NSW's traditional operations now include even more-and faster-irregular warfare. This is not going to change anytime soon.
On Easter Sunday, SEALs rescued Maersk Alabama Captain Richard Phillips off the coast of Somalia and quickly dispatched three pirates. This brought Naval Special Warfare (NSW) into the spotlight for a few news cycles. Footage of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training ran on cable news, statistics on operational deployments and recruiting got air time. The coverage highlighted one of NSW's core missions: maritime special operations. But this incident of strategic application was only one in a long stretch of NSW operations since 11 September 2001.