Bangladesh Navy Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS)

Posted in Frogmen from around the Globe on December 4, 2010 by stukaph

Bangladesh Navy Special Warfare Diving and Salvage Officers

I was at Hongkong International Airport’s pre-departure gate flying back to Dhaka. Alone, bored and trying to shake the blues of being away from home once again were temporarily kept back when I saw these two Bangladeshi Navy Officers taking the same flight to Dhaka. At first when I saw these gentlemen, it was nothing out of my usual respect for military men, aside from them being in their formal dress uniforms, I immediately noticed that both were carrying the same nice black packs.

ROKN UDT/SEAL Pack

My being always curious on anything to do with militaria gear, I started to pick good angles trying to figure out the make of this pack. And as soon as I saw the classic Freddy the Frog UDT/SEAL mascot, I almost leap with joy!!! Though, many of these Frogs shared the same captivated creature, this one is somehow distinct to ROK Navy Special Warfare that I saw before and indeed, it was!!

The cheerful Frog

One of them was very friendly and the other was quite reserved. I came to know during our conversation that both were in-transit from South Korea and just completed their Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Republic of Korea Navy’s (ROKN) Special Warfare School. And I came to know as well that indeed the black packs were part of the items that they got and entitled to, after earning and the recognition to wear the distinctive ROKN badge/pin.

ROKN SEAL Pin and SWADS Badge

These proudly earned badges flashed with pride on their full dress uniforms.

Historically, Bangladesh military established a small NAVY commando to conduct underwater demolition, maritime operations during the Liberation War against West Pakistan in 1971. This specialized Navy commando unit became the forerunners of the current Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS). It is organized, trained and equipped along the lines of SEAL/UDT teams of the Republic of Korea and United States Navy SEAL. Hence, its officers and Instructors are sent to advance SEAL trainings in United States, Turkey and South Korea.

Sneak preview of the forerunners of Bangladeshi Frogmen.

More on them in separate article soon….

Before we departed, the friendly frog said that he documented all their daily activities, evolutions and experiences into his dairy; this will be his reference in his intention to write a book about it. Wish I come across this book someday as I regret to lose the contact number of this friendly officer.

SWADS Officers and Gentlemen

The two fine SWADS Officers and Gentlemen.

Photo taken after we finally picked our check-in stuff in Dhaka International Airport and went our separate ways.

Should these two officers came across this blog, I hope and wish one of them contact me to get in touch. I also want a signed copy of that book if ever.

HOOYAH and DHANYABAAD!!

 

 

 

Philippine NAVY SEAL “Hooyah” Ballcap

Posted in Philippine Naval Special Operations Group (Navsog) on November 20, 2010 by stukaph

 

RP SEAL "Hooyah" ballcap

 

Background

Obsolete team items of the Philippine Naval Special Warfare Group (NSWG or better known now as NAVSOG). The ballcap shows a full color beautifully embroidered specwar frog, superimposed unto a flag of the Republic of the Philippines. Frogs are a reference to the U.S. Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) days of the original mascot (Freddy, the Frog).

The predecessor unit of the Philippine NSWG, the Underwater Operations Team or UOT  activated on 5th November 1956 was patterned after the fame U.S. Underwater Demolitions Team (UDT) of the WWII. Thus, its Unit similarities and the monicker “Frogman”; that implied to someone who is trained to dive or swim in a military capacity which can include combat.

And of course, for the sake of those unaccustomed visitors into this blog, HOOYAH is the war cry or battle cry commonly associated with the SEA, AIR and LAND warrior communities or the brotherhood of the world’s military SEAL units.

Description

To note, the ballcap never actually kicked–off for widespread unit issue as the inception of this design came about after the Oakwood Event where some member of this elite unit were involved. As a result, rumors of the dire consequences for the whole NSWG unit abound.  Therefore, anything that connotes the “Frogman” was somehow restricted then; to maintain the unit’s low profile and lighten up the political pressures. Fortunately, the only known consequences was the changed of Unit’s official name, from then Special Warfare Group (SWAG) to the new and current Naval Special Warfare Group (NAVSOG).

In addition to this photo reference, some team patches as well. These came from the  same batch of the 2001 productions.

Philippine NAVSOG Tigerstripes Uniform

Posted in Camouflage Uniforms on April 9, 2010 by stukaph

PH SEAL Tigerstripes Uniform (Sewingdale Version)

Shirt was modified (Lower pockets moved to arm sleeves) by the operator. Operator also cross-trained with their US counterpart as visible from the US NAVY SEAL Trident badge on upper right chest.

Official name: NAVAL SPECIAL OPERATIONS GROUP (NAVSOG). This special unit is the Philippine Navy counterpart of the US Navy SEAL and popularly coined by their foreign counterparts or known in their very tight international brotherhood as PH SEAL or RP SEAL. Prior to the current adopted and official name, the unit previously was called Special Warfare Group (SWAG). The changed of unit name was to wash away the stigma of the July 27, 2003 munity that was participated by some of its members, mostly SEAL Team “Uno” (SEAL Team One).

