Dam Lick Virginia – Home of Seal Team Six and Now the Talk of Virginia Beach
From the very beginning I had always wondered what it would be like to be the soldier who pulled the trigger on an animal like Bin Laden and sent that lead greeting card. Well, we may never know who the actual individual was but we know the folks of Dam Lick Virginia are taking a great deal of pride today in being the home of Seal Team Six.
Just up the road from Virginia Beach is Dam Neck; a part of Naval Air Station (NAS), Oceana and is home to the Fleet Combat Training Center, Atlantic along with 13 other tenant commands. Dam Neck is located on the Atlantic coast, five miles south of the downtown resort of the Virginia Beach. Founded in 1941 as an anti-aircraft range, the base still boasts the the Navy’s only open-ocean, live firing training facility featuring major caliber weapons and home of Seal Team Six.
The beginnings of the team can be traced to the aftermath of the failed “Operation Eagle Claw” in 1980; the attempt to rescue the American hostages at the Iranian Embassy.
Prior to this, the SEALs had already begun CT training, including all 12 platoons in SEAL Team One on the West Coast. On the East Coast, however, elements of the SEAL Team Two had taken the issue one step father. They formed a dedicated two-platoon group known as “MOB Six” (short for Mobility Six) in anticipation of a maritime scenario requiring a CT response and had begun training to that end. Yet, as was the case with the US Army’s initial CT unit – Blue Light – and Delta Force, only one group was needed and could be recognized as official. With the formal creation of SEAL Team Six (a name selected primarily to confuse Soviet intelligence as to the number of SEAL Teams in operation) in October 1980, MOB Six was demobilized. A large number of members, however, including the former MOB Six commander, were asked to join the fledgling group. With prior experience from these operators, aggressive leadership, and an accelerated training program, SEAL Team Six was declared mission-ready just six months later.
Seal Team Six has a very storied resume` as well:
- 1985 – Six deployed to the site of the Achille Lauro hijacking in anticipation of a possible assault on the vessel.
- 1985 – SEAL Team Six members were also responsible for the rescue and evacuation of Governor Sir Paul Scoon from Grenada during
- Operation Urgent Fury. Four SEALs were lost to drowning during helicopter insertion offshore. Other aspect of the operation included the securing of a radio transmitter which resulted in heavy contact with Grenadian forces.
- 1989 – The unit took part in Operation Just Cause as part of Task Force White, which included SEAL Team Two. Their primary task, along with Delta Force, was the location and securing of Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega.
- 1990 – They again operated in Panama as part of a secret operation code-named “Pokeweed” which had as its goal the apprehension of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Although Six was deployed from the US aircraft carrier USS Forrestal offshore, the mission was unsuccessful due to poor pre-assault intelligence.
- 1991 – SEAL Team Six reportedly recovered Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide under cover of darkness following the coup which deposed him.
- 1991 – Six was also part of contingency planning for the shooting down Saddam Hussein’s personal helicopter with Stinger missiles, although this operation never got beyond the planning stage.
- 1996 – The unit reportedly deployed to Atlanta, Georgia as part of a large US counterterrorist contingency plan for the 1996 Summer Olympics.