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NAVY SEAL FOUNDATION...

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As the name implies....a Navy SEAL foundation to help and give support to the surviving

members of SEALs injured in training or combat....this is for the wives and their kids

who are just as much hero's as the SEAL husbands and fathers....

Two days ago 22 of American's finest gave their all in the service of the USA....go here

to give some support:

http://navysealfoundation.org/

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When U.S. President Barack Obama went to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, for a highly publicized, but very private meeting with the commando team

that killed Osama bin Laden, only one of the 81 members of the super-secret

SEAL DevGru unit was identified by name: Cairo, the war dog.

Cairo, like most canine members of the elite U.S. Navy SEALs, is a Belgian

Malinois. The Malinois breed is similar to German shepherds but smaller and

more compact, with an adult male weighing in the 30-kilo range.

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(German shepherds are still used as war dogs by the American military but

the lighter, stubbier Malinois is considered better for the tandem

parachute jumping and rappelling operations often undertaken by SEAL teams.

Labrador retrievers are also favoured by various military organizations around the world

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Like their human counterparts, the dog SEALs are highly trained, highly

skilled, highly motivated special ops experts, able to perform

extraordinary military missions by sea, Air and Land (thus the acronym).

The dogs carry out a wide range of specialized duties for the military

teams to which they are attached: With a sense of smell 40 times greater

than a human’s, the dogs are trained to detect and identify both explosive

material and hostile or hiding humans.

The dogs are twice as fast as a fit human, so anyone trying to escape is

not likely to outrun Cairo or his buddies.

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The dogs, equipped with video cameras, also enter certain danger zones

first, allowing their handlers to see what’s ahead before humans follow.

As I mentioned before, SEAL dogs are even trained parachutists, jumping

either in tandem with their handlers or solo, if the jump is into water.

Last year canine parachute instructor Mike Forsythe and his dog Cara set

the world record for highest man-dog parachute deployment, jumping from

more than 30,100 feet up — the altitude transoceanic passenger jets fly at.

Both Forsythe and Cara were wearing oxygen masks and skin protectors for

the jump.

Here’s a photo from that jump, taken by Andy Anderson for K9 Storm Inc.

(more about those folks shortly).

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As well, the dogs are faithful, fearless and ferocious — incredibly

frightening and efficient attackers.

When the SEAL DevGru team (usually known by its old designation, Team 6)

hit bin Laden’s Pakistan compound on May 2, Cairo’s feet would have been

four of the first on the ground.

And like the human SEALs, Cairo was wearing super-strong, flexible body

Armour and outfitted with high-tech equipment that included “doggles” —

specially designed and fitted dog goggles with night-vision and infrared

capability that would even allow Cairo to see human heat forms through

concrete walls.

Now where on earth would anyone get that kind of incredibly niche hi-tech

doggie gear?

From Winnipeg, of all places.

Jim and Glori Slater’s Manitoba hi-tech mom-and-pop business, K9 Storm

Inc., has a deserved worldwide reputation for designing and manufacturing

probably the best body Armour available for police and military dogs.

Working dogs in 15 countries around the world are currently protected by

their K9 Storm body Armour.

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Jim Slater was a canine handler on the Winnipeg Police Force when he

crafted a Kevlar protective jacket for his own dog, Olaf, in the mid-1990s.

Soon Slater was making body Armour for other cop dogs, then the Canadian

military and soon the world.

The standard K9 Storm vest also has a load-bearing harness system that

makes it ideal for tandem rappelling and parachuting.

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And then there are the special hi-tech add-ons that made the K9 Storm

especially appealing to the U.S. Navy SEALs, who bought four of K9 Storm

Inc.’s top-end Intruder “canine tactical assault suits” last year for

$86,000. You can be sure Cairo was wearing one of those four suits when he

jumped into bin Laden’s lair.

Here’s an explanation of all the K9 Storm Intruder special features:

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Just as the Navy SEALS and other elite special forces are the sharp point

of the American military machine, so too are their dogs at the top of a

canine military hierarchy.

In all, the U.S. military currently has about 2,800 active-duty dogs

deployed around the world, with roughly 600 now in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Here’s the link to a dandy photo essay about U.S. war dogs that just

appeared in the journal Foreign Policy.

