Seal Team 6
SEAL Team 6 is the US navy’s most highly trained and versatile fighting group. It is perhaps the most secretive, accomplished, and effective operational division contained within the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). SEAL Team 6 (ST6) is a part of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) and is composed of SEAL members from other teams. It is classified as a “Tier One” group, which means that it is in the top echelon of on-call Special Forces units. ST6 is subdivided into 4 squadrons designated by the colors Red, Blue, Silver, and Gold. There is also a Black squadron which, by all trusted accounts, assists in extremely sensitive military intelligence support activities. Each squadron contains approximately 50 men. These are broken down further into groups of 3 men units for optimum operational diversity and versatility. Each unit usually contains several assault oriented operatives and on or two specially trained snipers. The SEAL’s are trained to participate in any type of warfare and given extensive instruction in specialized infiltration and exfiltration activities.
SEAL Team 6 was created partially as a response to the failed operation Eagle Claw, the bungled attempt in 1980 to rescue hostages from the US embassy in Tehran, Iran. ST6 was put together as an advanced training unit to give SEAL’s even greater specialized training, especially in the counterterrorism field. ST6 was intended to be a valuable naval counterpart to Delta Forces. At the beginning, ST6 operatives trained all around the world with various expert special operations units such as Britain’s Special Boat Squadron, France’s combat divers, and Germany’s GSG 9. Through a variety of training specialties, ST6 became one of the most versatile and deadly counterterrorist strike forces in the world. In 1987, the group was officially known as an extension of DEVGRU (legal documents would not designate it as SEAL Team 6), many ST6 operatives have continued to serve with the group and this name has stuck. Many, including the media, still refer to the official extension of DEVGRU as ST6.
In 1983, ST6 was appointed to the US embassy in Beirut to determine if its security levels were adequate. ST6 infiltrated the compound and placed imitation explosives around the embassy. Officials determined that the security at the embassy was clearly sub-par. Tragically, a mere 90 days after the test by ST6, Palestinian terrorists managed to get a real bomb in the embassy and destroy the marine barracks, killing hundreds of US soldiers and government workers.
Current action/important events or cases:
Recently, SEAL Team 6 successfully concluded one of the longest man-hunts in US counterterrorism history. In May of 2011, ST6 operatives were stealthily inserted near Osama Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound. The SEAL’s entered the compound and killed Osama Bin Laden. The mission employed cutting edge stealth technology and was the result of months of painstaking intelligence efforts from the CIA. In 2012, ST6 operatives safely extracted two USAID workers held hostage in Somalia.