Special Boat Unit - 20



Special Boat Unit - 20

1978-2002 - Special Boat Squadrons

Special Boat Squadron -1


Special Boat Squadron - 2

Special Boat Unit - 11

Special Boat Unit - 12


Special Boat Unit - 20

Special Boat Unit - 22

Special Boat Unit - 13

Special Boat Detachments


Special Boat Unit - 24

Special Boat Unit - 26

Special Boat Unit 20 is located at the Naval Amphib Base, Little Creek, Norfolk, VA. This units' primary tasks are the support of special warfare units and fleet training in patrol boat tactics. In addition this unit provides a great deal of test and evaluation service expertise, assisting in the development of new weapons and procedures. Craft inventory includes 82 foot MK V Special Operations Craft and 44 24 foot and 11 meter Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boats (RIBs). SBU-20 craft and crews are continuously deployed throughout the Atlantic and European theaters.

From Scott Sawyer - Just some quick back ground, I served aboard MKIII PB'S in the Persian Gulf aboard a mobile barge for operation ERNIST WILL which was the re-flagging of 11 Kuwait tankers for protection during the Iran/Iraq conflict. I also served aboard PB 759/778 during operation JUST CAUSE in Panama. This was the last time that MKIII patrol boats were used in combat. I have photos transiting the canal, but many are personal. I would have to search my data base for suitable pics for you. I do have a few.  More Info.

 Added 08-19-07

First Version Patch 2nd Version Final Version SEAFOX recovers combat swimmers


SEAFOX recovers combat swimmers this method was developed by the UDT in WWII
SEAFOX and MKIII PB the NSW Coastal Combatant Craft of the 1980s In the early 90s the 24' Willard RHIB became a SEAL Support Craft for SBU-20 SBU-20 30' RHIB in the Mid-1990s handles sea states well but still wet and cold and a rough ride on the Boatguys a good view of of a 30' RHIB of SBU-20 in the Mid 1990s and standard craft for MARG deployments 1995 SBU-20 got its first MKVSOC


  Highland RIB Detachment           RIBS in the Mediterranean


Photos below provided by John Foster
Penguin Missile test and evaluation crew. Lt John Farris Another view of Penguins Another view of Penguins Stabilized 40mm mount on PBMKIII The first Seafox delivered

PMKIIIs capture crew of Iran Ajar Minelayer in 1987

  Op Earnst Will, Barge Hercules Barge Hercules NSTWU East

SBU-20's Willard RIBs operating in P.R. 1991-92

Capt. Peter Wikul, SEAL is a NSW legend starting as a Enlisted and retiring as a Full Captain. He started out in the UDTs and Seal Teams and served also in Special Boat Units 12 and 20 and commanding SDV Team 2. He held the Rare Title of "Bull Frog" The longest serving SEAL in the Teams at the Time of retirement of 39 years service.

The following is his point paper he wrote based on his experience on the Barge Hercules 1987. Read Here

(04-06-2011) Pete said: Jim, Great to see you're still going strong, I have been busy with a number of projects. You can use anything I have written. If I get more time I will send more stuff on the Barges and Boats.

I want to say CMDR Paul Evancoe was the first C.O. of barge Hercules 1987.

My Best  Pete.. Bullfrog 13

12-06-06 Thomas M Braunscheidel  I was stationed in Little Creek VA at SBU20 from 1982 until 1986. I was assigned to the engine shop which was support for the Seafox and 65'
Patrol Boats. We did time in Puerto Rico, Zaire Africa, Scotland, and Honderous. I was detached to Key West for drug patrols. I completed 8 years active duty and 14 years reserve retiring in 2000. Prior to SBU20 I was on the USS Saginaw LST 1188.

My home address is 770 Ridge Road, Ambridge PA 15003 Home number 724-251-9244


I was in SBU-20 and in the Persian Gulf during Operation Earnst Will from 1987-88. I made the Placks at the unit. I'm sorry I can't pass on much info due to a head injury and can't remember all the names of the crew. Maybe your web page can help I.D. them.

I had always had a good time in the Navy; it was a job with the benefits of travel and seeing the world. Most days were boring especially while at sea. I would take care of daily tasks, and work assignments; the rest of the time was filled with practice fire drills, man overboard, general quarters other emergency drills. While this didnít seem glamorous, I soon found out the importance of all of my training.  Read "The Best Kept Secret" Here

06-16-09 from C.W. Brubaker
<-  This is SN McBride in the picture to the left. It was taken on PB 510 Cheng-   EN2 Brubaker .....Boat Captain BM1 GLYNN....Asst. boat captain.... QM1 Anderson..... I know this for a fact since I am EN2 Brubaker. RM3 Hojinicolis (Haji) was also a crew member.   (who by the way started smoking cigarettes on 18 April 1988 and the last I saw was still smoking 10 years later was on this craft also) I was on this craft from beginning of Feb 1988 to end of May 1988. I can't remember all the names of who was on the craft with me.......C. W. Brubaker


GMG2 Tom Stanley on PB MKIII holding M-16/203 Duran in Gulf. A EN 20mm gunner
A time to relax in Gulf.
Gunner Tom in Gulf note fully loaded 20mm Vintage SBU-20 plack made by Tom Stanley    
Persain Gulf Yacht Club plack made by Tom Stanley Web Feet PB7510 showing hard service in Gulf by 1988.    
  A air view of the HERC in choppy sea        

02-07-09 Jeff "Wags" Waguespack -   Jim, I enjoyed your article, as I just found it while playing around on my computer, waiting to go to a Super Bowl Party. I can fill in some of the blanks as far as boat numbers go. I was in command of PB 7510 and Scott Sawyer was my CHANG (chief engineer). I still work with Scott. We were out of [SBU-] 20.

