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Subject: US Arny SF SCUBA
Boondocks    5/29/2006 10:42:44 PM
I have heard that the difference between US Navy Seals and the US Army SF SCUBA Teams is that the SEALS can use SCUBA as a means to get to an objective and conduct full scale missions in the water (Such as explosives on the side of a vessel etc...) and US Army SF SCUBA Teams will only use SCUBA to get to an objective. First I was just wondering if this was true and second if anyone knows of any missions via books, personal experieces etc... they (SF SCUBA) have used SCUBA or if no one knows of any then what kind of mission would this be used in?
 
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Horsesoldier    RE:US Arny SF SCUBA   5/30/2006 8:36:54 PM
There's a good deal of variation within SF between Groups, and I think SCUBA may be a hotter deal within, say, 1st Group than some of the others (but note I've never worked with 1st SFG, personally). It's not really an issue for guys operating in Iraq or Afghanistan, and so not really a hot topic these days, generally speaking. I think part of this is because for most theaters, there just aren't even enough SCUBA missions out there to keep the SEALs gainfully employed. Having SCUBA and MAROPS qualified ODAs is a handy arrow in the quiver, in theory, but current conflicts have not called for many maritime arrows. I'm not aware of any books out there that go into SF SCUBA missions in much detail -- though to be fair very few books (regardless of how favorable they are concerning SF in general) give a very good account of the range of capabilities within the ODA, company, battalion, etc. Most limit themselves to discussing the usual "medic, weapons, engineer, commo x2" lineup within the ODA and perhaps a bit of a blurb on special mobility but don't discuss additional, MOS non-specific individual and collective training, etc., or discuss it in a very addled and murky fashion. There are passing references to SCUBA teams in The Company They Keep and Imperial Grunts, but nothing to get excited about. Can't think of anywhere else.
 
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Boondocks    RE:US Arny SF SCUBA   5/31/2006 1:59:15 AM
Thanks Horsesoldier! I figured there is not a lot of info. regarding what SF groups do what, specifically SCUBA but I was just wondering. I figured if anyone on this forum knew it would be you. Like you stated there just is not a lot of in depth info. regarding Scuba or other specific team specilaties in SF. I guess that's for good reason. There is a good book out called "ROUGHNECK: Nine One" if anyone is interested.The author is a former SF operative that was involved and Hans Halberstadt who does a lot of books etc... on US Spec Ops. I just picked it up. It is about, I believe two ODA teams (24 Men for those who do not know) that stopped a well trained, well armed tank division in 2003, in Iraq. Some say they did something that was not very bright. They intercepted intel about this element moving on our regular forces and decided (I don't know if it was that they decided without authorization) to intercept this element. SF and all spec ops are trained (especially SF) most of the time to think and make decisions without the guidance from their command. I was just wondering if you or anyone else thought that it was the right decision (Obviously it worked) that they intercepted this element? One more question. I read in "JAWBREAKER" that there was a specifically a team of I guess CIA Special activity operatives that were in Afghan first and then SF came in Afghanistan in october (I think October 9th). I thought there was already an SF team in country nearby and they were in Afghanistan on September 12th. I read this in "Masters of Chaos". Again everything I know is from reading so I do not know how accurate this is. I was wondering if you knew of this and what do you think happened? Thanks, Boondocks
 
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Boondocks    RE:US Arny SF SCUBA   5/31/2006 2:10:34 AM
Also regarding the SF SCUBA. Like you said not much need for SCUBA in countries such as Afghan and Iraq being that they are surrounded by land. I am thinking that they probably use SF SCUBA teams for maybe more ops in South America, Phillipines where there is river and ocean access? Many wonder why if the SEALS always have one foot in the water then why are they being used in Afghan and Iraq? I would think that when you spend millions training soldiers such as SEALS that they can fight and fight well on land also. So why not use them, right? Also on one of the other threads a while back someone asked what Rangers are used for and why they work so closely with DELTA, DEVGRU etc... I think that they use them for a support element. When DELTA or DEVGRU has to get a highvalue target and they operate in smaller numbers they need a support elelment that works closely like them and in larger numbers. Rangers are perfect for that. Just as in the situation in Blackhawk Down. Delta does the snatch and grab and Rangers provide support.
 
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longrifle    RE:US Arny SF SCUBA   6/1/2006 2:17:13 AM
Regarding missions, I remember CSM Samuel Hernandez (Retired) telling me that he had one SCUBA mission while he was in SF, but he didn't give any details about when or where. He told me this when he was the CSM of 3/325 in Vicenza in the 80's. I don't know how to get in touch with him, or even if he's still living. A word about CSM Hernandez. When I was a young Spec. 4 on Battalion CQ he noticed me reading a book called "Inside the Green Berets." He led me into his office and showed me plaques from B-52 Project Delta and MACV-SOG CCN. He also had some pictures of RT Florida practicing for the first HALO jump conducted in Vietnam. I said "Sergeant Major, did you ever STABO? He told me he was on a STABO rig that broke once, and that he was picked up later on his E&E route. I didn't say anything, but at the time I thought it sounded a little far fetched. Years later I was reading "SOG" by John Plaster, and Plaster mentions that event in the book! I don't know if the details can be confirmed, but I don't doubt that CSM Hernandez had a SCUBA mission.
 
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