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tv   Q A  CSPAN  May 9, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EDT

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are particularly dependent on the state that would be different. of defense, it has been -- the engagement in albania has been through the international law enforcement academy, alea in bucharest. there has been a certain amount of training and capacity building that has taken place. i don't have that off the top of my head, but i can supply that to you. >> would you provide the information to me? thank you very much for being here today. we appreciate your testimony and the questions you answered so forthrightly. we'll probably have another hearing on this subject down the road. i looked at the map the other day of e e e e e e e e e >> next,q &a with former navy
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seal dick couch and after that "washington journal". fcc chairman julia's genet cast genachowski discuss communications. live coverage on cspan today at 7:00 p.m. eastern. dick couch is a former navy seal. mr. couch became a member of the underwater demolition and seal teams following his 1967 graduation from the u.s. naval academy. as a platoon leader in seal team won in 1970, he led a pow rescue operation in vietnam. his active duty in the military ended in 1972. he then joined the cia as a maritime operations officer. since his retirement, mr. couch has lectured widely, including
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as adjunct professor of ethics at the u.s. naval academy. he also acts as an adviser to the commander of the u.s. special operations command. he is author of 14 books, including six novels. his latest is "the sheriff of ramadi," and non-fiction book about the role of the navy seals in the al-anbar province from 2005 to 2007. his next book, to be released in 2012, is called "sua sponte: the making of a modern american ranger." the term "sua sponte" is latin for "of their own accord." it is also the motto of the 75th ranger regiment of the u.s. rangers, with which mr. crouch was embedded in researching the book. >> this week, a look at the history and training of the navy seals. our guest is dick couch, a former navy seal and author of many books, including "the sheriff of ramadi." >> dick couch, what is a seal? >> a.c.l. is a member of our special operations community. they are home-based in the coronado, california and in little creek, virginia. as you probably know, the came from the frogmen of world war ii and they have evolved right up to the present as maritime commandos. >> when were you with a.c.l.? >> i was on active duty from 1967 through 1972. primarily then it was all vietnam. most of our deployments were to vietnam, and just like the deployments today in afghanistan, ours were in vietnam. >> were you an officer? >> yes i was. i was a platoon leader and an assistant platoon leader and i was privileged to lead 125 -- fine young navy seals.
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we primarily did actions against the viet cong and infrastructure in vietnam. >> you have at least 12 books you have written? >> it actually is 14. >> how many of those are novels? >> seven of them are novels and the rest are non-fiction. they relate to navy seals, but also i have written on army special forces and i just completed a book on the training of army rangers for the 75th ranger regiment. >> how long have you been writing the story of the seals? >> my first book was a novel that came out in 1990. >> why did you do it? >> as you get to be middle- aged, you realize the things used to do, you are not going to do anymore. i thought it would be fun to write about them. i thought about writing spy books since i had spent some time at the cia, and then i picked up a book that was
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supposedly written by a navy seal, but it was not. i call the editor, and they said we are really hungry for books on navy seals. so i wrote a book and the rest was history. >> how long were you in the navy? >> i was only on active duty five years, but i did do 30 years as a reservist. being in the navy reserves that meet current with what was going on in that community. >> your final write? >> i retired as a captain in the navy reserves. >> i want to show you a picture. is that what a seal team looks like? >> those are seal trainees, but that is pretty much what they look like. they are very robust, healthy young men who have started out on hopefully a long and safe and productive career as a navy seal.
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>> we are going to show you the rest of this picture, which includes somebody you will be familiar with. this was taken back in 2009 in coronado. that is the vice president of the united states. how often do politicians visit operations like the seals? >> back in 1968, i did not see any politicians during my training. i think now and then they do come through there. there are classes they go through that never see any politicians, but occasionally someone of that stature comes through to see what is going on. >> what kind of name is dick couch? >> i have no idea. i am an american and it is an american name. it may have some english- scottish ancestors, but i am not sure.
