U.S. Naval Special Warfare Operators Strengthen Maritime Capabilities in Europe
U.S. Naval Special Warfare Operators Strengthen Maritime Capabilities in Europe

US Naval Special Warfare Operators Strengthen Maritime Capabilities in Europe

U.S. Naval Special Warfare Operators deployed to Croatia, Germany, Hungary, and Romania for two special operations forces exercises, May 3-14, 2021. Trojan Footprint 21, the premier annual SOF exercise led by Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR), utilized SEAL and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (SWCC) teams in Romania and the Black Sea to conduct various training with SOF units from Georgia, Spain, and Romania.

Black Swan 21 is an annual Hungarian led multinational special operations forces exercise. It was held in conjunction with Trojan Footprint 21 to test military synchronization capabilities and to defend multiple domains in Europe simultaneously. U.S. Navy SEAL maritime planner primary mission during Black Swan is to train with the Special Operations Craft-Riverine (SOC-R) along the Danube River. The Danube River is Europe’s second longest river, flowing from the Black Forest in Germany, passing through ten countries, and emptying into the Black Sea in Romania.

Naval Special Operations Forces from Croatia, Hungary, and the U.S. conduct maritime training in the Adriatic Sea during the Black Swan 21. (Photo by Spc. Therese Prats/U.S. Special Operations Command Europe)

While in Romania, the Naval units’ training included Close Air Support (CAS) with Joint Terminal Attack Controllers calling for fire from an AC-130J gunship, Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS), Vehicle Interdiction, Over the Beach (OTB), Close Quarters Combat (CQC), Fast Rope Infiltration and Extraction (FRIES), and Special Reconnaissance. Concurrently, Naval Special Warfare units also mobilized to Croatia and Hungary for Black Swan 21.

“Each year, Trojan Footprint and Black Swan provide opportunities to evaluate SOF capabilities, particularly the more complex aspects of combined SOF integration. The continuous rotational deployment of NSW’s units to the European theater is a key component of SOCEUR’s operational approach. Combined maritime SOF training strengthens interoperability and drives capability development vital to successful operational employment. ” said U.S. Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Peter C. Musselman, Senior Enlisted Leader of Special Operations Command Europe.

Hungarian Special Operations Forces and Naval Special Warfare operators test Special Operations Craft-Riverine (SOC-R) capabilities in the Danube River in Budapest during Black Swan, May 5, 2021. (Photo by Spc. Therese Prats/U.S. Special Operations Command Europe)