The Tip of the Spear
ST6 has been in the news quite a bit lately for taking care of a little unfinished business.
The fact of the matter is, although the official designation of the group today is the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), it has been hard to shake the early designations. Team 6 has been the tip of the spear when it comes to anti-terrorist military action since their inception in the early 80s.
But who are these guys?
Their identities are classified. You won’t see their names up on the headlines of CNN or the NY Times, but make no mistake about it, these guys have been getting the job done for nearly thirty years.
The roots of ST6 can be traced to the days following Operation Eagle Claw, the failed 1980 attempt to rescue American hostages at the U.S. Embassy in Iran. Richard Marcinko was one of two Navy representatives for a Joint Chiefs of Staff task force known as the TAT (Terrorist Action Team). The purpose of the TAT was to develop a plan to free the American hostages held in Iran, which culminated in Operation Eagle Claw. In the wake of the operation’s disaster at Desert One, the U.S. Navy saw the need for a full-time dedicated Counter-Terrorist Team and tasked Marcinko with its design and development. He became the first commanding officer of ST6.
In the years since, ST6 has been a vital weapon in our countries arsenal. They have seen action in Somalia, Bosnia, Granada, Afghanistan and most recently — Pakistan.
ST6 practiced for Operation Geronimo since early April where they trained in a replica of Bin Laden’s compound. On the evening of May 1, 2011, following the order given by the Commander-In-Chief, Barack Obama, ST6 and other support troops dropped in on this high value target in the upper class village of Abbottabad, Pakistan. Within minutes of entry the team killed 22 terrorists including Osama Bin laden.
And then, just as quickly as they arrived, they were gone, back at base, cleaning weapons for their next assignment.
I don’t know about you folks. I for one am glad we have men like the Seals of ST6.