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Among the fittest, most highly trained, most versatile, most motivated, and most formidable of American special operations forces are the U.S. Navy SEALs. As the acronym conveys, the important characteristic that distinguishes SEALs from all other military forces is that they are maritime special forces that, while characteristically striking from and returning to the sea, effectively operate in all three elements: Sea, Air, and Land. This entry describes the training, organization, and operations of Navy SEALs.

Trained by the Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSPECWARCOM), the naval component of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), SEALs are organized into small teams that specialize in reconnaissance and direct combat action, but they are also adept in antiterrorism, unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, security assistance, information warfare, counterdrug ...

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