Several of the photos I have included here are from Foreign Policy, as you

will see. Other photos are from K9 Storm Inc.

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As for the ethics of sending dogs to war, that’s pretty much a moot point,

don’t you think? If it’s ethical to send humans into combat, then why not

dogs?

At least the U.S. now treats its war dogs as full members of the military.

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Thanks for the link. I donated an equal amount to how much gold I found in the last 4 days........

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Thanks Steve....Luis Fellipe and I gave one months pay of his English school...

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That's a tearjerker for sure

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In his book "SEAL team six" Howard Wasdin reveals this: On March 31, 2004 Ahmed Hashim Abed, an Iraqi al Qaeda terrorist,

orchestrated the ambush of empty trucks picking up kitchen equipment from the army's 82nd Airborne. Abed's terrorists killed four

Blackwater guards, then burned the corpses, mutilated them, dragged them through the streets, and hung two of the bodies from the

Euphrates Bridge. One of four guards was a former SEAL. Scott Helvenston. On September 1,2009, the SEALs captured Abed.

Then three other SEALs received courts-martial for allegedly giving him a bloody lip. Although the three SEALs were eventually

found not guilty, such charges never should have risen to the level of courts-martial. If the SEALs had simply killed Abed, nothing

could've been said. It's hard to lawyer up when you're dead. End of quote...

A great book by a fantastic brave warrior and hero!!!!

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Group Photo of Seal Team Six, . . . . . . .

and you can imagine the look on Bin Laden's face when these guys came

through the door?

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Let's be clear on this: OBAMA did NOT kill Bin Laden. An American sailor, who Obama, just a few weeks ago, was debating on whether or not to PAY, did. In fact, if you remember a little less than two years ago, his administration actually charged and attempted to court-martial 3 Navy Seals from Seal Team Six, when a terrorist suspect they captured, complained they had punched him during the take down and bloodied his nose. His administration further commented how brutal they were. The left were calling them Nazi's and Baby Killers. Now all of a sudden, the very brave men they vilified are now heroes when they make his administration look good in the eyes of the public. Obama just happened to be the one in office when the CIA finally found the b....... and our sailors took him out. Essentially, Obama only gave an answer. Yes or No, to him being taken out. This is NOT an Obama victory, but an AMERICAN victory!! Forward on IF YOU AGREE!!"

Ed Schreiber

Col. USMC (Ret.)

"Semper Fi"

OBAMA'S OWN WORDS TRAP HIM:

2008: "Navy Seal Team 6 is Cheney's private assassination team."

2011: "I put together Seal Team 6 to take out Bin Laden."

2008: "Bin Laden is innocent until proven guilty, and must be captured alive and given a fair trial."

2011: "I authorized Seal Team 6 to kill Bin Laden."

2008: " Guantanamo is entirely unnecessary, and the detainees should not be interrogated."

2011: "Vital intelligence was obtained from Guantanamo detainees that led to our locating Bin Laden."

I HOPE THIS GETS SENT AROUND TO PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT THE TRUTH!

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I just received this from someone in San Diego....

President Obama is not the only goof up in this Administration ...

Navy Seals

So, here is how I understand what happened in Afghanistan with the

slaughter of the guys from Seal Team Six.

On the night of the Osama Bin Laden raid, Secretary of Defense Gates

asked all the people in the situation room to abstain from revealing

that Seal Team Six was the military unit responsible. Everyone agreed,

understanding the danger of revenge seekers from the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Then on Monday, Vice President Joe Biden, in an attempt to show how much

he was in the know, revealed that it was Seal Team Six. Of course the

media then ran with it. So the Pentagon has gone to great effort to

protect Seal Team Six and their families. As of last Thursday Gates, who

is no longer Defense Secretary, stated that they had implemented very

advanced security measures.

As to what happened in Afghanistan, apparently Al Qaeda fed false

information to the US that a high value target would be at a precise

location on Friday. So naturally, the military sent in Seal Team Six to

get them. It was all a set-up and heavily armed Al Qaeda and Taliban

were waiting for them and we know the results.

