Blacker Than Black


Along with the previously detailed assault squadrons (Blue, Gold, Red, and Silver) and the training section (Green), the Naval Special Warfare Development Group is also rumored to maintain a special boat unit (Gray).

In addition, there is a large framework of NSWDG support staff (military and civilian) for “administration, supply, medical, logistics, communications, intelligence, operations, and weapons training.” It’s said there are two to three support staff personnel for every operator, all ranking among the best in their respective fields.i

And finally, there are the strategic reconnaissance specialists/snipers of Black Squadron,ii who perform high-risk, low-visibility operations such as penetrating behind enemy lines and cross-border HVT hits.iii

DEVGRU operators are typically expected to prove themselves as assaulters for a minimum of three years before being considered for Black Squadron. After receiving additional training, they remain integral components of their original colored assault squadrons while also serving as detachable elements for more specialized, highly-sensitive operations.iv

In 1993, a four-man DEVGRU Black element from Red Squadron was sent to complement the Delta Force/Ranger-led Task Force Ranger in Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu, Somalia.v

Initially, the ST6 snipers worked closely with the CIA. They operated out of a safe house well removed from the safety of the hanger occupied by the bulk of the JSOC forces to conduct vehicular reconnaissance of the volatile city. The team also served as sniper support during Delta raids, at one point registering a kill of nearly 850 yards, and conducted “eyes over Mogadishu” sniper flights aboard QRF