Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG)
Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG)

Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG)


The Naval Special Operation Group or Special Warfare Group (SWAG) is the elite unit of the Philippine Navy trained in special operations, sabotage, psychological and unconventional warfare which is heavily influenced by the United States Navy SEALs. It specializes in SEa, Air, Land (SEAL) operations ranging from reconnaissance, close combat, demolition, intelligence and underwater operations in support of overall naval operations.

The predecessor unit to the NSWG/SWAG (the Underwater Operations Team or UOT) was activated on 5 November 1956 as a special forces of the Philippine Navy. Patterned after the US Navy Underwater Demolition Teams and the Italian Decima Flottiglia MAS with modifications for Philippine conditions, from its founding the UOT was charged with conducting underwater operations in waterways, beach areas and harbors in support of Philippine naval operations. These operations included underwater explosive disposal, mine countermeasures, salvage and search and rescue. In 1959 the UOT was expanded and redesignated the Underwater Operations Unit, then as the Underwater Operations Group (UOG).

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The UOG was then renamed the Naval Special Warfare Group, and later on as the Naval Special Operations Group. The unit’s tasks were also expanded to cover all facets of unconventional warfare in a maritime and riverine environment. This includes but is not limited to demolition, hostage rescue, harassment, force protection and maritime tactical operations. The unit changed their name from SWAG to NAVSOG on May 30, 2005.

The unit gained prominence in a number of counter-terrorism operations, most notably against the Abu Sayyaf Group, and is known for its highly-demanding physical training program which is based on the United States Navy SEAL program. The NAVSOG training program is known as Basic Naval Special Operations Course.

Today, the Naval Special Operations Group is headquartered at Sangley Point, Cavite City. It has eight units located across the Philippines, from Naval Operating Base San Vicente at Santa Ana, Cagayan in the north to Naval Station Zamboanga in the south. Each unit is attached either to a task force or a naval force and has a complement that varies from 3 to 6 SEAL Teams, with each team consisting of an officer and seven enlisted men. All team members “…are trained tactical divers, parachutists and demolitionists and in the execution of Special Warfare Operations from the Sea, Air and Land.” To become a qualified Philippine Navy SEAL, officers and enlisted men must successfully complete the six-month Basic Naval Special Warfare/SEAL Course.

The unit specializes in SEa, Air, Land (SEAL) operations ranging from reconnaissance, close combat, demolition, intelligence and underwater operations in support of overall naval operations. The unit gained prominence in a number of counter-terrorism operations, most notably against the Abu Sayyaf Group, and is known for its highly-demanding physical training program which is based on the United States Navy SEAL program.

Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG)
Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG)
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