Two months after their famously brutal training was suspended, Navy SEALs are again being spawned in Coronado — with instructors using megaphones rather than yelling face-to-face.
Navy Capt. Bart Randall, commodore of the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, said training for new maritime special operators, or SEALs, started up Monday after being suspended March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.“I am confident in our constant medical assessment that we have with these students,” Randall told reporters in a conference call this week. “I’m not afraid to continue [to] train or, if conditions should change, I will pause training. Because the No. 1 thing to me is the health and welfare of these students.”
Randall said he made changes to the training regimen for special warfare personnel.
Instructors will wear masks and gloves, he said, and the number of students in a room will also be reduced.
“Our classes will maximize bubble-to-bubble travel in order to limit personal contact outside of their training cohorts, and they’re going to remain on base until after the candidates complete Hell Week,” Randall said.
The students will be quarantined together, and their health will be monitored daily.
No lowering of standards will occur, the Navy said, for students to become SEALs or special warfare combatant-craft crewmen.
Students who come down with the virus will be pulled from the course immediately and go through the full medical procedures the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends, the captain said.
Right now, no one at Coronado has tested positive for coronavirus, Randall said. The center is part of the test protocol that gives faster test results.
Although 100 percent of the personnel at the center have not yet been tested, they are moving in that direction, Randall said.
The pause in the course should not affect the yearly number of special operators the center produces. The number of people who pass the legendary tough course varies from cohort to cohort.
The Associated Press noted Tuesday that the 65-week program is so grueling that 75 percent of candidates drop out by the end of the first month.
“That’s when trainees undergo what is known as Hell Week when recruits are pushed to the limit with little sleep,” wrote the AP’s Julie Watson.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: