs’ mission is to employ, operate and maintain multiple specialized, low-profile, high-performance surface combatant craft. They clandestinely infiltrate and exfiltrate Navy SEALs on-target in denied areas, and provide small-caliber gunfire support when required. SBTs conduct naval and joint special operations, riverine warfare, and Coastal Patrol and Interdiction of ships and other surface craft.