CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) — Naval Special Warfare Operational Support Group and its subordinate commands, Operational Support Teams 1 and 2, were redesignated Naval Special Warfare Group 11 and SEAL Teams 17 and 18 on Aug. 1 during a ceremony at the Naval Amphibious Base.
The change affects more than one thousand Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Reservists composed of SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC), and combat service support personnel who represent nearly 20 percent of the manpower in the special warfare community.
"Before the (redesignation), we were a body pool and deployed guys to augment operational capabilities," said Cmdr. James Gracio, chief of staff for Group 11. "Now, we can provide more support that did not [previously] exist."
Group 11’s mission is to organize, man, train, equip and deploy Reserve SEAL platoons, boat detachments and combat service support teams on special operations missions in support of active-duty NSW commands worldwide.
Without the constant support of Navy Reservists, the NSW’s active-duty force would be at the limit of operating capacity, explained Gracio.
Reservists will take over a variety of assignments worldwide, suited to their deployment schedule, including expeditionary support, joint military training exercises and counter-narcotics operations, he said.
In addition, combat service support Sailors, such as gunner’s mates and yeomen, will be deployed to fill battle staff requirements of deployed NSW forces.
"The ultimate goal is to add combat capability to NSW," said Lt. Cmdr. Ed Rohrbach, executive officer of SEAL Team 17. "This decision will put more active-duty SEALs on the ground where they need to be."