Sunday, February 20, 2011

SEALs and "Quantum Leap" - Excerpt AHM, 1998


Many of the innovations now being employed by the SEAL community are the direct result of a West Coast Navy initiative called Quantum Leap, which Clark oversees.
    “Quantum Leap is an effort we're doing in-house at Special Warfare Group ONE to take advantage of emerging technologies and how they can be applied to special warfare,” said Clark. “We take commercial off-the-shelf technology and see how or if it can be used by SEALs.”
Since the program’s inception 18 months ago, Quantum Leap has drastically improved command and control coordination through the use of waterproof, digital cameras; waterproof, image-stabilized binoculars; infrared lasers; video, remote-field sensors and low-probability of detection tracking devices, which SEALS wear in the field.
    “Quantum Leap lets us look for ways to stay relevant into the next century,” said Clark, whose role for the SEALs can almost be likened to James Bond’s “Q.”  “We don’t just want evolutionary technology, we want technology that will allow us to do things that nobody else can do: The SEALs are all about surgical, measured strikes.  The technology we are bringing in supports that.”
     On the East Coast, Herbert agrees. “Right now SEALs are riding the crest of the high-tech wave, and are becoming the 21st century techno-warriors from the sea. We used to be the naked warriors in the 40s. But times have really changed. It always amazes me to see a crusty old senior chief get excited about a laptop computer.  My guys have really embraced the technology.  They love it."

Frank Clark - Research/Development/Testing/Evaluation 
Department Head at Naval Special Warfare Group ONE,
  San Diego

LCDR Roger Herbert, Executive Officer of 
SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team TWO in Little Creek,Va.

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