NSWC reactivates stealthy SEAL unit SDVT-2 on the East Coast

Navy SEALs training with MP5 submachine guns in the late 1990s.
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 its stealthy SEAL unit that is related to the. East Coast. That stealthy SEAL unit is a SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two (SDVT-2) which will serve as the dedicated East Coast SDV unit. That decision comes 11 years after it was deactivated.

What is Navy SDVT?

An SDV task unit is an operational unit responsible for planning, coordinating, and operating submersible systems. In fact, SDVT are divers who special in undersea combat and demolition. You will find them working together with SWCC or in close proximity because their missions often support each other. But no they are not the same thing.

Usually, SDV task units have numerous SDV/SEAL platoons. The Navy 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.

An SDV is usually driven by one of the SEAL Delivery Teams and once they drop SEALs off at their desired location they go back to where they came from and return later as staying suspended in cold water for long periods of time is bad for your body. Now on rare occasions, some Navy SEALs are actually trained to drive the SDV which means a SEAL Delivery Team is not needed. So in this case, when they reach their location they hop out of the sub and leave it there until they return. It’s too deep to be found by anyone.

Stealthy SEAL unit SDVT-2 uses submersibles for transportation
Stealthy SEAL unit SDVT-2 uses submersibles for transportation (Photo: XY)

Reactivation of SDVT-2

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 the 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 United States Navy sought to consolidate its SDV operations. The other SDVT unit, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One, is now stationed at Naval Station Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Both units will fall under the command of Naval Special Warfare Group Three.

This decision comes at a time when China and Russia increasing its overall military presence in the world.

What is the difference between Navy SEAL teams and SDV teams?

SEAL delivery vehicle Teams operate the submersibles which SEALs use to reach the operational area if it is too long to swim. It allows the SEALs to arrive fresh instead of being all worn out from all that finning. The submersibles can be carried on specially adapted submarines that get the SEALs closer to the target and then while underwater the SEALs can take the SDC the rest of the way. SDV Team operators ARE fully qualified SEALs who are assigned to care for and operate the submersibles.

The U.S. Navy’s Naval Special Warfare Development Group, more commonly known as SEAL Team 6, is one of the most famous units that employ the Heckler & Koch MP7 in the special operations community.
The U.S. Navy’s Naval Special Warfare Development Group, more commonly known as SEAL Team 6, is one of the most famous units that employ the Heckler & Koch MP7 in the special operations community. (Photo: XY)

SEAL Teams are the ones who conduct the Special operations that SEALs are known for. The shooters.

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