The famed U.S. Navy SEALS are witnessing major changes to the elite fighting force, and a former naval commander says the coming changes are welcome news.
With an eye on China and Russia, the Navy’s special operations force plans to return to training for conventional warfare, including seaborne operations, after fighting terrorists in the Middle East for two decades.
Rear Admiral H. Wyman Howard III, the top commander for the SEALS, told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview that SEAL units are returning to the sea after years of counterterrorism missions in the mountains of Afghanistan and the Iraqi desert.
The Pentagon recognizes the threats posed by China and Russia and the need for special operations to counter those threats, the AP said.
Howard called the military capability of those countries “peer threats” that are being countered with expanded SEAL platoons that will take on new roles in cyber and electronic warfare, operating unmanned systems, and intelligence gathering.
Retired navy commander Kirk Lippold, an adjunct professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, says the changes are long overdue after SEAL teams have been sent to Afghanistan and the streets of Baghdad.
“They’ve kind of lost some of their war-fighting expertise and skills,” he tells One News Now, “and I think that Admiral Howard is working to get back to that, and I’m very glad to see it.”
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