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Naval Special Warfare Development Group, otherwise known as 'DEVGRU' or 'SEAL Team 6', is a Counter Terrorism unit administered by US Naval Special Warfare Command. An elite within an elite, the unit is made up of SEALs selected from existing SEAL Teams. DEVGRU is considered a 'Tier One' special mission unit on a par with the Army's Delta Force. SEAL Team Six is under operational command of JSOC.

SEAL Team Six - Organization

DEVGRU / ST6 is organized into 4 line squadrons codenamed Red Squadron, Blue Squadron, Gold Squadron and Silver Squadron.

Each line squadron contains around 50 operators and each squadron is divided into 3 troops. Troops will typically be divided into teams of assaulters and snipers.

Some sources indicate that DEVGRU includes a Gray Squadron, which is a specialist boat squadron dedicated to maritime operations.

There is also a Black Squadron (Reconnaissance and Surveillance squadron) which appears to have a role similar to the army's Intelligence Support Activity.

Black Squadron

A secret cadre inside DEVGRU, Black Squadron are sniper and reconnaissance specialists who carry out advance force operations (AFO). This typically entails clandestine intelligence gathering ahead of a DEVGRU strike operation. Small Black Squadron teams operate out of U.S. embassies in trouble spots around the world, their weapons and other gear being smuggled in through diplomatic pouches.

Black Squadron includes female operators. In some environments, a woman, either alone or paired with a male operator, can offer a softer profile than a lone man or team of men.

According a New York Times article, Black Squadron has more than a hundred members. [2]

SEAL Team Six - History

SEAL Team Six's origin can be traced back to the aftermath of Operation Eagle Claw, the aborted 1980 attempt by US SOF to rescue American hostages from Iran. With the need for dedicated hostage rescue units stronger than ever, SEAL Team 6 was put together and commanded by Richard Marcinko, with the unit coming online in 1981. SEAL Team 6's remit included Maritime Counter Terrorism (MCT) and ship-boarding operations.

SEAL Team 6 was eventually disbanded and, in 1987, its role, minus non-CT ship boarding which was handed off the newly formed SEAL team 8, was given to the newly formed Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDEVGRU or DEVGRU). Although ostensibly a new organization, DEVGRU was manned by many SEAL Team 6 operators and carried on with the same ethos and standard operating procedures. Although no longer its official name, the 'SEAL Team Six' moniker has stuck to the unit, especially with regards to its portrayal in the media.

SEAL Team Six - Roles

The primary missions of SEAL Team Six are:

  • Counter Terrorism
    SEAL Team Six specializes in Maritime Counter Terrorism (MCT) - e.g. hostage rescue and elimination of terrorists on ships, oil platforms etc - but is also capable of broader CT tasks. Since 2001 SEAL Team Six has been focused on operations in and around Afghanistan. The unit is also able to carry out pre-emptive CT operations.

  • Close Protection
    DEVGRU sometimes provide security for VIPs. For instance DEVGRU provided Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai with close protection in the early days of his Presidency.

  • Special Reconnaissance
    DEVGRU operators, especially those trained as snipers, are experts at reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence gathering operations
DEVGRU Insignia
SEAL Team 6 Insignia
SEAL Team Six
SEAL Team 6 Weapons
The HK MP7 is a compact weapon carried by DEVGRU operators on close quarters combat (CQC) operations

more info: SEAL Team Six weapons
photo by KrisfromGermany
Featured DEVGRU Photo
SEAL Team Six
SEAL Team Six operators pictured protecting Afghan President Hamid Karza, 2002.

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DEVGRU employ some highly sophisticated kit such as the GPNVG-18 night vision device.

more info: GPNVG-18
ST6 missions
Read details of SEAL Team 6 missions

more info: DEVGRU Operations


SEAL Team Six - Operations

A look at operations carried out by DEVGRU...
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SEAL Team Six - Weapons

DEVGRU can draw on a range of specialised weapons...

more info: SEAL Team Six weapons

SEAL Team Six - Resources


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