Taking their name from the elements
in which they operate (Sea, Air, and Land), Navy SEALs conduct training from
submarines to increase their proficiency for operating covertly in the littorals. Submarine Dry Deck Shelter (DDS)
training is by far the most complex underwater exercise that Naval Special Warfare (NSW) conducts – with success relying on a synchronized effort between the host
submarine crew and NSW operators (SEALs and the Navy divers operating the DDS). During this SPECWAR exercise, NSW operators learned and practiced
procedures for launch and recovery from the submarine, which is required for the team's deployment as an operational unit.
Dallas is one of five submarines specially modified to host the DDS which acts as an open ocean interface to house either
a SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) or a
complement of combat rubber raiding craft. The DDS can be used to transport and launch an SDV or to “lock out”
combat swimmers. With the SDV, SEALs can travel underwater several miles to reach an objective area.
A tactical force with strategic impact, Navy SEALs perform a number of
missions: unconventional warfare, direct action, combating terrorism, special
reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, information warfare, security assistance, counter-drug operations, personnel recovery and hydrographic reconnaissance. SEALs also provide real time intelligence and “eyes on target” which offer decision-makers immediate and virtually unlimited options in the face of rapidly changing crises around the world.
With stealth and clandestine methods
of operation, SEALs are capable of
conducting multiple missions against targets that larger forces couldn’t approach undetected. Those missions take teamwork which is, of course, something critical in accomplishing any mission.
SEALs work with the same platoon
of divers throughout their workups
which allows for seamless integration
with DDS divers.
The complex evolution epitomizes the term “teamwork,” requiring the embarked NSW task unit and the submarine crew to integrate seamlessly to safely execute operations. Each unit has their specific role to support the DDS evolution. The submarine ship control party provides a stable platform for the diver and SEALs to conduct the SDV launch and recovery operations submerged. The end state of the training exercise is a finely tuned “team” that can conduct submarine-DDS operations overseas in support of the Global War on Terrorism.