Naval Special Warfare (NSW) forces need to operate from the sea. For long-range open-water transits they depend on the Navy. But they rarely practice with blue-water ships, which are not outfitted to support U.S. special operations forces (SOF) with space for staff planning; troops; stowage for ammunition, small arms, and demolitions; a diving-recompression chamber; or dedicated communications terminals. Worst of all, amphibious ships are earmarked full time for Marine embarkation and not available to SEALs, especially with the 2006 establishment of Marine Corps Special Operations Command. SEALs and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) need dedicated open-ocean ships.
NSW comprises several SEAL teams, a single SEAL delivery vehicle (SDV) team, and special boat teams. These commands are blended together for deployments as a squadron, and all report to the commander, U.S. Special Operations Command through the NSW Command headquartered in Coronado, California. Overseas, they report to the geographical combatant commanders.