I was on the commissioning crew for Hercules, and Paul Evencoe was our CO. The other boat number you were missing was 759 commanded by Keith Wright. Keith and I were on patrol on Oct. 9 1987, on the way to the buoy off Farsi Island to drop off a Seafox as a listening post, we started taking fire from 1 Boghammer and 2 Whalers. We both emptied our 50's and 20 mm then the little birds from TF 160 came in and hit all 3 boat with 7.62  and 2.75 inch rockets. When the fire went out and the smoke cleared, Keith kept watch on 759 and I went in on 7510 to retrieve prisoners. They were all severely injured except 1 Iranian, when I pulled him onto the swimmer platform, pulled a 9mm, I managed to get it away from him and he died later that night in our triage we had set up on the barge. 

Both Keith and I did many Earnest Will escorts, We both stayed approximately 7 months the first time to the Hercules, after that the deployments leveled out at 4 months.  

Again I enjoyed your article, it brought back allot of memories.

V/R Jeff   (Wags)

Added 4-20-09        
Patrol Boats alongside MSB Hercules Drilling Barge Mobile Sea Base Hercules Drilling Barge Hercules during Operation Prime Chance Captured Iranians. Blackhawk landing on Hercules
Barge Hercules with Helicopter and PBRs onboard Patrol boat lifted aboard MSB Hercules 10 meter RIB SHOOT in PR 24' RHIB rigged for airdrop The original Prototype SEAFOX at SBU-20.... its now on display at the SEAL/UDT Museum in Fl.
SEALs and SWCC with Zodiac on back of MKV   PB777 with Penguin Pods and test equipment. PB777 firing Penguin missile. MKIII PB's loaded in bay of LSD

 (Added 01-24-2011)  Mike Wetzel - I was with SBU-20 as a BM2 and BM1, from April 1985 till Oct 1988. Though a short time I logged many miles for a shore duty assignment. Besides the SERE school and various other training I either attended or conducted up and down the East coast, I was deployed as a member then later as POIC to Det-Alpha in Puerto Rico, POIC MARG-87 or something or other in the MED over Christmas 1986. Then the first crews back to the gulf for Operation Earnest Will/or rather (our) Operation Prime Chance with NSWTU-Whiskey in 1987. Which was very eventful. Any more let me know and thanks.  Mike.   mikewetzel2000@yahoo.com


The withdraw from shore Lebanon means bring gear and equipment back to ship

SBU-20 RiBs supporting SDV Ops with USS Archerfish

A SBU-20 PBMKIII returns to ship during withdrawl from Lebanon 1984

a PBMKKIII of the Coast of Lebanon during the U.S. Withdrawl 1984

PB758 during Lebanon Troubles of 1984
In the Gulf weapons maintence Cleaning a MK-19 GL Cleaning the Mk-16 20mm cannon SBU-20 MKIII PB 777 leaves for Patrol note Decks painted white to keep the heat of Gulf more tolerable

Barge Hercules NSWTULANT home of SBU-20 and 24 Boat dets.

The Persian Gulf Tans and White Decks


Aft look out on a Tanker run to Kuwait.

Escort into Kuwait complete now recover the Master from Tanker and take to Tanker going in other direction for return trip. Note the White Deck. 

RTB to the Herc Not Flight ops going on.


Life on the Herc goes on.... SEAL Snipers Practice.


1987 PBMKIII;s loaded on flight deck, now 57' MSB mine sweepers come into well deck. for the transit to the Persian Gulf at the Beginning of Operation Ernest Will

In the early 90s SBU-20 Boatguys working off a LSD. SBU-20 RIB Boatguy EN1 Mark Nissen SBU-20 1984  withdrawing off coast of Lebanon and ending the US involvement in Beruit Lebanon PB 777 showing off her new 40mm Cannon 1984

777 on step and 40mm tracking


 (Added 11-29-2011)    

early IRibs 30' make high speed run

Wilard24'Rib converted for NSW early 90s

(Added 01-27-2012)

First MKV goes in the Water

First MKV on speed run First MKV pier side  

(01-23-2012) George Coleman former SBU-20.  I spent 26 1/2 years as a SEAL, commissioned via NROTC in May 1981, completed BUD/S December '81, initially assigned to UDT-21/SEAL Team Four, went on to serve at SBUs 20 and 22, SEAL Team TWO (two tours- platoon commander, Training Officer and XO), SEAL Team EIGHT (CO), and staff tours at SOCACOM/SOCJFCOM (J3), BUPERS (SEAL Enlisted Community Manger), USSOCOM, and ASD SOLIC. I retired from the Navy as a Captain in November 2007.    More Here

(added 04-22-2013)

Pete Spooner and CPO Sweeny 1989 Persian Gulf

Barge Hercules Gun platforms. Vulcan on top 25 chaingun on the bottom. SEAL Lt Macklin's  Sharkmouth Seafox Lebannon 1984 SEALs insert from a SEAFOX

(Added 02-16-2014) Jasen "Jayman" Maiuria



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