Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman graduate their 100th class and remember their roots. The Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) is a United States Naval Special Warfare Command team that operates and maintains an inventory of small craft used to conduct special operations missions, particularly those of the U.S. Navy SEALs. Individually, SEALs and SWCC go through separate specialized training programs that emphasize special operations in the maritime environment.
Naval Special Warfare Basic Training Command graduated its 100th class of specially-trained small boat operators at a ceremony at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. Each SWCC graduate completed 27 weeks of training, including running a total of 157 miles, swimming 44 miles and completing the obstacle course at least 14 times. The total ammunition expended by the class exceeded 37,000 rounds of small arms ammo and 135,000 rounds of heavy weapons ammo. They navigated 750 nautical miles over 200 hours. The roughly 800-member SWCC community is smaller still, at .25 percent of the force.
SWCC specialize in swift mobility, due to this they also have a high level of training in tactical driving and convoy operations. They do many missions alongside SEALs providing security detail and evacuation. SWCC must be physically fit, highly motivated, combat-focused, and responsive in high-stress situations. To become a special warfare combatant-craft crewman, a service member must apply and be accepted to special programs, pass SWCC basic crewman training school, and pass other schools. Following this, they undergo crewman qualification training concurrently with a probationary period.
Special boat teams can trace their history back to World War II. Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three rescued General Douglas MacArthur (and later the Filipino president Manuel L. Quezon) from the Philippines after the Japanese invasion and then participated in guerilla actions until American resistance ended with the fall of Corregidor. The development of a robust riverine warfare capability during the Vietnam War produced the forerunner of the modern special warfare combatant-craft crewman. In 1966 River Patrol Force (Task Force 116) operated River Patrol Boats (PBR) conducting counterinsurgency operations in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.