Navy seal shifting from anti-terrorism to global threat


Washington (AP) —Ten years after Osama Bin Laden was found and killed, the U.S. Navy SEALs improved their leadership and command capabilities to combat threats from world-class powers such as China and Russia. We are making a major transition to strengthen.

The new plan will reduce the number of SEAL platoons by up to 30% and increase their size to make the team more deadly and able to compete with advanced sea and seabed enemies. And there’s a new intensive screening process for the Navy’s elite warriors to win higher quality leaders after a scandal shaken by murder, sexual assault, and substance use charges.

Maj. Gen. Hugh Howard, SEAL’s commander-in-chief, set out his plans in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press. He said that the Navy’s special operations forces have focused on anti-terrorism operations, but now they must begin to evolve beyond those missions. Over the last two decades, many have fought in the Iraqi desert and the mountains of Afghanistan. Currently, they are focusing on returning to the sea.

This decision reflects a broader Pentagon strategy of prioritizing China and Russia, which are rapidly expanding their military power and expanding their influence around the world. US defense leaders believe that a 20-year war with militants and militants has depleted resources and the United States has lost ground against Moscow and Beijing.

The fight against terrorism has its advantages, and SEAL has been able to develop an intelligence network and hone its skills in finding and attacking targets, Howard, who leads the Naval Special Warfare Command, including the crew of SEAL and special warfare craft. Says. “Many of these things are transferable, but now we need to put pressure on ourselves to counter the threat of our peers.”

As a result, Howard will add personnel to the SEAL platoon to enhance the capabilities of cyber and electronic warfare and unmanned systems, and hone the skills to gather information to deceive and defeat enemies.

“We are putting pressure on ourselves to evolve and understand the gap in capabilities and what our true viability against these threats is,” he said.

Admiral Mike Guildy, Chief of Naval Operations, said the goal was to better integrate the seal into the Navy’s maritime mission.

“As the Naval Special Warfare community returns to its maritime roots, the integration of the entire fleet (at sea, underwater, at sea) clearly strengthens our unique maritime capabilities and competes with our enemies. Will help win, “Gildy said in a statement to the AP.

Increasing the size of the SEAL platoon adds high-tech features. And by reducing the number of units, Howard can remove the power of toxic leaders and choose commanders more selectively. The decision is a direct result of the personality erosion seen by Navy officials within the unit.

In recent years, SEAL has been involved in many high-profile scandals. One of the best known is Edward, the Navy’s Special Operations Director, on charges of war crimes, including the murder of Islamic State militant prisoners of war and attempted murder by civilian shooting during its deployment in Iraq in 2017. Gallagher was arrested.

Gallagher was acquitted on all charges except one, posing in a photo with a dead prisoner. The jury advised him to lower his rank and cut his pensions and allowances when he was about to retire. However, President Donald Trump intervened and ordered Gallagher to retire without losing Seal’s position.

Recently, the SEAL team platoon withdrew from Iraq in 2019 in a sexual assault allegation. Members of SEAL Team 10 were involved in the use of cocaine and tampering with drug tests. And Navy Seal Adam Matthews was sentenced to one year in military prison for his role in Army Green Bellett’s 2017 haze-related death in Africa.

Navy leaders also participated in the assault on Pakistan, where the Navy Seal broke away from their “quiet expert” spirit and killed al-Qaeda leader Bin Laden, who was responsible for planning the 9/11 attack. Was announced. Two seals wrote a book about the mission, urging the rebuke from Maj. Gen. Brian Rosie of the then Naval Special Warfare command.

“An important tenant in our psyche is,’I don’t advertise the nature of my work or seek awareness of my actions,'” he said.

After taking over last September, Howard contacted the Army and Marines for ideas on how to better select commandos and evaluate them as they move ranks. Almost immediately, he began a “double-blind” process for interviewing candidates used by the Army. Therefore, neither side is affected by actually seeing the other.

In addition, he enhances the screening process with more psychological assessments to assess personality traits. And he is expanding other evaluations made by the candidate’s subordinates and peers for review. According to Howard, the strengthening of scrutiny will extend to all classes and will help leaders better understand the character of each military personnel. He said this process would provide more feedback for individuals to improve and help top leaders pair commanders with the right team.

According to Howard, seafarers who had already passed the first SEAL screening may have to rescreen in a new process. Not everything went well the second time.

“I found out that some of the officers who scored in the midrange scored much higher,” he said.

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