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HISTORY



NASA AND SPACE RECOVERY

A swimmer from UDT 11 opens the hatch of the Apollo 11 Command Module following splashdown on July 24, 1969. 

1958-1972

From the beginning of America’s manned space program in the late 1950’s, NASA decided to utilize water landings for spacecraft and crews returning from their flights. The space agency relied heavily on the UDTs to help establish an effective astronaut survival and recovery program. These recovery procedures were continually refined and well documented at the start of the Apollo program.

1958 - 1972

EARLY 1980's

Special Operations Force funding and capabilities experienced a period of decline. By the early 1980s, several significant events -- Desert ONE, the terrorist bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon, and the invasion of Grenada – resulted in the Department of Defense and Congress re- evaluating Special Operations Forces. In the decade that followed, Naval Special Warfare forces participated in every major military operation the U.S. conducted.

SEALs and SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team support Amphibious Force operations in Beirut, Lebanon. U.S. Marine barracks are bombed, killing hundreds of Marines on October 23.

OPERATION URGENT FURY

The invasion of Grenada. In response to the illegal deposition and execution of the Grenadian prime Minister. SEAL Teams were attached to the U.S. forces to aid in the assault. This would be the SEALs first introduction to combat since Vietnam. Four SEALs were killed in a nighttime parachute jump.

OCT 1983


RESCUE MISSION THE ACHILLE LAURO

Four heavily armed Palestinian terrorists hijacked the Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt. Some 320 crewmembers and 80 passengers were taken hostage. U.S. Navy SEAL assault forces were launched from the U.S. to capture or kill the terrorists before they could harm any of the passengers or crew.

7 OCT 1985

Naval Special Warfare Command is established at Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, CA. it is the naval component to the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Established as a “man, train and equip” organization. Naval Special Warfare Command went about developing special operations capabilities, interoperability between its services, and preparing for future threats.

In nearly a decade that followed, Naval Special Warfare forces participated in every major military operation the U.S. conducted, carried out hostage rescues, and supported humanitarian operations.

16 APR 1987

OPERATION ERNEST WILL
JUL 1987 - SEPT 1988


American military protection of Kuwaiti-owned tankers from Iranian attacks 1987 – 1988.

OPERATION PRAYING MANTIS

On 14 April 1988, watchstanders aboard USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) sighted three mines floating approximately one-half mile from the ship. Twenty minutes after the first sighting, as Samuel B. Roberts was backing clear of the minefield, she struck a submerged mine nearly ripping the warship in half. Working feverishly, the crew stabilized the ship.


OPERATION PRIME CHANCE 1
AUG 1987 - JUNE 1989


During the Persian Gulf War, NSW forces conduct their first operations under the U.S. Special Operations Command. Operation Prime Chance, a little known effort to stop Iranian forces from attacking Gulf shipping. NSW SEALs and Special Boats and Army AH-6/MH-6 helicopters begin operations from an afloat operating bases, barges called Hercules and Wimbrown 7.

JUL 1987 - JUN 1989 

OPERATION JUST CAUSE

U.S. invasion of Panama that disposed of military leader Gen.Manual Noriega. SEALS inserted at Paitilla airfield to prevent Noriega from leaving Panama. Four SEALs were killed and eight others seriously wounded.


DEC 1989

OPERATION DESERT STORM
The Gulf War was essential to force Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. U.S. Navy SEALs provide diversionary “landing” involving a small SEAL element. Succeeds in shifting the bulk of Iraq’s forces in the wrong direction.

OPERATION PROVIDE COMFORT
19 April 1991
Navy SEALs join U.S. Marine forces arriving in northern Iraq as part of OPERATION PROVIDE COMFORT, the assistance given to Kurdish refugees.

OPERATION SEA ANGEL
MAY 1991
Hurricane relief in Bangledesh



AUG 1990 - MAY 1991

OPERATION RESTORE HOPE
Somalia

A humanitarian operation. Somalia was engulfed in civil war and many people were dying from hunger in this country. The goal was to calm down the situation in order to help the Somali people who needed food in the southern part of this country. 

DEC 1992 - MAY 1993

OPERATION GOTHIC SERPENT
BATTLE OF MOGADISHU

The Battle of Mogadishu also known as the Black Hawk Down incident, A military operation conducted by SEALs and other special operation forces with the primary mission of capturing Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. Somali forces shot down two American Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. Severe fighting lasted through the night to defend the survivors. Casualties included 19 dead American soldiers and 73 wounded. One officer and three enlisted SEALs were awarded the Silver Star for the actions during the rescue of the helicopter crew.

OCT 1993


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