SEAL candidates participate in surf immersion during Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training at Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Center in Coronado, Calif., May 4, 2020. NSW Center restarted paused portions of its SEAL and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC) selection-and-assessment training following careful planning that included implementing COVID-19 mitigation efforts based on CDC recommendations and Department of Defense medical guidance. The health, safety and well-being of students remains NSW Center's top priority. Any student showing signs of illness will be removed from training and evaluated by medical professionals before returning to training. NSW Center provides initial and advanced training to the Sailors who make up the Navy's SEAL and Special Boat Teams.


Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Center resumed two paused phases of its SEAL and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC) selection-and-assessment training, May 4.

NSW Center, which oversees the initial and advanced training of the Sailors who make up the Navy’s SEAL and Special Boat teams, paused instruction of three of its 12 cohorts, March 16. The final paused phase is scheduled to restart May 11.

“We took a conservative approach to properly assess our student population and establish protocols in order to minimize risk to them during training,” said Capt. Bart Randall, commodore, NSW Center, adding the decision to restart training is based on mitigation efforts put in place that follow CDC recommendations and DOD medical professional guidance.

Instructors will continue to wear facemasks and gloves, when practical, and make sure students perform daily COVID-19 screenings. Classes will maximize bubble-to-bubble travel to limit personal contact outside their cohort and remain on base until after the completion of BUD/S Hell Week and its SWCC counterpart, The Tour.

“The health and well-being of our students still remains our top priority,” said Randall. “Any student showing signs of illness will be pulled from training and evaluated by medical professionals before returning.”

Students in the SEAL and SWCC training pipelines will also see a heavy emphasis placed on social distancing within their own cohort.

Already a BUD/S staple, the megaphone will have increased use by instructors to prevent face-to-face contact. Classrooms will also have a cap on student numbers and procedures will be implemented during physical training events, like class runs and swims, to maintain student separation to the greatest extent possible.

“NSW expects its operators to be flexible in all phases of mission planning and execution, and we practice what we teach at our schoolhouse,” said Randall. “NSW Center will continue to safely train and deliver SEALS and SWCC to the Force capable of performing at the high standards demanded of NSW operators.”

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