Definitions for underwater demolition team

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  1. Underwater Demolition Team

    The Underwater Demolition Teams were an elite special-purpose force established by the United States Navy during World War II. They also served during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Their primary function was to reconnoiter and destroy enemy defensive obstacles on beaches prior to amphibious landings. The UDTs reconnoitered beaches and the waters just offshore, locating reefs, rocks, and shoals that would interfere with landing craft. They also used explosives to demolish underwater obstacles planted by the enemy. As the U.S. Navy's elite combat swimmers, they were employed to breach the cables and nets protecting enemy harbors, plant limpet mines on enemy ships, and locate and mark mines for clearing by minesweepers. They also conducted river surveys and foreign military training. The UDTs pioneered combat swimming, closed-circuit diving, underwater demolitions, and midget submarine operations. They were the precursor to the present-day United States Navy SEALs. In 1983, the UDTs were re-designated as SEAL Teams or Swimmer Delivery Vehicle Teams. SDVTs have since been re-designated SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. underwater demolition team

    A group of officers and enlisted specially trained and equipped for making hydrographic reconnaissance of approaches to prospective landing beaches; for effecting demolition of obstacles and clearing mines in certain areas; locating, improving, and marking of useable channels; channel and harbor clearance; acquisition of pertinent data during pre-assault operations, including military information; observing the hinterland to gain information useful to the landing force; and for performing miscellaneous underwater and surface tasks within their capabilities. Also called UDT.

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