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>> what was your reaction when you heard that a seal team had killed osama bin laden? >> i happened to be in california at the time. my wife was taking a walk and someone stopped and said they have killed bin laden and they have his body. i said where did it happen and how did it happen? come to find out it was a special operations component and then the news came in it was a cross border operation into pakistan. then we started hearing a lot about navy seals. i am not sure where that came from. i think it did not come from the department of defense. pretty soon we had a steady diet of navy seals, sophisticated operation into pakistan, and that they had killed bin laden and brought out his body. >> what does it mean, special operations?
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>> this country is blessed with a very robust special operations presence, and special operations army, navy, and marines. they have a lot of capabilities from counterinsurgency, for internal defense, intelligence collection -- they do an awful lot of things. the one we focus on are the direct action operations, the combat assault like this one was where a small unit comes in with the element of surprise and takes down a target. >> how many seals were involved? >> i really don't know. i hear the number 20 or 30, or what have you. it would be my estimate that there were probably a lot of
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non-seals on that target. intelligence specialists, security specialists, people who were there to exploit the intelligence that might be taking place. there was probably an integrated team that took down the compound. >> this outfit is now called seal team 6. >> i really don't talk about these things. a lot of these units have general capabilities, but some of them are special unit that focus on certain capabilities and they spend all their time doing one thing very well. this team that went in was specialized on combat assault. >> you get on wikipedia, and all this stuff is on there. it started in 1981 with the whole rescue attempt of the
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iranian hostages. >> what is secret, or what are you told that you cannot tell? >> they like to maintain a certain amount of anonymity. these men go out and risk their lives. the have a high profile mission like this and they like to come home to their families and their communities and be able to integrate back into society without having the notoriety that might accompany this type of thing. that is why there is a lot of security considerations around this. also, some of their training, some of their specialties, communication skills, tactics
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and procedures -- all these things they like to keep very closely held. that put these units off limits to a lot of people, including people like myself, just to protect the way they go about their business and protect their identities as well. >> one television station had a report on the website of the seal museum. have you ever been there? >> yes, i have. >> is that run by the navy? >> no, that is an independent museum that commemorates where the first frogmen trained. the have a lot of memorabilia. it is independently financed. >> we have a report that channel 9 had on may 2, just to give a sense of how they looked at it down there right after it happened.
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>> keep the details locked and sealed is what navy seals are being told to do after the group killed bin laden. the operation was carried out by a unit known as seal team six, and they are known as the best of the best. it takes longer than a year to become a navy seal. the super soldiers are trained to the highest dangers and considered to be some of the most fearsome fighting forces in the world. the navy seals got their start at fort pierce decades ago. >> right here from 1943 to 1946, a special group of men trained to go into the most dangerous situations, the frogmen paved the way for the navy seals, and that history is celebrated here. mike howard opened the gate
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today, even though the navy seal museum is closed on mondays. people wanted to stop by and walk around and reflect. >> people have been driving up just out of the blue, wanting to thank the seals for this. it has been a tremendous outpouring of patriotism and thanks. >> the museum honors the long and proud history of the navy seals. that history began here during world war ii. the frogmen evolved into the navy seals, and nearly 70 years later, seal team 6 killed osama bin laden. >> i think all seals and former seals are proud of that fact and we are fortunate that they could be part of that.
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it puts on notice a lot of other bad guys out there that we are coming after you and you cannot hide. >> there have been other successful missions in recent history. three bullets fired by navy seal guns shattered the windows and simultaneously killed all three pirates in somalia. now the museum is planning a display for this latest show of force. >> it may take some time, but we are optimistic we will have some things. >> the museum will be open from 10:00 to 4:00 tomorrow. a bill was introduced that would make the memorial here the national official navy seal memorial. >> were you surprised when you heard that 55 had died over in
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iraq? >> no, i was not. i have watched these casualty figures mount. we have been at this for 10 years. i believe 43 is the number we lost in vietnam, with a much smaller force, by the way. so i was not surprised. >> i understand from reading that this group that went into pakistan to get osama bin laden is higher trained than the average seal. is that correct? >> the group that went in is more specially trained for that particular mission. we have a lot of special operations components that could have handled that mission. it could be that this team was selected because of their availability. i think it is because they had expertise in this particular mission, so they were selected to go and do that. >> how many seals are there? >> there are maybe 2200 active-
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duty navy seals. that includes staffing function, command and control, and what have you. >> what is the average age? >> it is probably around 28 or 29 years old. >> if the a.c.l. enlisted man were to go into this mission, what kind of training would they have gone through? >> it is quite a journey. it will go to boot camp. it will take approximately six months in coronado, california. he will immediately go to airborne school and go into seal qualification training. that is what really qualifies him to wear the trident and qualify him as a navy seal.
