New images released by the Pentagon of Navy SEALs conducting training operations of the coast of the Greek island of Crete last October show SEALs using modified versions of Yamaha personal watercraft and even futuristic magnetic climbing gear that allows them to scale the hulls of ships.
These combined Greek and U.S. Special Operations partner development training operations are intended to improve interoperability between allies special operations units, however, these images appear to the be the first formally released that depict SEALs utilizing both of these new pieces of equipment.
The jet ski seen in use by SEALs in the images appears to be a modified Yamaha 2016 FX Cruiser SHO, with an additional inflatable collar similar to those seen on rigid inflatable boats. On boat applications, those collars are utilized to increase stability, buoyancy, and shock absorption – and it’s likely that the collar depicted on the jet ski in these images is intended to serve the same purposes. The added buoyancy allows SEALs to carry more gear than the platform would otherwise permit, and the shock absorption would be valuable when approaching the hull of large vessels SEALs are attempting to board.
Jet skis, of course, are not particularly stealthy vehicles, but because they offer high top speeds, maneuverability, and the ability to operate in shallow water, they do offer a unique level of value to SEALs conducting direct action operations when speed is more important that secrecy.
Of course, for most, the jet skis were not the most interesting pieces of equipment on display during the event – the real show stopper was the magnetic climbing equipment SEALs produced to climb the steel hulls of ships that tower above their jet skis.
The apparatus appears to be the REBS Magnetic Climbing System, which is comprised of hand and foot attachments fitted with magnets that allows a single person to climb sheer metal surfaces. If the apparatus is indeed the REBS system, the manufacturer claims it can be used from under water, allowing SEALs to scale the sides of ships after approaching from beneath the surface.
You can see the REBS Magnetic Climbing System in action in the video below:
Image courtesy of the Department of Defense