This distinctive tigerstripes uniform was first seen by the public during that munity. Since the Philippine Navy SEAL maintained a low profile and rarely seen in public (in fact, not many in the public ever knew the existence of this unit), it  mistakenly coined this tigerstripes uniform as “Magdalo Tiger”.  “Magdalo” being the official name of the group of the mutineers.

This distinctive Tigerstripes uniform was manufactured by a local company Sewingdale, Inc. in lightweight 100% cotton riptop. The workwmanship of this Battle Dress Attire (BDA) is of industrial production quality, quite good in terms of cut/style and uses military grade buttons. But this is no longer in production as the Armed Forces of the Philippines ceased business with Sewingdale, Inc. after the Philippine Army’s poncho’s controversy amogn others I believe. Naval Special Warfare though continued buying up to their last TS fabric inventory for supply only and had it tailored themselves.

When the last inventory dried up, the NSW while tender for new suppliers were ongoing, temporarily adopted the current lightweight 100% cotton  green dominant tigerstripes of the Phil. Army Special Forces Regiment (Airborne). With the new demand, some supplier printed on this TS fabric with “PN SWAG Uniform..” (SWAG being the old name of PH SEAL, as already mentioned above. Hence, it is not surprising if you find some Army SF TS set with ‘PN SWAG Uniform..” markings which I think only found on the edges of these fabric rolls. In addition, for distinctive purposes and references by collectors, this temporary adaptation, we like to call it “Transitional NAVSOG Tigerstripes” or “Transition Tiger”

Enjoy!

Kinship: Sailor and FDNY

Posted in Military Impressions on April 20, 2009 by stukaph

And the bond between the SEALs and El Barrio’s Bravest has persevered. The firehouse quickly gained a reputation as a safe haven for SEALs, and even soldiers who have no connection to Murphy will often spend a night at Engine 53, Ladder 43 when they are on leave in New York.

“In a way, it’s still a tribute to Mike,” said Capt. Al Hagan of Ladder 43. “And it’s our way of showing these guys that we appreciate what they do. Our firehouse is their home.”

Article: War Hero’s Spirit Fills Bravest Hearts (NY Daily News)

My brother was a FDNY firefigther

My brother was a FDNY firefigther

Operation Kentucky Jumper

Posted in Military Impressions on September 19, 2008 by stukaph

MA’LAAB DISTRICT, AR RAMADI, IRAQ. Delta Platoon executed a broad spectrum of combat operations in and around Ramadi. They patrolled bravely through the city streets engaging in firefights while on other occasions, they ambushed insurgent mortar teams near the banks of the Euphrates River. SEAL Team 3 accounted for 84 enemy fighters killed in action and the detainment of numerous insurgents. Most notably, the Army Infantry, Navy SEAL and Iraqi Army combined force helped to pacify the most violent city in Al Anbar province, setting conditions for the Sunni “Awakening”.

“A lot of people, even in the SEAL community, thought Ramadi couldn’t have been won without Navy SEALs. Don’t you believe it. Those brave soldiers and marines would have taken Ramadi without us. Had we not been there, a lot more of them would have been killed doing it. We’re very proud of our role in supporting them.”

−Lieutenant Commander John Willink, Task Unit Commander, Seal Team Three

ST3 Marksman

Enroute to provide sniper overwatch position with Iraqi Army Scout.

Enroute to provide sniper overwatch position with Iraqi Army Scout.

M79 known as the "Thumper".

M79 known as the "Thumper"

Silent Warriors

Posted in Philippine Naval Special Operations Group (Navsog) on August 8, 2008 by stukaph

Taken during Philippine Naval Special Warfare Group 50th anniversary at Sangley Point. Seal sniper and his Philippine Navy’s 3rd generation Marine Scout Sniper Rifle (MSSR). Among other items laid out during that exhibit was a Draeger Rebreather with a very unique Navsog’s tigerstripes cover. Also, on the far end as you can see from this photo is a small water-filled fish glass aquarium where they used to demo their MBITR by plunging the radio into it.

My friend aka combatcamote having chit chats with these silent warriors. With him (not shown) was another good friend aka Desert Rat. Both gentlemen enjoyed the show and the opportunities to meet the frogs, visited Frogmen’s store and an opportunity as well to check out various Navsog’s suppliers who had their respective stalls on the ground. These two guys sure did have a very Happy Camo Day!! Well, Desert Rat got me something too and sent it over. Thanks, you bloke! I owe you too many!

Philippine Seals' 50th Anniversary Open House

Philippine Seals' 50th Anniversary Open House

Photo: Philip Co

Navsog HMMWV

Posted in Military Photos, Philippine Naval Special Operations Group (Navsog) on August 8, 2008 by stukaph

Photo below was taken during the Philippine Naval Special Warfare Group 50th Anniversary celebration visit inside the home of the Philippine Seals at Sangley Point, Cavite, Philippines. The HMMWV (Humvee) was painted with their very own distinctive tigerstripes “Sewingdale” pattern. The “wings” on it is the Philippine Seal’s insignia.

Philippine Navy Seal's Humvee

Philippine Navy Seal's Humvee

Photo: Philip Co