The exclusive mission of SWCC operators is to expertly drive and provide small-caliber gunfire support on specialized high-tech, high-speed, and low-profile surface combatant craft to secretly infiltrate and exfiltrate Navy SEALs on special operations missions worldwide. These missions include:

  •  Direct action on land, sea, coastline, or rivers (such as strikes, captures, and ship takedowns by visit, board, search, and seizure)
  • Special reconnaissance
  • Coastal patrol
  • Interdiction of suspect ships and surface craft
  • Counterterrorism operations
  • Riverine warfare
  • Deception operations
  • Search and rescue operations
  • Foreign internal defense missions (training foreign forces in the tactics, techniques, and procedures of maritime and riverine patrols)

SWCC may also support military and civilian law-enforcement agencies.


The SWCC designation is a relatively new Naval Special Warfare career path that is independent of the regular line Navy. Today’s special boat teams have their origins in the PT boats of WWII, and the “Brown Water” naval force that was created in 1965 at the onset of the Vietnam War. In its seven-year involvement in the Vietnam War, “the boat side” of Naval Special Warfare grew into three specialized Navy task forces totaling over 700 craft and 38,000 men. These were:

  • Task Force 115 (Coastal surveillance)
  • Task Force 116 (River patrol)
  • Task Force 117 (River assault)

Training for the prospective crew of Task Force 115 was conducted at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, California, while Task Forces 116 and 117 trained at Mare Island, California. In the 11-week river assault craft training program, sailors were exposed to the special features of joint operations, counterinsurgency, SERE (survival, evasion, resistance, and escape), and all aspects of riverine warfare.

Successfully completing the water rescue test is required for Navy SEAL and SWCC candidates. This video, narrated by a SWCC instructor, demonstrates the proper technique for rescuing a person in the open water and should be considered mandatory viewing for anyone considering a career with the Navy SEALs or SWCC.