1 Navy Commando Regiment (SEAL/UDT)
Infobox Military Unit
unit_name = Lebanese Navy SEALs
caption = Lebanese Navy SEALs Flag
branch = Lebanese Army Command
type = Maritime Special Operations Force
role = Maritime and Riverine special operations
command_structure= Lebanese Army Command, Lebanese Special Operations Command
current_commander= Colonel Ghaby Hawwat
notable_commanders= Colonel George Chraim
motto = "Dare to Join"
The Navy SEALs Regiment or Navy Commando Regiment (Arabic: مغاوير البحر "Maghaweer al Baher") is
Lebanon's elite Maritime Special Operations unit and is regarded as being one of the best Naval Special Forces units in the Middle East. Established with assistance from the United States Navy SEALs and the British Royal Marines (possibly the SBS) and tasked with conducting variety of missions particularly in a maritime environment from sabotage, raids, beach landings and maritime counter-terrorism. The Navy Seals Regiment was established in 1997, then got its administrative independence in July 2001 [cite article|title=Lebanese Army Magazine Article |date= 2002-03|url=http://www.lebarmy.gov.lb/article.asp?ln=ar&id=323] .
Up till 1997, the only Special Operations force in Lebanon was the Commando Regiment, among its tasks was a small part of the Navy Commando tasks. However, in 1997, as part of the reconstruction and the modernization of the Lebanese Army, the command decided the establish a designated regiment for the Maritime Special operations.
Contacts to establish and train this new multi-purpose special unit started by approaching the US and by contacting UK Ministry of Defense. Eventually a number of officer candidates were sent to train with the Royal Marines in the UK. Lower ranks were put through their paces in Lebanon by Royal Marine commandos especially imported for the task. On the other hand, it is confirmed that the US navy SEALs contributed in the training in both US and Lebanon. [cite article|title=Lebanon's Finest Present A United Front |date=
. In addition to those, the regiment is tasked to sustain the internal security and perform search and rescue missions.
Uniform & Insignia
The units uniform consists of black or US style Woodland Camouflage fatigues and desert combat boots. A Bordeaux Beret with the unit’s insignia. In 2008, the Navy Seals also adopted the US Digital Desert Camouflage to become a part of their uniforms.
The units trident insignia is usually worn high on the left shoulder which is identical to that of the US Navy SEAL trident, however with a Cedar tree added to it. Nevertheless, the Black uniform has an additional Insignia on the right shoulder consisiting of the red sword and the word "commando" in red above the sword.
Weapons, Equipment and Vehicles
The units weapons consist of mainly US weapons, various weapons are used such as the M4 Carbine assault rifle with M203 grenade launcher, Heckler & Koch MP5N submachine gun, AK CPM, M16 assault rifle, FN M249 SAW light machine gun, Barrett M82 .50 Cal. sniper, M24 sniper,
M72 LAW, Mk 19 grenade launcher. Their vehicles are the only among the other Lebanese Army units to be in a desert camouflage, this camouflage comes in different patterns and styles. The list of their vehicles include M113, M113 Nagman, HMMWV, CUCV, Toyota Land Cruiser, M151 MUTTjeep, M35.
election & Training
pecial Forces School
The first step for any commando in Lebanon is at the Special Forces School, there whoever is looking to join any of the Special Forces units receives the first training. The school is responsible for preparing those members through special fundamental courses. At the end the graduates join their units, where they will perform, in addition to their usual tasks, what they have learned during the courses.
Twenty hours of training daily [cite article|title=القوات الخاصة في الجيش... رجال يشهد لصلابتهم الثلج والبحر والفضاء|date=
Commander of the school Commando Lieutenant Colonel Marwan Issa explains that the students undergo during the fundamental course, which spans three month, heavy military training reaching sometimes 20 hours per day, and it is divided into three stages:
* Preparatory stage, spans over three weeks, intended to prepare the students physically and mentally to continue the special forces course. At the end of this stage, the students undergo sports tests that include running for two miles, fixed bar, 45 times set ups, 45 times push ups, e journey of a warrior. Those who pass these tests are qualified for the next stage.
