We have always described the SEALs as extremely skilled operatives who are capable of handling the most difficult of situations, but that does not mean that they work in complete isolation, without the need for support.
There is, therefore, a need for specialists with expertise in various fields where SEALs need support, such as information technology, mass communications, and cryptology, according to a feature in the Navy Times. This need grows alongside the growth in the community of SEALs and special warfare combatant-craft crewmen, which has grown by more than 15 percent in the last ten years.
Lt. Arlo Abrahamson, spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, shared: “We expect growth on both coasts with NSW support sailors, and are projected to bring on line a host of billets at our logistic support units and other commands.”
These support specialists are as secretive about the work that they do for the SEALs as the SEALs are about their missions. Those who were interviewed at Little Creek described the assignment as “diversifying and career-enhancing,” due in part to the importance of the work and the degree of responsibility that they handle.
And in true SEAL fashion, the specialists do not have it easy.
Utilitiesman 1st Class (SCW/EXW) Kiel Dahlke, who deployed to Iraq with SEAL Team 4, shared: “It was tough… It was my first time doing something like that. I loved it. But it was extremely challenging.”
Despite the fact that they are technically not SEALs, the specialists nonetheless feel that they are very much part of the team that they support. They key to that is trust, according to Chief Cryptologic Technician (Networks) (EXW) Daniel Gray: “[the goal is] to create that teamwork … and have them trust us in what we do so that we’re one unit — we’re not just some outsider helping them, that we’re actually part of the team.”