This is not the first time that a politician has caused the deaths of

American Servicemen, but it is one of the most egregious. I guess

Panetta, the current Secretary of Defense, and Gates are furious. I

think Biden should be tried for treason, but I doubt that will happen. I

just hope the American electorate will kick these amateurs out of office.

Incidentally, all of the above is public record. Gates has made many

speeches since he left office in which he discussed the extreme danger

Seal Team Six was under since their identity was revealed by Biden.

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Navy SEAL Quote of the Week

Dana Perino (FOX News) describing an interview she recently had with a Navy SEAL. After discussing all the countries that he had been sent to, she

asked" Do they have to learn several languages?"

"Oh, no ma'am, we don't go there to talk."

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Nuttn' but respect for those folks in uniform. I only donate to the military and the american cancer society now. much thanx for the post G-John

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ONE SOLDIER'S STORY OF DEVOTION TO MILITARY DOG

Military dogs are critical to our mission in Afghanistan and best of all, they help keep our troops safe from dangerous roadside bombs so that they can return home from deployment safely.

The following story was posted at MilitaryTimes.com last week, and it accurately illustrates how close our troops are to the dogs they work with, sniffing out IEDs.

He was a go-getter, an athletic, high-speed soldier with an incredible drive. Young, dark and handsome, he was often playful and humorous.

So when an insurgent's bullet found him on the Fourth of July, his closest friend decided there was no way he'd let him die.

"I have to get on that medevac!" Spc. Marc Whittaker yelled when the shooting stopped, as he hunkered down in a mud hut where he'd carried his wounded comrade.

The shooting in Logar province, Afghanistan, during a route-clearance mission, showed Whittaker, a 23-year-old military policeman, how strong his bond was with his wounded friend, Anax, a 3-year-old bomb-sniffing German Shepherd, one of thousands of military working dogs, called MWDs, that have increasingly been used in Iraq and, especially, Afghanistan

From the time Anax was shot in Afghanistan until he awoke from surgery three days later in the U.S. Army veterinary hospital in Germany, Whittaker never left his side. He didn't eat, and he slept on a pad beside the dog's kennel.

That's where his Heidelberg-based company commander found them napping together -- and welled up. "Just to see that level of care from a soldier," said Capt. Aaron Kravitz, Whittaker's company commander at the 529th MP Company, from which Whittaker and Anax deployed as individual augmentees. "Never leave a fallen comrade behind. Words to live by."

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SEALs Killed Usama Bin Laden Within Minutes, New Book Reveals

The U.S. Navy SEALs on the hunt for Usama bin Laden killed the Al Qaeda leader within 2 minutes of entering his fortress-like home in Pakistan, a new book reveals.

Chuck Pfarrer, a former SEAL Team Six assault-element commander, says it only took the SEALs 90 to 120 seconds – from landing to firing the fatal shot – to take out bin Laden, according to his new book, “Seal Target Geronimo,” the New York Post reports.

Pfarrer insists that the SEALs were not on a “kill mission,” and that the team would have captured bin Laden had he surrendered.

Pfarrer’s book reveals that the Seals’ nickname for bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, were Bert and Ernie, the Courier Mail reports.

When they were first told they were going to Pakistan to pick up a high-value person who was holed up in a high-walled compound, they asked, “So is this Bert or Ernie?”

According to an extract from a Sunday Times report, two Seals kicked in bin Laden’s bedroom door. Bin Laden then popped out and then slammed the door shut.

The room, the Navy Seals recalled, “smelt like old clothing, like a guest bedroom in a grandmother’s house”.

Inside was the Al Qaeda leader and his youngest wife, Amal, who was screaming as he pushed her in front of him.

“No, no, don’t do this!” she shouted as her husband reached across the bed for his AK-47 assault rifle,” the extract read.

The SEALs reacted instantly, firing in the same second. One round thudded into the mattress. The other aimed at Bin Laden’s head, grazed Amal in the calf.

As Bin Laden’s hand reached for the gun, the Seals fired again, killing the Al Qaeda leader.

