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Starfleet SEAL Teams (an abbreviation of Sea, Air, Land), serve as the elite special forces of the Federation Starfleet. They are only called upon when secrecy and precision is of the highest priority. As a result, they often work closely with Starfleet Intelligence. To this end, the deployments of the Teams and even the identities of their operators are highly classified. (Star Trek: The Nomad Frontier)
Although Starfleet has never officially confirmed nor denied the existence of the SEAL Teams, it is perhaps their most badly kept secret. For decades, as of the late 24th century, their (fictional) exploits were common fodder for overly romanticized novels and holoprograms. It is widely known, at least inside Starfleet, that they were heavily involved in the Federation-Cardassian War. In addition to this, there are numerous SEAL operations that have never, and likely will never, be released to the rest of Starfleet, let alone the Federation public.
Unlike other Starfleet units, one cannot 'volunteer' for the SEALs, at least in the traditional sense. Potential applicants are identified by the unit beforehand, and then offered the opportunity to train. The exact requirements for being "tapped" for training have never been revealed, and an operator can spend his entire career in the Teams without ever knowing exactly why he was selected in the first place. What is known is that the training is extremely grueling. In addition to physical fitness, the trainees are trained extensively in marksmanship, first aid, rappelling, orbital parachuting, diving, hand-to-hand combat, zero-gravity operations and close quarters battle (CQB).
Although Starfleet has never revealed the individual activities of any Team, it is known that SEALs are trained for a variety of missions that would fall outside of the purview of either Starfleet Security or the Marine Corps. Their missions can range from clandestine long range reconnaissance patrols on occupied worlds to blunt-force hostage rescue operations. SEALs are also occasionally called upon to impersonate civilians in some instances, and as a result, they are allowed to adopt a somewhat more liberal appearance than the rest of the fleet.
The term 'team' is somewhat misleading. An actual SEAL team will consist of literally hundreds of "operators". The Teams are further broken up into smaller Operational Detachments, commonly referred to as OD's. It is highly unusual for entire teams to even train together, and never has one been deployed into combat as a collective group. Unlike the rest of the fleet, which can be moved about as needed, each SEAL Team is given a Tactical Area of Responsibility. Current or former SEAL deployments are as follows:
- SEAL Team One - Romulan Neutral Zone
- SEAL Team Two - Cardassian Front (During Federation-Cardassian War, current deployment unknown)
- SEAL Team Three - Klingon Border
- SEAL Team Five - Cardassian Front (During Federation-Cardassian War, current deployment unknown)
- Captain James Farrell (SEAL Team Two)
- Master Chief Petty Officer Michael "Iron Mike" Baxter (SEAL Team Two)
- Commander Nathan Greenwald (SEAL Team Five)
In conversation among members, the SEALs are often referred to simply as the 'Teams'.