Special Boat Operators ready to respond to Hurricane Ike relief efforts

By Naval Special Warfare Group FOUR Public Affairs

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ALEXANDRIA, La. – Nearly 50 Naval Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) from Special Boat Team 22 and the Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School (NAVSCIATTS) are standing by with eight Patrol Boats Light (PBL) at England Air Force Base to assist as called upon to perform search and rescue or clean-up operations.

            “Naval Special Warfare is committed to providing any support it can to Texas communities in need.  Task Force 22 is standing by, ready to assist,” said Capt. Charles Wolf, commander, Naval Special Warfare Group Four and the force provider for this mission.   “This TF is especially suited to this mission due to its experience in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the capabilities the operators possess as U.S. Special Operation’s Command (USSOCOM) premier maritime mobility experts.”

            TF-22 will be prepared to conduct search and rescue missions, as well as provide recovery support and a mobility platform for rescue teams or government officials to reach areas impassable by other means. The team will operate the PBL which has a draft of 16 inches, making them ideal for use in shallow waterways, such as flooded streets.

“SWCC operators are the master mariners and guardians of the water ways of the world,” said Wolf.  “These elite operators expertly navigate and pilot specialized high-speed, low-profile and highly technical surface combatant craft during special operations missions, and will handle this mission with the same expertise and professionalism.”

SWCC focus on the clandestine infiltration and exfiltration of SEALs and other special operations forces. Special boat operators provide stealth and rapid mobility in shallow water areas where larger ships cannot operate.

Their missions include direct action, special reconnaissance, interdiction, and rapid response to non-combatant evacuation operations, maritime interception operations, leadership interdiction operations and visit, board, search and seizures of suspect ships and surface craft. Additionally, SWCC conduct missions in the full spectrum of special operations missions.