Pfarrer’s book, according to the Post, also reveals that the SEALs were angry with President Obama for announcing bin Laden’s death on TV just hours after they completed the mission on May 1.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/11/06/seals-killed-usama-bin-laden-within-minutes-new-book-reveals/?test=latestnews#ixzz1cwiFdJTw

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Aloha,

Job well done in my books. Now how could the Seals be angry for Obama for using this event to get more exposure to the press. DUH! he will take every minute away from the "real heroes" to get a minutes worth of press time for his own benefit.

I wonder who is next on the hit list? Good job guys and dont let one man deter your efforts to git r done!!

Aloha and come home safe guys and gals.

Stan aka Kaimi

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Gotta love our Special Forces abilities. Also cool that two A Teams from my old group were there to back up the Seals.

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THE REST OF THE STORY:post-300-0-19080100-1320949604_thumb.jpg

OSAMA BIN LADEN was killed within 90 seconds of the US Navy Seals landing in his compound and not after a protracted gun battle, according to the first account by the men who carried out the raid. The operation was so clinical that only 12 bullets were fired.

The Seals have spoken out because they were angered at the version given by politicians, which they see as portraying them as cold-blooded murderers on a “kill mission”. They were also shocked that President Barack Obama announced bin Laden’s death on television the same evening, rendering useless much of the intelligence they had seized.

Chuck Pfarrer, a former commander of Seal Team 6, which conducted the operation, has interviewed many of those who took part for a book, Seal Target Geronimo, to be published in the US this week.

The Seals’ own accounts differ from the White House version, which gave the impression that bin Laden was killed at the end of the operation rather than in its opening seconds. Pfarrer insists bin Laden would have been captured had he surrendered.

“There isn’t a politician in the world who could resist trying to take credit for getting bin Laden but it devalued the ‘intel’ and gave time for every other al-Qa’ida leader to scurry to another bolthole,” said Pfarrer. “The men who did this and their valorous act deserve better. It’s a pretty shabby way to treat these guys.”

The first hint of the mission came in January last year when the team’s commanding officer was called to a meeting at the headquarters of joint special operations command. The meeting was held in a soundproof bunker three storeys below ground with his boss, Admiral William McRaven, and a CIA officer.

They told him a walled compound in Pakistan had been under surveillance for a couple of weeks. They were certain a high-value individual was inside and needed a plan to present to the president.

It had to be someone important. “So is this Bert or Ernie?” he asked. The Seals’ nicknames for bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are a reference to two Muppets in Sesame Street, one tall and thin and the other short and fat. “We have a voice print,” said the CIA officer, “and we’re 60 per cent or 70 per cent certain it’s our guy.” McRaven added that a reconnaissance satellite had measured the target’s shadow. “Over 6ft tall.”

When McRaven added they would use Ghost Hawk helicopters, the team leader had no doubt. “These are the most classified, sophisticated stealth helicopters ever developed,” said Pfarrer. “They are kept in locked hangars and fly so quiet we call it ‘whisper mode’.”

Over the next couple of months a plan was hatched. A mock-up of the compound was built at Tall Pines, an army facility in a national forest somewhere in the eastern US.

Four reconnaissance satellites were placed in orbit over the compound, sending back video and communications intercepts. A tall figure seen walking up and down was named “the Pacer”.

Mr Obama gave the go-ahead and Seal Team 6, known as the Jedi, was deployed to Afghanistan. The White House cancelled plans to provide air cover using jet fighters, fearing this might endanger relations with Pakistan.

Sending in the Ghost Hawks without air cover was considered too risky so the Seals had to use older Stealth Hawks. A Prowler electronic warfare aircraft from the carrier USS Carl Vinson was used to jam Pakistan’s radar and create decoy targets.

Operation Neptune’s Spear was initially planned for April 30 but bad weather delayed it until May 1, a moonless night. The commandos flew on two Stealth Hawks, codenamed Razor 1 and 2, followed by two Chinooks five minutes behind, known as “Command Bird” and the “gun platform”.

On board, each Seal was clad in body armour and nightvision goggles and equipped with laser targets, radios and sawn-off M4 rifles. They were expecting up to 30 people in the main house, including Bin Laden​ and three of his wives, two sons, Khalid and Hamza, his courier, Abu Ahmed al- Kuwaiti, four bodyguards and a number of children. At 56 minutes past midnight the compound came into sight and the code “Palm Beach” signalled three minutes to landing.