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that is about another six months. you have a year's training after boot camp until this young man is a qualified navy seal. then he will go to a seal team and train with his new platoon for as much as 18 months before he goes on operational deployment. it is a 2.5-year process to make a combat capable navy seal. >> is there a pin that you get when you become a navy seal? >> that is it right there. it is called the trident. about 1973 is when it was adopted as the symbol of a navy seal. >> how tall are you? >> 5-9. they seem to be making them bigger nowadays.
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a lot of these young men seem to be more robust. they seem to be bigger than they were in my day, but then everybody is bigger nowadays than they used to be. i have always felt that the rigorousness of seals training is almost a little man's game. you have to be able to drag your body around all those obstacles and sometimes being a smaller man is your advantage. >> the navy has a lot of pictures you can find on their website. one of these is somewhere in alaska. is this glamorizing what a seal team member is? >> i don't think so. the training in alaska is part of field qualification training. they are coming out of that cold water across the beach and up into the mountains. it is very rigorous training to prepare them for what seals often are asked to do, and that
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is come from the sea. >> there is a student on the screen, the basic underwater demolition. what is the toughest part of this? >> that is hell week. you have five or six days of continuous training with maybe 4.5 hours of prescribed sleep during that process. it is physically difficult, but it is a mental challenge to keep yourself going and stay focused and get through this. >> now you have a young fellow jumping out -- or is that all men? >> they are all men. he is climbing a ladder probably up the side of a ship. shipboard is a maritime
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operation,, coming from the sea and over the side of a ship. >> is a training any different today than it was when you were in vietnam? >> it is different, and it is not different. some of the same requirements. the seals were founded back in 1943. some of the evolutions, the physical training, the challenges are much the same. the land war aspects and the water aspects have been greatly elevated an updated. once they get through the physical rendering of who has a heart to do this business, there is a more dedicated focus and refinement on teaching the military skills that they are going to need. >> i read that 80% of the people who come into the seals do not graduate.
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>> that is very accurate. it is about the same number that comes into our 75th ranger regiment and the green berets. >> if you are knocked out, what is usually the reason? >> i think it holds true then and now that 10% to 50% of these young men will not quit. unless they get injured, they will get through the training. another 10% to 15% do not have the physical equipment to go through this training, but the rest of them, it is whether they want it bad enough to do it. those who have that get through it. those who don't will be sent off into the navy and they will find another way to serve their country. >> what is the ratio of enlisted
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men to officers? >> it is right around 10% to 15% officers. >> to the officers of different training from the enlisted men? >> the go did the same initial training and they may branch offer separate leadership courses. basically the training until they get to their actual seal teams is very much the same. >> the face of this particular event seems to be vice admiral william loch raven. -- william mccraven. >> he is a very intelligent and forward-looking officer. he brought in a lot of innovative things that helped lead intelligence collection with operations.
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he contributed a great deal to the op-intel fusion. he has had some very responsible positions. he has recently been nominated for a fourth star and nominated to be commander of special operations command. >> in an article in the washington post, it says the admiral had long emphasize six key requirements for any successful mission. what about surprise? >> you want to get there when they least expect you and their guard is at the lowest. there is the element of surprise and violence of action.
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it is a bad night and rain, that is a good time to go on an operation. >> another one is speed. >> yes, getting on target quickly, getting set up, and getting the job done. >> were you surprised to read that the helicopters being used were stealth? >> i was not aware, and still is a broad term, whether this was electronically stealthy or whether it had some radar capabilities. i am not sure, but it seems that there was a new technology involved in this. >> security, simplicity, purpose, and repetition. what about repetition? >> i think it comes into battle drill. you have to practice. sometimes preparation can be perishable intelligence. you have to move quickly.
