Naval Special Warfare Group 3

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U.S. Navy Special Warfare Group 3
Country United States of America
Branch United States Navy
TypeSpecial operations force
SEa, Air, Land
Size667 personnel authorized:[1]
  • 620 military personnel
  • 47 civilian personnel
Part ofUnited States Special Operations Command Insignia.svg United States Special Operations Command
US NSWC insignia.jpg United States Naval Special Warfare Command
Garrison/HQNaval Amphibious Base Coronado
Motto(s)"The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday"
"It Pays to be a Winner"
"There is no 'I' in TEAM"
EngagementsOperation Just Cause
Operation Desert Storm

Operation Enduring Freedom

Operation Iraqi Freedom
P. Gardner Howe, III

Naval Special Warfare Group 3 (NSWG-3), based at the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in California, is one of six constituent formations of the United States Naval Special Warfare Command.[2] Until 2008, NSWG-3 was composed of two SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams: SDVT-1 in Pearl Harbor and SDVT-2 in Little Creek. In 2008, SDVT-2 was disestablished and merged into SDVT-1, which is now headquartered in Pearl Harbor and operates detachments in Pearl Harbor and Little Creek. SDV Teams are SEAL teams with an added underwater delivery capability. An SDV platoon consists of 12-15 SEALs.


SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One (SDVT-1) is commanded by a Navy Commander (O-5). The table of equipment for the unit includes three operational SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDV) and a Dry Deck Shelter (DDS). The normal table of organization includes three task units and a headquarters element. Each SDV Task Unit operates independently from a host submarine in the conduct of Naval Special Warfare missions. SDV Task Units typically deploy aboard host submarines, but may be deployed from shore or surface ships. The 40 man SDV Task Units are formed of a Headquarters element and 2 platoons of 16 men, comprising: 11 SEALs, 1 dive medical technician, and 4 fleet support maintenance technicians.[3] SDVT-1 conducts operations throughout the Pacific Command's and Central Command's geographic areas of responsibility.[4] SDVT-1 was initially headquartered in Coronado, California before being moved to Pearl Harbor in 1994.[5]


SDVT-2 is a team of Navy divers, SEALs, and SDV technicians based in Little Creek, Virginia and commanded by a Commander (O-5).[6] It gives the Navy's SEAL Delivery Vehicles a base for operations on the East Coast and in Europe.[6] SDVT-2 was disestablished on 8 August 2008.[7] SDVT-2 was merged into SDVT-1, although the Navy continued to operate a small Dry Deck Shelter establishment at Little Creek, albeit under the command of SDVT-1.[5] It was reactivated on 8 March 2019.[6]


NSWG-3 is the organization tasked with developing expertise in deploying Naval Special Warfare assets from submarines. Current non-classified methods of deployment include the SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) from Dry Deck Shelters on submarines. The Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS) was also used before its cancellation. the SDV is planned to be replaced by the Shallow Water Combat Submersible in 2019, and the ASDS will be replaced with the Dry Combat Submersible.[8]


The SDV program dates back to World War II, when various sleds and vehicles developed for use by the Underwater Demolition Teams. After the war, development continued in a garage-shop fashion by various UDT units, and included various "Marks" as the MK V, VII, VII, and XII. Intermediate numbers were assigned to some vehicles that never left the shop floor. All were of flooded design.[9]

The wet vehicle SDV program (officially named the Swimmer Delivery Vehicle, sometimes erroneously designated as the SEAL Delivery Vehicle after the Swimmer Delivery Vehicle Teams were renamed SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams) currently centers on the MK VIII MOD 1, was first established in 1975 for use among UDT/SEAL teams. The early MK8 MOD 0 SDVs had a PRC104 UHF ultra high frequency radio for use underway. The newer model MK8 MOD1 has a dual sliding canopy and quick release hatch.[9]


  1. ^ SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES: Opportunities Exist to Improve Transparency of Funding and Assess Potential to Lessen Some Deployments (PDF) (Report). Government Accountability Office. July 2015. p. 46. GAO-15-571.
  2. ^ "Headquarters: COMNAVSPECWARCOM". Official US Navy SOC website. Archived from the original on 6 June 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  3. ^ "SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams". American Special Ops. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  4. ^ "SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE (SDVT-1)". Special Operations. 2000. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE (PDF) (Report). Naval Special Warfare Center. May 2013. NWP 3-05. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Faram, Mark D. (25 February 2019). "SEALs revive stealthy submarine delivery team in Virginia". Navy Times. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  7. ^ "SDVT-2 Disestablishment-Help Needed!". 5 December 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  8. ^ Burgess, Richard (October 2018). "New Seahorses For The Seals". Seapower. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  9. ^ a b Introduction to Naval Special Warfare Archived 2008-01-16 at the Wayback Machine