How the Navy SEALs Work

By: Lee Ann Obringer & Francisco Guzman  | 

Navy SEAL Organization

Naval Special Warfare is comprised of SEAL teams, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams and Special Boat Teams that are all deployed worldwide for a variety of operations.

Teams and Platoons

There are eight SEAL teams. Each team eight operational platoons and a headquarters element. SEAL platoons consist of 16 SEALs — two officers and 14 enlisted men. A platoon is generally the largest operational element assigned to a mission. The platoon may also be divided into two squads or four elements. Every member of a SEAL platoon is qualified in diving, parachuting and demolitions.


The teams are split between the East Coast and West Coast of the United States. The odd-numbered teams fall under the command of Naval Special Warfare Group One and are based on the West Coast in Coronada, California The even-numbered teams are under the command of Naval Special Warfare Group Two and are based on the East Coast in Little Creek, Virginia.

SDV Teams and NSW Units

There are other specialized teams of SEALs called SEAL Delivery Vehicle teams (SDVT). SDV teams operate in areas where it is too far out for a SEAL to swim and carry gear. Using underwater SDV watercraft, these teams increase the areas in which SEALs can operate. SDV teams usually deploy from submarines, but can also deploy from shore-based stations or surface ships.

There are two SDV teams. SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1 (SDVT-1) is based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and operates in the Pacific and Central geographic areas. SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 2 (SDVT-2) is based at Little Creek, Virginia, and conducts operations throughout the Atlantic, Southern and European areas.

There are also Naval Special Warfare Command based in locations around the world. These units have several responsibilities, including acting as training commands for SEALs and planning, coordinating and supporting the activities of SEAL platoons.

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