Second Seal unit receives green light
The setting up of a second Navy Seal unit that will undertake military operations other than war (MootWar) has been approved, a navy source said.
The source said the second unit, established under an order signed by navy chief Adm Luechai Ruddit, will assist people in distress, respond to disasters, work on intelligence and take part in royally initiated projects. The new unit will be headed by Capt Narongsak Nuchsuwan.
The first Navy Seal unit, commanded by Capt Surapong Benjamart, mainly deals with warfare and special operations.
The source said Adm Luechai has recognised the need for a second unit with the first being stretched by the number of tasks it is expected to perform.
The Navy Seals played a central role in the daring rescue mission that saved 12 members of the Wild Boar football team and their coach from Tham Luang cave, after they were trapped inside for 18 days in June and July last year.
The source said the second unit will have about 800 men, some of whom will be transferred from the first unit.
Each year, about 140 applicants attempt the Navy Seal selection and training course spanning six months. Only about 30% of them pass the gruelling course.
Since the cave rescue, Navy Seal training has included a cave div-ing programme.