Special Boat Team Receives
Commendation; SEAL Gets Bronze Star
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 13:32:39 -0500
By Lt. Chris Usselman, Naval Special Warfare
Command Public Affairs
CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Special Warfare Boat Team (SBT) 12
was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, and a SEAL (SEa, Air, Land)
was awarded the Bronze Star Medal in a ceremony aboard Naval
Amphibious Base Coronado Feb. 14.
The Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC) and SEAL
commandos of SBT-12 received the award for unparalleled success in
support of Naval Special Warfare and unified command missions during
Operation Enduring Freedom. SEAL, Cmdr. Larry Lasky, received the
Bronze Star for his noteworthy achievements in Afghanistan.
The Navy Unit Commendation is awarded to units that distinguish
themselves in mission accomplishment, as did SBT-12 over the past
"Our SWCC warriors and special boats are in the thick of the fight,"
said Cmdr. Brent Jenkins, chief staff officer, Naval Special Warfare
Group 3. "Our special boat teams maintain an incredible operational
tempo, conducting missions on six continents during the war in
Afghanistan, the global war on terrorism and in preparation for a
host of contingency situations."
Between 1999 and 2002, SBT-12 executed 220 maritime interdiction
operations, resulting in the seizure of 106,000 metric tons of oil,
prohibited under United Nations sanctions against Iraq. The SWCCs of
SBT-12 also provided the first U.S. security force on scene after
terrorist attack on USS Cole (DDG 67) in October 2000.
"The small crew sizes of these boats mean that each SWCC must
shoulder a heavy load to make each mission a success," said Jenkins,
a surface warfare officer. "These are the types of guys you can
depend on in a pinch."
Additionally, within days of the Sept. 11 attacks, SBT-12 surged to
a 100 percent increase in deployed boat detachments, captured
multiple Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists, and effectively halted the
flow of illegal oil in the Northern Arabian Gulf.
"This recognition shows how important our Special Boat Teams are to
America, the Navy and Naval Special Warfare," said the Navy's top
SEAL, Rear Adm. Bert Calland, who formally presented the awards.
"This also demonstrates how indispensable our SWCCs are to fighting
the war on terrorism."
SWCC must pass a rigorous training program to operate the highly
specialized boats, the MK V Special Operations Craft, a medium range
insertion/extraction platform for SEALs, and the 11-meter rigid hull
inflatable boat, a short-range insertion/extraction craft.
Also during the ceremony, Lasky, a SEAL attached to Naval Special
Warfare Group 3, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his personal
contributions to global war on terrorism.
"This is very humbling," said Lasky, when asked how it felt to
receive one of our nation's highest military honors. "This validates
the preparation we do on a daily basis, because we train like we
fight," he said.
While serving as Commander, Naval Special Operations Forces (NAVSOF)
attached to the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force South
in Afghanistan, Lasky planned 10 combat missions, which resulted in
the capture of dozens of enemy personnel and the destruction of tens
of thousands of pounds of enemy materials. These operations were
conducted during a 30-day period with no combat casualties and a 100
percent success rate.
Lasky's leadership directly contributed to the successful mission of
coalition forces to control a key Taliban stronghold. In advance of
the main U.S. force, NAVSOF sent an armed patrol from the
Afghanistan area known as Camp Rhino on a 140-mile trek across the
high-desert region to the city of Qandahar. The success of NAVSOF in
a land-locked battlefield under harsh conditions validated the
unique versatility of Naval Special Warfare forces while hundreds of
miles from the coastline.
"Naval Special Warfare's flexibility, agility and responsiveness is
the core of our strength," said Lasky, a former commanding officer
of SBT-12. "Our strength is based on teamwork and the rigorous
training we undergo, which enables us to accomplish the mission in
For related news, visit the Naval Special Warfare Navy NewsStand
page at www.news.navy.mil/local/nsw.