|NSW Forces Receive
Presidential Unit Citation (Date:
Mon, 12 Feb 2007 14:44:41 -0500)
By Journalist 3rd Class Christopher Menzie, Naval Special
Warfare Public Affairs
CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Dr. Donald
C. Winter presented one of the nation's highest military
awards to a Naval Special Warfare task group and its
subordinate tactical and support elements May 10 during a
ceremony at Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Command.
SECNAV praised the Sailors' bravery and dedication as he
presented the Presidential Unit Citation to NSW Task
Group-Central, NSW Squadron 3, and NSW Unit 3 for their
actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"I hope people get a sense of the significance of what these
men have done, and the tremendous contribution that it has
provided to this nation and the free world," Winter said.
"This is a time when we need people to come forward to do
the most difficult tasks efficiently and effectively."
The Presidential Unit Citation was established by President
Franklin D. Roosevelt Feb. 6, 1942, and is awarded to U.S.
military and allied units for extraordinary heroism in
action against an armed enemy. The unit must have
accomplished its mission under such extremely difficult
and hazardous conditions to set it apart from and above
other units participating in the same campaign. The award
requires the same degree of heroism as that which would be
needed for an individual to receive the Navy Cross.
NSW Task Group-Central and the subordinate elements
participated in the largest NSW operation in history.
Members of the unit and squadron seized oil terminals in the
Northern Persian Gulf, and Task Group-Central coordinated
the assault around the Al Faw pipeline. Their actions
prevented ecological disaster by securing several
oil-related targets that had been rigged with explosives.
"Going into an uncharted territory, all the men knew the
significance of the event and how catastrophic it could have
been," said Senior Chief Operations Specialist (SEAL)
Richard Ledford, an operations chief during the Al Faw
While SEALs completed their missions on land with tactical
precision, Special Boat teams traveled through the Khawr Abd
Allah estuary, infiltrating the Iraqi port city of Umm Qasr.
Despite constant sniper attacks, the boat teams held their
position until the risk of danger
from floating mines and land-based forces was eliminated.
"It was a tremendous opportunity to be in that situation,"
said Lt. Cmdr. Van Wennen, the assault force commander
tasked with securing Mina Al Bakr (one of the two major
offshore terminals). "Many men within the Naval Special
Warfare community could have done what I did. I was just
lucky enough to be there at the time."
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|Naval Special Warfare
Group 4 Holds Historic Conference
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2007
By Naval Special Warfare Group 4 Public Affairs
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. (NNS) -- Naval Special Warfare
Group 4 (NSWG 4) hosted more than 50 leaders of U.S. Special
Operations Command's (USSOCOM) premier, special boat
community for its 2006 Commander's Conference in September.
The conference attendees included NSWG 4 Commodore, Capt.
Evin Thompson, all Special Boat Team commanding officers,
more than half of the Special Warfare Combatant-craft
crewman (SWCC) master chief petty officers, and leaders from
all departments in the community.
It was the first time since SWCC became a closed loop
community that so many of its senior enlisted leaders and
officers met in one room. It was an excellent opportunity to
shape the future for Naval Special Warfare's surface
component and the warriors that serve it.
"I think it is important to get everybody's perspective,"
said NSWG 4 Command Master Chief (CMC), Master Chief Scott
Harris. "We all sit in different seats. The training master
chiefs, operations master chiefs, guys taking detachments
out, other CMCs, we all have ideas from where we sit."
NSWG 4's three boat teams, Special Boat Team 12 (Coronado,
Calif.), Special Boat Team 20 (Norfolk, Va.), and Special
Boat Team 22 (Stennis, Miss.), are spread out on three
coasts, making this kind of meeting a logistical challenge.
While video teleconferencing (VTC) is regularly used to
bring the teams together, face-to-face discussion is
"To look an individual in the eye, to have uninterrupted
conversations unconstrained by technology, and most
important to have sidebar conversations in and around the
general discussions can never be replicated in a VTC
environment," Thompson said.
What happens outside the conference room can be just as
important as what happens in it.
"Being in one location at the same time is great, and not
just for what happens during the conference. During runs,
[physical training] and after-hours, you have time for
discussions and informal meetings," said Harris. "You don't
have time for that during a VTC."
Topics ranging from SWCC manning and training, to boat team
operational capabilities during the global war on terrorism,
were discussed frankly and without hesitation.
"Leadership and knowledge are not intuitive skills one is
born with. They come as one experiences the success and
failures of others by capturing and learning each time you
hear or see something. Only by having open dialogue do we
grow as professionals and become even better warriors so
that we can uphold our commitment of defending the
constitution," said Thompson.
The September conference was the first, but will not be the
last for the SWCC leadership. The next conference is
scheduled for Spring 2007.
For related news, visit the Naval Special Warfare Group 4
Navy NewsStand page at