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you get on the helicopter and dole. if you have the chance to practice and rehearse, you make good use of your rehearsal time. practicing your procedures and techniques over and over again until you become very proficient at it. there is a saying that amateurs do it over and over until they get it right. professionals do it over and over until they cannot get it wrong. >> we have a picture of some of the seal team members practicing for going in and out of rooms and buildings. how often do you think they practice before they went in there? >> they have practiced is for the last 10 years. that practice all the time in one form or another. they are constantly out practicing. they will practice entering
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rooms, opening doors, going from room to room and floor to floor. moving from building to building. that practice at this day in and day out. when it comes down to focusing on an individual objective, if they have some idea of where they are going, then they construct a facility and try to bring that practice in to where it is more relevant to the mission they will be going on. >> how much weight do they put on their bodies in the way of equipment? >> a combat assault like this where they are in and out, they are not taking in food and water and things like this. they are very heavy on weapons and ammunition and communications equipment. i would say 40-45 lbs is what they are carrying. >> what kind of weapon?
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>> they have a variety of weapons. i would think the standard m-4 rival is what they would use. there are like what assault weapons and heavier assault weapons of heavier caliber. there have a broad selection of weapons that are standard throughout the special operations committee. >> how much firepower as one individual have on him? >> it is associated with certain targeted devices for daytime and nighttime shooting. i would think four hundred to 500 rounds of ammunition. >> they are all automatic weapons? >> yes. >> when you go on a mission like this, who will know about it in your family? >> i am not in real sure.
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obviously you want to come home and say more than you cannot talk about anything. i think you have to share things appropriate with your spouse. maybe not your extended family. when i was in cia, so that things are highly classified, but you share things with your spouse. i was with the cia for four years. 1973 to 1977. >> what kind of work review involved in? >> my title was maritime operations officer. i did a variety of things i cannot go into. >> what is the reason we are so secretive? >> it is a general security blanket to keep these things from people who do not need to know about them and having general security procedures. a lot of things if the cia are not classified, but having a
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general security policy that covers everything is helpful for those situations where you don't want anything to get out. >> what was your reaction to what was reported in the general press after this event? >> i think what bothers me is how we had an operation, the basics of special operations, osama bin laden in pakistan, he was killed, the body was brought out. those are the basic facts. then you started hearing that he was armed, he resisted. he used his wife for a shield and what have you. i cannot imagine those comments coming out of a military briefing.
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i think this administration would have been better served to have put out the basics and then said wait until you have all the facts and then come out with the details as appropriate as to what took place. then you would not have had this backtracking on various things that seemed to flow out of the operation. >> there was a piece written in the london telegraph that got a lot of attention. it says jay carney is floundering under pressure. he says unless he is capable of raising his game, he needs to be thrown under a bus. president obama is coming dangerously close to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. they have created the impression that operation
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geronimo was carried out by the keystone cops instead of the navy seals. have you had that feeling? >> yes, i have. the communication from the debriefing room at the operational level, something happened there that was miscommunicated, mishandled, and should have been done a whole lot better than it was. >> you read the stories, and every newspaper had a different story. somebody was feeding that story line. did any of it sound like it came from the pentagon? >> no, it did not. i think there is a prescribed format these guys go through. on any operation, but
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especially an operation like this, i cannot imagine these things spilling out like this in the format they came out. i don't know where the misinformation came from. after any special operation, they will go back and say what did we learn, and how can we do it better next time? that has to be going on within the white house and their layers of communication. >> supposedly that came out of afghanistan somewhere. what can you tell us about what would be the normal set up for something like this in the way of getting ready to go in there. how long are they in place? who is talking to them to get them ready? how much attention is in their bodies? >> this was not their first
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rodeo. these guys have all done this many, many times. often they do it in a compressed time frame. this seemed to be something that was a long-term target they were tracking. there was more of a gradual build up to it so they could be highly briefed. they rehearsed in debt. they had a lot of time to prepare for this -- they rehearsed in depth. they may not have known quite when they were going. people that manage these operations have to make sure they are ready to go and they are fresh. they need to be at optimum physical capabilities. a lot of things have to go on. whereas the seals are getting front and center on this, there was a huge team of people that
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put those guys on target, from analyst to trainers to some very talented aviators that took them there. the seals are getting credit for it, but there was a huge team that put this gather -- together to get these guys on target. >> how much of what happened could have been seen on television on closed-circuit? how much of the on-site event could have been televised all the way back to washington on a closed-circuit, secure system? >> i am just guessing, but probably all of it. they have a lot of communication capabilities that are very robust. we have a lot of capabilities in this area in real-time video and audio communication. i am sure there is a good deal of it that is on tape and is being reviewed.
