Infantry: April 14, 2002


Stories from Afghanistan about the Navy SEAL commandos not being up to the task of fighting so far from a beach are, well, just stories. SEAL teams have six to eight 16 man platoons, and these platoons are usually the largest SEAL unit sent in on a particular mission. Often fewer men are used. Each operation is carefully planned and only as many men as are needed are used. Seal Team Three, like all the other SEAL Teams, specializes in operations for a particular part of the world. SEAL Team Three's area includes Afghanistan. While a lot of SEAL training involves arriving at a target area from the sea, most of their training, including mountain training, covers operations on land. SEALs, unlike special forces, are basically commandos. Their main job is raiding and reconnaissance. All SEALs are parachute qualified and spend a lot of time operating from helicopters. The SEALs have done as well as the others (Delta Force, British SAS and SBS, Australian SAS, New Zealand SAS, German KSK, Dutch commandos, and Canadian commandos.) Because many of the commando operations involve collecting information on al Qaeda, they don't get any publicity (so as not to alert other al Qaeda that they may be next.) But the thousand or so commandos in Afghanistan have played a major role in keeping the Taliban off balance and on the run. While many of the surviving Taliban and al Qaeda are ill trained and inexperienced infantry fighters, they are all armed and motivated. By mainly using commandos to go after these fellows, the word gets around among the hostile Afghans that if you find yourself in a gun battle with foreigners, you are in big trouble. This provides a growing psychological advantage for coalition ground troops in general. 


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