Much of what DEVGRU, or the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, is and does remains classified and unknown. What is know is that they were formed in the mid 1990's after SEAL Team Six, the Navy's Counter-terrorism was disbanded. DEVGRU was created after Richard Marcinko, the original commander of ST6 published a series of books that outlined the history and purpose of the original Team. According to the US Navy, DEVGRU was formed to create, test, and evaluate new tactics, weapons, and equipment.
However, with the disbanding of ST 6 the Navy was left without a maritime CT unit, although SEAL Team 8 was tasked with maritime deployments and takedowns. Recent rumors have appear to confirm that DEVGRU is actually a CT unit created (
although current officers will deny its existance
) to replace the lime-light stricken ST6. This is born out, in no small significance, buy the structure surroundind DEVGRU. While under the command of NAVSPECWARGRU (
Navy Special Warfare Group
, DEVGRU is also a component of JSOC, with other such units as the US Army's
Special Operations Aviation Regiment, both units that list counter-terrorism in their promary activities.
What weapons and equipment DEVGRU uses has not been revealed. However, given their SEAL parentage it is a safe bet that the HK MP5 is used mainly in CQB and the Colt M4 is the primary assault weapon. The SOCOM pistol has been issued but it is reported that the Sig-Sauer P-228 is preferred for personal defence.
DEVGRU is thought to consist of around 400 operators and support personnel, divided into four combat teams and one training team. The combat assault teams are Red, Gold, and Blue, with Gold being the premeir assault team. Gray team is the transportation unit containing the SDVs and boats used to transport the assault teams. Green Team consists of the new operators who have just joined DEVGRU and are in training. Each operator inside the Teams has a specialty, but all are experts in underwater and HALO insertion.
They are also rumored to have their own helicopter assets within the unit. 18 HH-60 helicopters optimised for CSAR are said to exist within the unit, but I doubt this. Maybe one or two, but the navy has only 18 HH-60s in two reserve squadrons so it makes little sense to me to have 18 in one top-secret unit.
Credibility to the idea of DEVGRU being a counter-terrorist force was given by the following Executive order (
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 7103(b)(1) of title 5 of the United States Code, and having determined that the Naval Special Warfare Development Group has as a primary function intelligence, counter-intelligence, investigative, or national security work and that the provisions of Chapter 71 of title 5 of the United States Code cannot be applied to this organization in a manner consistent with national security requirements and considerations, Executive Order 12171 of November 19, 1979, as amended, is further amended by adding the following at the end of section 1-205 :
"(i) Naval Special Warfare Development Group."