* Technical stage, intended to teach the students the techniques of self defense, prepares them to endure the different physical and psychological stresses. This stage includes lessons for close combat (fighting and bayonets), unarmed combat, explosives, reading maps, climbing and landing, radio, patrolling techniques, urban warfare, crossing water barriers, in addition to dealing with the navy and the helicopters which is done by what is called "Rope of Confidence" that is jumping from a helicopter or a wooden bar fixed at 6 meters high.
In addition, this stage includes various calisthenics, and walking. During it, the member is exposed to severe psychological pressure due to the difficulties, hardships, depriving them from the sleeping hours, and not giving them any chance to rest. Only those who pass this stage can move to the next.
* Tactical stage, which involves the practical phase of the patrolling techniques, where the students apply ambushes and raids against supposedly enemy targets during bad weather and living conditions, that's in addition to lessons on survival and being imprisoned by the enemy.
From the school to the patrolling base
This phase starts by moving from the school to a patrolling base in deserted land. It begins from the sea, where the members are isolated in the landing boat for 24 hours, followed by three hours of rowing from 3:30 AM till 6:30 AM. After this, the members land on the shore and move towards the patrolling base. Reaching the base takes around 12 to 14 hours of walking with the full gear (around 25 kg), this walk starts at altitude zero and end at around 1400 meters above the sea level. In the base, the practical appliance of the various technical lessons, including the combat patrolling (ambushing and raiding), and surveillance patrolling take place. The first three weeks on this training involve combat within enemy territory that's why it is performed at night, which forces the members to work for 20 hours per day.
Who makes it till the end
At the end of the third week, the members perform the imprisonment and retrieve prisoners patrol, which is considered one of the toughest because the members play the role of the prisoners and they undergo real torture similar to any of that they might face if they get captured by the enemy. On the fourth week (after the enemy is defeated), work is performed day and night to chase the enemy, they begin tracing the enemy and perform different hits ranging from ambushes to raids, in addition to the "hammer and anvil patrol" in which they surround and finish the enemy. At the end, the members walk back to the school, a walk between 80 and 100 km, again with the full gear.
Fifteen percent of the initial number of students makes it to the graduation where they are giving a commando certificate.
* Commando trainer course
* Storming course, both storming with the pistol and the rifle.
* Engineering support course
* Ropes expert course
Navy Seals Selection & Training
Graduates from the Special Forces School, in addition other candidates can join the navy SEALs. The selection of those who are not graduate from the Special Forces School follows a strict guideline, a candidate, preferably below 21, must be fit, have physical strength, and have mental clarity in order to pass the early stages which include calisthenics in addition to physiological pressure assessments. Passing those tests allow the candidate to continue and follow the "naval commando" training. Once the candidate passes this training, he can join the Navy SEALs.
The selection and training process for the Navy SEALs Regiment is extremely demanding and rigorous and lasts around six to seven months. Candidates, other than graduates of the Special Forces School, are eligible to join from all of Lebanon’s armed forces. Barely 15 per cent make the grade.
The course of the SEALs is split into phases similar to the that of the US Navy SEALs 'BUDS':
The fundamental training is the basic course a navy SEAL undergoes directly after graduating from the school of Special Forces and joining the regiment. This training lasts for eight weeks and it includes lessons on swimming, abseiling, handling of small boats, orienting, landing on the beach using RHIBs, in addition to lessons and maneuvers with the navy.
This stage includes "Week of Hell" course, which is a whole week of arduous and strenuous training that includes a lot of physical pain and oppression. The soldiers push themselves to the limits to apply what is requested during a training that lasts more than 20 hours per day in which they only sleep for two hours.
The goal behind this week is to fortify the capabilities and strength of the soldiers to endure more and to sustain in front of the severe conditions which they might face during their future operations. It emphasize on candidates physical aptitude and abilities.
