The US Navy’s DEVGRU, or Special Warfare Development Group, is the elite group who used to be known solely as the Navy’s Seal Team 6. Most of DEVGRUs information is highly classified. DEVGRU is considered one of the top (if not the top) special operations unit in the US military.
Initially, head of the Seal Team 6 – Richard Marcinko – was given just six months to get this team ready. Marcinko was looking for soldiers with combat experience, which let him know they could perform even under fire and those who had good language skills, which would allow them to communicate and blend into various cultures while involved in an operation. Since then, the selection and training process has properly evolved assuring team members are the “best of the best”.
Team training for this top US special forces team is intense and to this day remains highly classified. One former SEAL member stated that in one year, the entire Team Six (DEVGRU) force will shoot off more rounds of ammunition than the total allowance for the entire US Marine Corps. Along with shooting skills and range firing, SEAL Team 6 recruits are also trained in close-quarter combat and stress shooting under a number of different conditions. Drop-out rate during the training is believed to be close to 50%.
Initially, SEAL Team Six was dedicated exclusively to counter-terrorism, which includes international maritime responsibility. Their objectives often include ships and oil rigs and any type of coastal embassy, naval or civilian base or any other type of military or civilian base that is accessible from any type waterway (sea or inland).
In addition to counter-terrorism, the SEAL Team Six extended responsibilities includes the covert infiltration of known international “hot spots” where they carry out recon and/or security assessments of any US military bases or Embassies. Their input is then used to better secure these bases and Embassies – as well as prevent casualties – should a terrorist attack occur. They also are called in when a personnel/hostage situation is deemed high-risk. Some changes in their mission did occur once the team was renamed. However, counter-terrorism still remains one of their primary missions. DEVGRU tandem trains with the US Army’s Delta Force and the teams are generally deployed together.
Most recently, this US Navy DEVGRU SEAL Team 6 was applauded for their cover mission – Operation Neptune Spear – which ended with the killing Osama Bin Laden.