Navy SEAL Team 6: Reshaping the Military
Navy SEAL Team Six has earned a reputation for daring rescues and secret missions and have now become the U.S. military's "go-to force" for rescue missions.
Officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development group, they are one of the military's few elite special mission units that carry out some of the most dangerous, yet necessary operations. They are the same team that killed Osama bin Laden in a raid last year in Pakistan.
More recently, they rescued aid worker, Jessica Buchanan and Danish citizen Poul Hagen Thisted from Somalian pirates. The Navy SEALs have encountered pirates around the Horn of Africa many times.
In 2009, the SEALs carried out a hostage-rescue mission that saved American cargo ship Capt. Richard Phillips. He was being held captive by pirates on his ship's lifeboat before Navy SEALs snipers killed the pirates.
SEALs's presence in the Horn of Africa have led to a breakthrough in military operations for an area once thought to be untouchable. The New York Times reported that Somalia was considered "out of reach" for some time, but the SEALs have carried out many special operational raids out of bases in Somalia's neighboring countries.
Now, the military has a formidable presence in the area, consisting of surveillance drones, special operations units and warships, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Army's 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta is the seabound counterpart to SEAL Team 6. They are best known for tracking down Saddam Hussein and his sons, as well as other top al-Qaida targets in Iraq.
Both teams have become famous for seeking out high-priority terrorists suspects from the Middle East and Asia. They were established to build U.S. military expertise after a failed rescue attempt of over 50 hostages in Iran in 1980.
Covert, narrowly-targeted operations like the SEALs and Delta have completed are examples of President Obama's vision for a smaller, scaled down military, according to Christian Science Monitor. The teams represent a more agile group that relies on targeted counterterrorism attacks on enemies, versus large-scale, costly land invasions.
The strategy is reportedly more preferred than invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan that cost many American soldiers their lives.
There is expected to be an announcement that investments in these types of special operational forces will be increased. They have become essential tools for the U.S. military since the 9/11 attacks.