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>> they did say if there was a 25-minute gap during the operation where there was no video contact. >> that could have been. they were in a foreign country. there was a lot of things going on and sometimes the links don't quite work. even a regular radio sometimes you have to jiggle and around to make it work. i can see where they might have had better communications, but they were down four of time. >> were you ever involved in a moment where you thought you might not live? >> yes, i remember one time some friendly fire had my boat pretty well up zero yen. a friend of mine managed to yell cease-fire just in time.
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>> how much of what you did in vietnam can you talk about today? >> pretty much all of it. it was a long time ago. it was a lower tech type of engagement. there was not the transparency on the battlefield that there is today. this was a long time ago. some of the mechanics of an operation, you have intelligence, we study it and get information on it and then we briefed on how we are going to do it. this is what we will do, this is our time frame, these are our support elements, this is how we will come off target. it is pretty much right out of the ranger handbook, what we did back then. it is pretty much how they go about operations today.
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>> the article said he is a guy that i think you can look at as a modern steel, a post-vietnam era seal, guys who were quiet, humble, and smart. what is the humility thing? are you taught humility? >> that is brought up quite a bit. let your actions speak louder than words. we are the quiet professionals. i think that is the theme that is brought throughout the training and throughout their operational history. the highest accolade you can pay and navy seal is that you are very professional. >> what about quiet? >> within their own groups, they taught.
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there is a culture there. maybe in the past there is a tendency to go down and spend time in bars and get a little rowdy. that has no place in modern special operations. >> are there many college educated seals that are listed? >> probably as many as half or more than half are college educated. and i mean that they have college degrees. many have chosen not to be an officer. that is the same case within the army special forces, the green berets, and the 75th ranger regiment. >> let's go back to basic underwater demolition sealed train. we have some video to show
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sealed team members either in training -- here they are in the water. we have videos showing them in different places. does this remind you of what it was like when you were there? >> mine was cruder than what they go through now. here they are in the surf. this is land warfare face. they train at san clemente island for their weapons training. this is an older clip, because those are some dated weapons they are handling their. >> did they tended to get the best weapons? >> i think they do. that tended to have some of the best ones and when new ones come out, they tend to get them
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first. >> what is the toughest part of the training? >> initially the toughest part of the training is hell week. week in and week out of this mental grind. just staying up and being up for 48 hours without sleep, getting an hour sleep, and then staying up another 24 hours. it is mentally very challenging. >> at what point do people break the most during hell week? >> you have five days with four hours' sleep. anybody can do 24 hours, but the mental strain of knowing you have four more days of this, some want to quit. the really good ones will say i will do this as long as you want, because i am going to be a navy seal. >> what do you think a person
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has to have, other than the platitudes that you hear all the time -- what do they learn to kind -- to do this kind of stuff? >> character, maturity, physical and mental strength. i have been a student of specialty training here. the common thread is that the young men who succeed are young men who have parents who had high expectations of them. they had programmed them to finish what they start, to do their best, and they have high expectations. i found that if anyone trade runs through all these people, for lack of a better term, good parenting. >> and notice you see almost no minorities.
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>> that is an issue. i think it has to do with water skills. how many played in the swimming pool growing up, and how many played in the fire hydrant out in the street. those water skills have to be taught at a very young age to be comfortable in the water. with a lot of black men, they have very dense muscle mass, so they are negatively we had in the water. this can be negative when you are asked to perform in the water. they stress them in the pool. they tie their hands and feet together and have to be able to grab a bite of air and deal with that. >> isn't an issue that is talked about? >> yes, how do we get up more of these good, young black people to come into buds. we just do not have as many minorities as we would like.
