"The cool thing about SEALs is this last decade allows us to show the skills we have on land as well," says Stew Smith, a SEAL officer who retired in 1999.
"We may be a little rusty in the water missions, but everybody who makes it through SEAL training is a very accomplished swimmer, a very accomplished diver, and could do just about any mission that is required of them," he says.
Most SEAL units know what kind of mission they will have roughly six months before deployment, says Smith, who continues to train special operations forces. This gives them the time to tailor their training to adapt any of the skill sets they tested through in this grueling indoctrination.
The use of underwater drones in the last decade is not a new principle, says Smith. "Those are the types of things that SEALs will always be interested in."
Large defense contractors understand the basic SEAL capabilities and are repeatedly pitching new ideas or concepts to SEAL leadership. They, in turn, approach the combat teams and develop feedback on whether they would use this new device, or how it could be improved.
"It's a familiarization with the mission, but most SEALs will take it as an exciting new challenge," Smith says. "With pirates off the coast of Africa or subsurface attacks in Korea, it could happen with just a little practice."