Razor 1 hovered above the main house, a three-storey building where bin Laden lived on the top floor. Twelve Seals abseiled the two metres down onto the roof and then jumped to a third-floor patio, where they kicked in the windows and entered.

The first person the Seals encountered was a terrified woman, bin Laden’s third wife, Khaira, who ran into the hall. Blinded by a searing white strobe light they shone at her, she stumbled back. A Seal grabbed her by the arm and threw her to the floor.

Bin Laden’s bedroom was along a short hall. The door opened; he popped out and then slammed the door shut. “Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo,” radioed one Seal, meaning “eyes on target”.

At the same time lights came on from the floor below and bin Laden’s son Khalid came running up the stairs towards the Seals. He was shot dead.

Two Seals kicked in bin Laden’s door. The room, they later recalled, “smelt like old clothing, like a guest bedroom in a grandmother’s house”. Inside was the al-Qa’ida leader and his youngest wife, Amal, who was screaming as he pushed her in front of him.

“No, no, don’t do this!” she shouted as her husband reached across the king-size bed for his AK-47 assault rifle. The Seals reacted instantly, firing in the same second. One round thudded into the mattress. The other, aimed at bin Laden’s head, grazed Amal in the calf. As his hand reached for the gun, they each fired again: one shot hit his breastbone, the other his skull, killing him instantly and blowing out the back of his head.

Meanwhile Razor 2 was heading for the guesthouse, a low, shoebox-like building, where bin Laden’s courier, Kuwaiti, and his brother lived.

As the helicopter neared, a door opened and two figures appeared, one waving an AK-47. This was Kuwaiti. In the moonless night he could see nothing and lifted his rifle, spraying bullets wildly.

He did not see the Stealth Hawk. On board someone shouted, “Bust him!”, and a sniper fired two shots. Kuwaiti was killed, as was the person behind him, who turned out to be his wife. Also on board were a CIA agent, a Pakistani- American who would act as interpreter, and a sniffer dog called Karo, wearing dog body armour and goggles.

Within two minutes the Seals from Razor 2 had cleared the guesthouse and removed the women and children.

They then ran to the main house and entered from the ground floor, checking the rooms. One of bin Laden’s bodyguards was waiting with his AK-47. The Seals shot him twice and he toppled over.

Five minutes into the operation the command Chinook landed outside the compound, disgorging the commanding officer and more men. They blasted through the compound wall and rushed in.

The commander made his way to the third floor, where bin Laden’s body lay on the floor face up. Photographs were taken, and the commander called on his satellite phone to headquarters with the words: “Geronimo Echo KIA” – bin Laden enemy killed in action.

“This was the first time the White House knew he was dead and it was probably 20 minutes into the raid,” said Pfarrer.

A sample of bin Laden’s DNA was taken and the body was bagged. They kept his rifle. It is now mounted on the wall of their team room at their headquarters in Virginia Beach, Virginia, alongside photographs of a dozen colleagues killed in action in the past 20 years.

At this point things started to go wrong. Razor 1 took off but the top secret “green unit” that controls the electronics failed. The aircraft went into a spin and crashed tail-first into the compound.

The Seals were alarmed, thinking it had been shot down, and several rushed to the wreckage. The crew climbed out, shaken but unharmed.

The commanding officer ordered them to destroy Razor 2, to remove the green unit, and to smash the avionics. They then laid explosive charges.

They loaded bin Laden’s body onto the Chinook along with the cache of intelligence in plastic bin bags and headed toward the USS Carl Vinson. As they flew off they blew up Razor 2. The whole operation had taken 38 minutes.

The following morning White House officials announced that the helicopter had crashed as it arrived, forcing the Seals to abandon plans to enter from the roof. A photograph of the situation room showed a shocked Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, with her hand to her mouth.

Why did they get it so wrong?

What they were watching was live video but it was shot from 20,000ft by a drone circling overhead and relayed in real time to the White House and Leon Panetta, the CIA director, in Langley. The Seals were not wearing helmet cameras, and those watching in Washington had no idea what was happening inside the buildings.

