Special Warfare is characterized by the use of small units with unique ability to conduct military actions that are beyond the capability of conventional military forces. SEALs are superbly trained in all environments, and are the masters of maritime Special Operations. SEALs are required to utilize a combination of specialized training, equipment, and tactics in completion of Special Operation missions worldwide.
A tactical force with strategic impact, NSW mission areas include unconventional warfare, direct action, combating terrorism, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, information warfare, security assistance, counter-drug operations, personnel recovery and hydrographic reconnaissance. Although NSW personnel comprise less than one percent of U.S. Navy personnel, they offer big dividends on a small investment. SEALs' proven ability to operate across the spectrum of conflict and in operations other than war in a controlled manner, and their ability to provide real time intelligence and eyes on target, offer decision makers immediate and virtually unlimited options in the face of rapidly changing crises around the world.
The most important trait that distinguishes Navy SEALs from all other military forces is that SEALs are maritime special forces, as they strike from and return to the sea. SEALs (Sea, Air, Land) take their name from the elements in and from which they operate. Their stealth and clandestine methods of operation allow them to conduct multiple missions against targets that larger forces cannot approach undetected.