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>> what kind of orders are given -- let me start with this. how soon before they take off when they have been told exactly what the mission is? >> when it is this much time and attention, everybody knows it is going to be important. at some point they will be told, this is your mission. they are put in what is called isolation, where they do not have any communication with the outside. this is standard procedure. they will stay in isolation until the mission goes or is cancelled. they are locked down. >> what are you told about communicating with your family?
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>> you tell your family there are times when i will not be in communication because i could be on an operation. if something happens to me, someone will contact you in person at the door. if you are not hearing from me, everything is ok. >> how much do seals have to deal with posttraumatic stress syndrome? >> it is almost less of an issue with our special operations because they are involved in combat assault. it is very stressful to be a young trooper on patrol in helmand province day after day with the ambiguity of ied's, having to deal among friendly populations and being very measured in their response. that creates more stress than perhaps a high-risk operation like the one we see with osama bin laden.
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>> this may be a strange question, but is there any kind of relax or given to someone about to go into combat because the stress is so high? >> i cannot imagine that. i remember in vietnam we used to have these little dexedrine pills, but all they do is screw you up. i cannot imagine them doing anything like this. they try to keep their sleep cycles in proper rotation so that when they are awake and alert is when they will be going on this operation. >> what questions are asked most often? >> most of them revolve around training. how do they get into this? why do young men become interested in this?
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>> those are the general questions. i tell them i love navy seals and i am very proud of them. we have a whole range of special operations components. a young man has a smorgasbord of operations he can look at and say which one needs his capabilities best and how he can best serve his country. >> tells you -- wikipedia tells you there are -- they are number of for west coast and even for east coast. >> and now there are 10. there are still delivery vehicle teams one and two. >> that specialize in operations from nuclear submarines.
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they will come out and go into some place and come out from a parent submarine into a smaller submersible and conduct the mission from there. it could be special reconnaissance. it takes a lot of training to be very good at those underwater operations. they are highly choreographed, clandestine underwater operations. >> normally, how many men or their in a sealed team? >> it can vary. >> what are the basics you have to deal with? how much women do you have to be able to do? >> -- how much swimming the you have to be able to do? >> they have to be good in the water.
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that have to be able to function on land. there is a lot of training to keep those skills current. a team that is not deployed will go through its work up and do harbor penetrations, airborne training, lots of land warfare training. they have to be prepared for all contingencies. typically they will go to afghanistan and to land warfare operations in the mountains. >> do they have to stay underwater for a certain length of time? >> i remember from my sealed training we had to swim down 50 feet and tie 3 not. some of them will have to swim 50 meters underwater.
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there are certain things they have to do. they have to swim in an open water within a certain period of time. there are water requirements and there is drown proofing, which is very difficult. they tie your hands behind your back and your feet together and you have to stay afloat. >> has anybody ever drowned in training? >> there have been some drowning issues, but more have to do with hypothermia and drowning. the training is highly supervised, and i think i do recall an incident of drowning in a pool, but it has been quite a while. >> the have to put 50 pounds on your back and run certain distances? >> they are out running in various situations. you have to run a certain distance in a certain amount of time.
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running is part of it. >> what about jumping out of airplanes? >> that is just another skill set. it is not for the faint of heart, but a lot of our military people jump out of airplanes, including navy seals. it is a very structured evolution. hopefully the media will die down and things will go back to normal. as far as any recruiting aspects, obviously this type of thing will probably help recruiting. there will be a few young men who will think they want to give that a try.
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there was a time when the seals were having a hard time finding recruits. they were modestly trying to expand the force. recently they are getting a lot of fine young men who want to be navy seals. >> have you been able to watch training over the years? >> i have. i wrote a book that came out in 2001. i was allowed to walk with the class, start to finish. i was with the class from start to finish and i wrote a book called "the warrior elites." >> how much of your writing has to be cleared by either the seals or the defense department?
