Navy SEALs training with MP5 submachine guns in the late 1990s. (Photo: U.S. Navy)
Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) decided this week to reactivate SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two (SDVT-2) to serve as the dedicated East Coast SDV unit. That decision comes 11 years after it was deactivated.
An SDV task unit is an operational unit responsible for planning, coordinating, and operating submersible systems. Usually, SDV task units have numerous SDV/SEAL platoons. The SEALs serving on SDV teams have the same training as their brethren serving on regular SEAL teams but also receive additional specialized training on the operation of SDVs. SDVs are used to clandestinely transport commandos on their target. They have the ability to stealthily remain underwater for many hours and can evade most underwater detection systems.
The reactivation of SDVT-2 highlights the strategic shift currently underway in the NSWC. Counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations are gradually ebbing away, and the SEAL leadership is once again preparing for peer-level conflicts. And the South China Sea, where Chinese military is swamping the place with artificial islands, could be a point of interest for American frogmen.
Members assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group 2 conduct military dive operations. U.S. Navy SEALs engage in a continuous training cycle to improve and further specialized skills needed during deployments across the globe. SEALs are the maritime component of U.S. Special Forces and are trained to conduct missions from the sea, air, and land.
First established in 1983, SDVT-2 was based on the East Coast at Little Creek in Virginia for over 25 years. It was disbanded in 2008 as the Navy sought to consolidate its SDV operations. The other SDVT unit, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One, is now stationed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Both units will fall under the command of Naval Special Warfare Group Three.
This decision comes in the time when China and Russia increasing their overall military presence in the world.