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Looking to the Past: SEAL Team 7 Celebrates 20 Year Legacy

by Chief Petty Officer Eric Chan Naval Special Warfare Group ONE
17 March 2022 SEAL Team 7 celebrated their 20th anniversary at the Silver Strand Training Complex, March 17.

The anniversary events included a command physical training workout and an all-hands call with remarks from retired Rear Adm. Alex Krongard, the team’s first commanding officer.

Current SEAL Team 7 members also welcomed plank owners and former teammates for a luncheon and unveiling a heritage project in the command’s new building, to include a wall honoring Fallen Heroes, a 9/11 memorial, and a SEAL Team 7 history hallway. Plankowners and current members also conducted a charity golf event on March 18, which included a demonstration by the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs at Naval Air Station North Island.

SEAL Team 7 was established on March 17, 2002, just six months after 9/11.

Eighteen months after its establishment, SEAL Team 7 first deployed to Iraq in August 2003 and stood up Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula to command and control three SEAL task units conducting over 255 combat operations. It was in those early days that Krongard learned what set Team 7 apart from the others.

“These were three regions with really different approaches to operations,” said Krongard. “And the incredible thing, in each case, SEAL Team 7 made up the tactics, techniques and procedures to get those [operations] and figure how to do it and they were just amazingly innovative, and it was something to be proud of.”

That spirit of innovation was what made SEAL Team 7 successful in subsequent deployments to U.S. Central Command and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. Today, the team continues to innovate as NSW returns to its roots as an agile and specialized maritime commando force.

“SEAL Team 7 has accomplished so much over the last two decades,” said Capt. David Abernathy, current commander of Naval Special Warfare Group 1 and former commanding officer of SEAL Team 7 from 2014 to 2015. “We never stop innovating. Team 7 is taking the lessons we’ve learned on land – the way we mission plan, rehearse and integrate with the joint force – back into the maritime domain to support the fleet and joint force, in ways we haven’t previously thought of, for integrated deterrence.”

SEAL Team 7 and the other West Coast-based SEAL teams intend to honor their history by maintaining close relationships with former teammates and leaders.

“I toast you guys for all the hard work and where you guys have taken SEAL Team 7,” said Krongard. “It's way beyond where I ever thought it would be.”

Since 1962, Naval Special Warfare has been the nation’s premier maritime special operations force. 2022 marks the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the first Navy SEAL Teams and NSW is celebrating all year long by showcasing the unique heritage and legacy of the SEALs who paved the way and how that has shaped the high standards, unique capabilities, and strength and diversity found across the SEAL community today.