At the end of the fundamental training, the members are distributed to the the different platoons of the regiment in which they follow complementary training according to their specialization. Among the training:
* Basic diving course, followed at the Navy School.
* Landing and dealing with helicopters course, through it the soldiers learn how to deal with the helicopters and board them to reach their mission location, in addition to landing from the helicopters using the ropes and firing from inside them.
* Sniping course, spans over six weeks, it prepares capable snipers to snipe over various distances.
* Urban Warfare course or Close Quarter Battle, performed in an urban set training area specialized for such training and a constructed beach side tire house. At the beginning blank bullets are used, then they start training with real ammunition. The goal of this course is to train the soldiers for storming buildings and houses in populated areas without putting the civilians at danger.
In addition to those courses, the complementary training includes different technical courses such as explosives expert course, which is followed at the Engineering Regiment, driving and mechanical maintenance course, followed at the Logistics Brigade, that's in addition to maps reading, orienting, and radio courses.
Specialized Training An advanced stage of the training in each member specializes in a specific military field, such as:
* Airborne operations
* Explosives and ammunition
* Hostages rescue in the sea
The peak of the training courses at the Navy SEALs is the combat diving course, which is only followed with a small number of highly capable and efficient members. An entrance examination is required, this examination involves 9 km swimming, 52 meters underwater crossing, running, push ups and sit ups. This course lasts for 18 month, and it is intended to prepare professional fighters capable of using the sea as a way to infiltrate into the shores and conduct naval special operations and special operations behind enemy lines.
The course includes a number cruel and cumbersome exercises such as, quick walking, running on the sand, long distance swimming, crossing tens of meters under water, swimming with tight hands and legs, dealing with ropes underwater etc... All this in order to enhance the combat capabilities and the efficiency of the soldier, in addition to enhance his confidence in his capabilities.
The divers also follow lessons in dealing with explosives either on the land or underwater, scanning and searching the shores, weaponolgy, dealing with boats and helicopters, radio, reading maps, survival, unarmed combat, sailing and rowing, diving accidents, special diving and environmental instructions, defensive diving (open circuit, compresses air) that reaches 60 meters deep, attack diving (closed circuit, 100% Oxygen) which reaches 200 meters underwater during day and night, and helocasting boat recovery whereby the swimmer is pulled from the water by a moving boat.
Scenarios for this training includes combat patrolling that begin in the sea then attack a beach either to occupy it or clean it from obstacles and mines, which is a preparation for the following friendly units. Another scenario includes moving from the beach to raid on an enemy base or radar, or to conduct an ambush against a moving enemy. [cite article|title=غطاسو القتال يحترفون خوض غمار اليمّ وينفذون عمليات خلف خطوط العدو |date=
Graduates of this course are 25% of the original, and they are considered the elite of the Navy SEALs.
With a week-long break between each segment selection and training is extremely demanding both physically and mentally which is why there is such as high attrition rate.
Major Melad-Helali stated when asked about the training course:
"If a man wants out, we don't stop him. I don't want him here just for the job, as a statistic. While he is in the unit I demand nothing less than his every thinking moment of the day".
A 12 hours daily training program is followed by all accepted soldiers of this regiment, it includes running for 7 to 8 km daily, journeys of the warrior, and aerial journeys. In addition to this, training on firing is done at least two times per month.
It is allowed to loose five men during the course, the command will consider that something acceptable and will not move against the person in charge.
This unit was always the first to be called when a major trouble takes place. In addition, it is notable that this is the only unit in the Lebanese Army to perform an operation outside Lebanon, however, it was only a search and rescue mission.
"* No official confirmation"
In addition to those operation, the Navy Seals were used to restore and apply order in some Lebanese cities at different occasions whenever major clashes or turbulence took place.
pecial Operations Command
In 2008, the Lebanese Army started establishing the Special Operations command in order to group the Army's elite units. Among the regiments that were included are the Lebanese Navy Seals. [cite news|title=Special Operations Command, More Military Aid for Beirut |date=
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