Monday, May 2, 2011
The highly trained operatives who killed Osama bin Laden are part of a counterterrorism group so specialized that no one can apply to join it.
Instead, they are recruited. They are chosen from existing SEAL teams, making the unit an elite within an elite.
The group was originally known as Team Six, but the official name was changed in 1987 to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group.
While most information relating to the group is classified, it is believed to have been formed in response to the failed 1980 attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran. Richard Marcinko was its first commander.
The unit is a component of the Joint Special Operations Command, which also oversees the Army's Delta Force.
It has operated in Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Members have hunted down key al-Qaeda and Taliban figures since 2001.