“They don’t understand our terminology, so when someone said the ‘insertion helicopter’ has crashed, they assumed it meant on entry,” said Pfarrer.

What infuriated the Seals, according to Pfarrer, was the description of the raid as a kill mission. “I’ve been a Seal for 30 years and I never heard the words ‘kill mission’,” he said. “It’s a Beltway (Washington insider’s) fantasy word. If it was a kill mission you don’t need Seal Team 6; you need a box of hand grenades.”

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Ok now to the nitty gritty....what are the requirements to enter SEAL training...here you go....

Navy SEAL Requirements

Entering training to become a Navy SEAL is voluntary. Anyone can volunteer, and officers and enlisted men train side by side. In order to enter SEAL training, however, they do have to meet certain requirements. Those wishing to volunteer for SEAL training have to:

  • be an active-duty member of the U.S. Navy
  • be a man (women aren't allowed to be Navy SEALs)
  • be 28 or younger (although waivers for 29- and 30-year-olds are possible)
  • have good vision -- at least 20/40 in one eye and 20/70 in the other (corrective surgery is also possible)
  • be a U.S. citizen
  • pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
  • Pass a stringent physical screening test that includes the following procedure: swim 500 yards in 12.5 minutes or less, followed by a 10-minute rest; do 42 push-ups in under two minutes, followed by a two-minute rest; do 50 sit-ups in under two minutes, followed by a two-minute rest; do six pull-ups, followed by a 10-minute rest; run 1.5 miles in boots and long pants in less than 11.5 minutes

Once a potential SEAL qualifies for training, the real fun starts.

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SEAL Delivery Vehicles & The Secret War off the Horn of Africa

post-300-0-44027700-1325938381_thumb.jpgSDV submarine launch..then the fun begins.

Few people realize what happens at a SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team. Its a very different and challenging underwater mission.

The SEALs of an SDV Team spend days training underwater. An SDV SEAL will lock out of a submarine unseen in the cold dark depths of the ocean, only to then endure an 8 hour transit just to get to a land insertion point. And sometimes they never surface at all but, still attack and track targets we will not get into those mission specifics but you can use your imagination to guess at some likely scenarios.

The small SDV makes for tight quarters and you âre completely engulfed by the darkness of the sled. That and several atmospheres of pressure make for an interesting night. Sometimes the only illumination is coming from the glow of the onboard Nav systems or the eery

bioluminescenceân.-Undisclosed SEAL.

It takes a strong mindset for the SDV job and the claustrophobic need not apply. 8 hours of transit time underwater and then their mission really starts once they get to an insert point somewhere off the shark infested waters of North Africa.

Enjoy the excerpt below. It gives you a look at what types of missions the SDV can accomplish and what they âre up to in the middle of the night while most are sleeping. Hit the like button up top if you enjoyed this post. The team at Kit Up appreciates your help spreading the word via Facebook!

Thanks!-Brandon

One night in November 2003, beneath the moon-washed waters off Somalias northern coast, a small, dark shadow slipped away from the attack submarine Dallas and headed toward the shore.

The smaller shape was a 21-foot-long submersible called a SEAL delivery vehicle.

Launched from a tubular dry deck shelter on the sub and designed to infiltrate Navy SEALs on covert or clandestine missions, the SDV carries its crew and passengers exposed to the water, breathing from their scuba gear or the vehicles compressed air supply. Aboard were a handful of SEALs on a top-secret special reconnaissance mission into a country with which the U.S. was technically not at war.

The SEALs grounded the SDV on the ocean bottom and pushed away from it, taking with them the centerpiece of their mission, a specially disguised high-tech camera called a Cardinal device.

Unbeknownst to them, during the previous 24 hours, their mission had been the subject of Cabinet-level debate in Washington and had almost been canceled until President George W. Bush gave the go-ahead.

Now they were conducting what a special operations source with firsthand knowledge of the operation referred to as a long swim through some of the most shark-infested waters in the world” toward the coastline that loomed ominously ahead of them. The hard part was just beginning.

Read more: http://kitup.militar...l#ixzz1im0pTTvx

Kit Up!

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How a human being becomes a SEAL

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The best and worst experience of my adult occurred over a six month period in San Diego, California.

