Special forces get wet ‘n wild
If being a highly-trained Special Operations Forces (SOF) operator wasn’t cool enough, up to 20 personnel from Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Command are to be let loose on powerful jet skis in the San Diego Bay.
On 7 July the NSW Command announced it was searching for a vendor to provide up to 20 of its Basic Training Command staff a five day jet ski course near its San Diego Bay base.
Incorporating jet ski capabilities into the SOF repertoire is understandable as their high speeds, acceleration and manoeuvrability make the jet ski a viable platform for amphibious operations or operations at sea.
According to the request, the NSW staff will undergo training tailored towards the capabilities of the powerful Kawasaki Ultra 300X Jet Ski, which boasts 1,498cc, 300 horsepower and speeds of up to 100kmh.
The five day programme includes initial training by day within the bay with later progression to open water ocean training at night.
Also covered will be various day and night rescue procedures and safety procedures regarding near shore hazards and ‘non organic seafaring traffic’.
There are significant limitations to the use of jet skis by SOF such as their inability to cope with high waves, wind and swell. A further issue that could hinder their regular deployment could be the noise level produced by powerful engines.
Other forces known to utilise jet skis include the Greek Special Forces who have incorporated the platform into their SOF capabilities for the planning and execution of amphibious special operations since 2011. According to the Greek Army, teams on jet skis have the ability to rapidly disperse to different areas and later re-assemble using GPS.
So, as NSW trainees tear it up around San Diego Bay, they can be confident of the fact this is essential, operationally-relevant training.