In previous posts, we have featured BUD/S and Hell Week, SQT and Advanced SEAL training. At this point, after the year’s worth of training that he has gone through, the SEAL should be ready to test his skills with the best of the best – the “seasoned veterans of Naval Special Warfare”. Platoon training begins now.
Two officers, a chief and thirteen enlisted men make up a SEAL platoon. Responsibilities are divided into patrol positions, department leadership and rank. SEAL platoons are governed by a training cycle, consisting of training work up for a year to a year and a half, which will be followed by an overseas deployment at “combat ready status” at a Naval Special Warfare Unit or Detachment.
During the one to one and a half year training, the first three months will be spent by going back to the basics, which will include hydrographic reconnaissance and underwater demolition of submerged obstacles. What follows next is air training, combat equipment parachute jumps done both in the evening and during the day, rappelling, theoretical mission planning done from within a classroom environment, and intelligence gathering and reporting.
Despite all the swimming and diving training that SEALs receive during BUD/S and even prior to that, they still undergo another round of training in combat swimming during platoon training. It is said that a SEAL will need to undergo several years’ worth of training and experience before he can be called an expert; but if one really looks at it, someone who manages to complete BUD/S is basically an expert when compared to most recreational divers.
When in the midst of the combat swimmer course, the typical day for the SEAL begins at 7 in the morning when dive rigs are set up and gear is prepared. The actual dive will follow, followed by planning and preparation of gear for the night dive before taking a break. At 6pm, the platoon meets up prior to the dive proper, which will last till about midnight.
We haven’t quite made a dent when it comes to platoon training. We will have more for you in succeeding posts.