I had heard that the weather in San Diego is amazing and the people are friendly. As a visitor, it delivers as advertised. However, if you’re going through the world’s toughest military training, your opinion of San Diego will never be the same.

San Diego is where I discovered what I am made of, how amazing and resilient the mind and body are, and where the best of the best are selected for the world’s toughest, most rewarding San Diego is where I took my first steps to becoming a Navy SEAL

My future as an NFL quarterback came to a screeching halt when I threw my shoulder out. No shoulder, no chance to play quarterback.

A good friend thought I had what it took to be a SEAL and believed in my ability to accomplish anything I put my mind to. He showed me a BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training and I was captivated by these warriors in the water. The challenge and mental fortitude required for completing BUD/S training appealed to me, and I knew the only way I wouldn’t become a SEAL was if I chose to quit.

I have never been colder, wetter, or happier to be voluntarily miserable than from Feb. 6, 1997 to Aug. 15, 1997 at BUD/S.

People often ask what it’s like to endure BUD/S, and articulating an answer that adequately captures this milestone is difficult. It’s an experience one must undergo to truly understand and appreciate this transformation from boy to man.

I didn’t know what BUD/S training would entail, but I knew quitting – choosing to forgo the opportunity to be part of an elite group – would be far worse than any pain I endured.

Quitting for me was not an option.

Of the 160 original class members, I was truly humbled to be one of only 18 classmates who survived the world’s most grueling selection process.

BUD/S tests men with two-mile swims, four-mile timed runs, two-hour physical training sessions, obstacle courses, conditioning runs on soft sand, and countless hours in a pool as well as the ocean.

The selection phase of training reaches a crescendo with the infamous Hell Week, designed to destroy all physical and mental barriers — which is what BUD/S is truly about. BUD/S has perfected the harsh processes that weed out all but the most mentally tough, physically proficient, highly capable, intelligent, and motivated men to operate in every conceivable environment and situation as a Navy SEAL.

Hell Week was a pivotal point in my life. I experienced extraordinary fear and pain while developing a quiet and intense passion.

Once I broke my mental barrier to surviving Hell Week, I became a different person.

It was an eye-opening epiphany when I realized that I had accomplished an ordeal that many never even attempt, much less finish. I developed a confidence I never had before, along with a deep seated self-assurance that I am capable of accomplishing anything I put my mind to.

Even my mother noticed how much I’d changed. I now possessed this swagger and poise that she had always hoped I would one day find in myself.

African-Americans, like me, may not initially consider a SEAL career because they aren’t aware of the opportunity or think that Blacks don’t swim. Don’t believe the stereotypes.

Being a SEAL is attainable for those who truly want it. Becoming a SEAL is the most rewarding and uncommon career choice young men can make. The “never quit” attitude and need to complete every task to perfection – no matter how difficult – are intrinsic qualities that set SEALs apart from other men.

The ability to make critical decisions under the most stressful conditions defines SEALs as strategic and innovative problem-solvers.

When you are part of a SEAL Team, you are surrounded by your brothers who share your laser focus determination and, like you, can’t bear mediocrity. We thrive on each other’s incredible energy to be 100 percent committed to everything we do. It is an expectation that transfers to our personal lives.

On a professional level, to be the best of the best and to have the chance to contribute to something meaningful are what make a SEAL career so rewarding. On a personal level, the opportunity to uncover your full potential and rise to the man you imagine yourself to be and to have those around you be proud of you is what makes a SEAL career truly satisfying.

My time at BUD/S was the most memorable thing I’ve ever experienced and the pride and overwhelming sense of accomplishment have stayed with me for the past 15 years.

I’m proud to be a Navy SEAL and even more proud to be an American continuing the tradition of the most accomplished special operations force the world has ever seen.

When SEALs say, “earn your Trident every day,” it’s about proving yourself continuously in all aspects of life and facing new challenges with the kind of boundless determination and resolve learned from the realization that ultimately you have no limits.

Lieutenant Mark (complete name withheld for security purposes) has served as a Navy SEAL for fifteen years. He is a third generation military service member and a native of Ohio. To learn more about the U.S. Navy SEALs, visit www.sealswcc.com.

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