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>> pretty much all of it. if i with army special forces, it goes through the army special forces command and special operations command. i just finished a book with the 75th ranger regiment that will go through the u.s. army special operations command. in my last book, "the sheriff of ramadi, coat it was vetted very carefully. i typically have no problem with this. they are very helpful and at this stage of the game, i tend to know what is appropriate to write about and what is not. >> does it bother you that you cannot just write something and publish it? >> not really. i am afforded a lot of trust to be able to go into these training venues and be among these people and to have the access that i do.
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i would never violate that trust. i am very careful about what i write about and what i talk about. >> can you write stuff in your novels that you do not have to have approved? >> yes, but it will not be a shadow of doubt -- of writing about a particular operation. that things in my novels are totally fictitious. >> one young man was killed, mike murphy, who receive the medal of honor. did you know him? >> i did not know him. >> what happened to him? >> he was in a special operations team where three of them were killed. one of them managed to survive the engagement. he was in the sealed glass that i followed, so i -- in the sealed glass i followed, so i
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got to know him very well. there was a lot of taliban around them and they had a fight for their lives. they died fighting. >> what did you think of his book? >> it was difficult for me to read. i hate reading stories were you know the outcome, you know these men are going to die. i thought there was some very interesting, from an ethics perspective, discussions that took place about when and when not to take life. then the issue of hospitality within the muslim culture, i found compelling. most of us in the west don't understand what that means in the muslim culture, if you are someone hospitality. it has to be honored. >> is there a lot we don't know about what goes on behind the scenes? >> it is more on the operational
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level. the training is basic hard military training. the basic skill sets or universal to the army and marine conventional units as well. it is when you get into the actual operations and the specialized tactics and procedures that it becomes classified. it is sensitive. abouton't want to talk exactly how they enter a room and how they go about executing a mission. >> so if they said you, we would like to have you visit with some of the seals that went in on this mission and it will all will be top secret and you cannot publish it, what are the questions you would want to ask? >> i am more interested in the personal stories. what was going through your mind? when you got on target, what
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were some of the tactical -- how were your fire team set up? i have an interest in these things. what was going on on the ground? what was the resistance you met? what are your recollection? typically in an operation like this, something happens that we will never know about that is kind of poignant or tragic, or maybe even humorous. when you got back to that bird in you lifted off out of there, what were you thinking about? it had to be a tremendous emotional release. i would love to talk to that assault commander, because he had a lot on his plate. >> what rank would he have been? >> i am not sure. a lieutenant commander or perhaps a commander. he would have been around for a while.
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you have to accomplish your mission. the second thing is, you have to get your man on target, and you have to get off target. you have to take care of your men. the third thing is, you have to watch out for noncombatants. you would like to get in and out of there and take care of your men and not shoot anybody that does not have to be shot. >> let's say there were 20 or 30 men on the ground. and they all hear the commander in their year? >> i would think in a mission like this, yes, they can. they operate in sections. they operate somewhat independently and report back to the ground force commander. he is in a position where he tries to maintain control of what is going on. he is also in touch with higher command, and trying to keep some idea of the bigger picture so that he can respond.
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if something goes wrong over here or there is a problem here, if he can shift assets or do something. once they get into a target like this, they will start looking now -- looking out. he has a lot going on because he is more responsible. he is not running from room to room. >> if someone were to buy one of your 14 books, which one would you recommend for basic knowledge of seals? >> i think definitely "the warrior elite." "the sheriff of ramadi" is a very good feel for what seals done and what they have done in the global war on terror. >> dick couch, thank you very much for joining me. >> thank you, sir.
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has been a pleasure. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> for a dvd copy of this program, call 1-877-662-7726. to give comments on this program, visit us at q-and- a.org. the programs are also available as podcasts. >> next, live your calls and comments on "washington journal." the discussion on the future of
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the congressional research center and then the future of the fcc and the mill -- and telecommunications. >> for me, when sony says we are protecting the consumers, the consumers say they have the right to protect themselves. as a policymaker, should they no sooner? >> on the theft of consumers' personal data from the sony play station network tonight at 8:00 eastern on "the communicators" on c-span 2. >> this morning carol dorothy from the pew research center details a new report that finds many more than a rigid americans across the spectrum have become divided in their political views. then the former national deputy for national security discusses for national security discusses al-qaeda and preventin

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