January 20, 2012
The SEAL Team that stormed Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound last May put special forces commandos on the map.
Without SEAL Team 6′s exploits that day, there is little doubt reports of a new commando team in the Persian Gulf would have raised an eyebrow.
As it is, military blogs are buzzing about Spencer Ackerman’s story at Danger Room where he reports that a new “elite commando team” is operating in the Gulf region.
Ackerman spoke with military sources that say the team, called Joint Special Operations Task Force-Gulf Coordinating Council (JSOTF-GCC), is on the ground to instruct local troops in special operations. This is the first time the U.S. has acknowledged the existence of the team.
Ackerman admits there is no proven connection to the Iranian scientist who was assassinated several days ago, and says many special-ops guys dismiss the news, saying that the new task force is simply there to advise and any connection to Iran will be “indirect at most.”
Which doesn’t make it any less interesting to add to the pile of rumors and tensions piling out of the Persian Gulf, but there are special forces teams assigned to hot-spots all over the world, and the public generally has no clue at all.
There are 2,500 Navy SEALs, about half of which are based at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base and Dam Neck Annex in Virginia Beach, with 2,400 assigned to the Special Warfare Command (SWC).
SWC has an additional 700 Special Warfare Boat Operators, and 700 reserve personnel deployed around the world. Considering there are already two aircraft carrier groups in the Gulf now, there are likely many more special forces in the region than just this newly acknowledged task force.