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Naval Special Warfare Interoperates with USS John P. Murtha in Bering Sea

08 September 2023

From Lt.j.g. Martin Carey, Naval Special Warfare Command

BERING SEA - East Coast based Naval Special Warfare Operators (SEALs) seamlessly integrated with USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) during Operation Polar Dagger, in the Alaskan Arctic region, demonstrating special operations forces capability to operate in austere locations to defend critical infrastructure and strengthen interoperability in the region.

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Two combatant crafts assault return to amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) during Operation POLAR DAGGER, Aug. 28, 2023. Amphibious transport dock ships like John P. Murtha have many unique capabilities that make them ideal platforms to support special operations forces, such as the ability to embark helicopters from the joint force, launch and recover Naval Special Warfare combatant craft, and maintain all-domain awareness through advanced sensors. Operations NOBLE DEFENDER and POLAR DAGGER sharpen joint special operations integration and provides the forces the opportunity to test new capabilities and advance response options in defense of the U.S. homeland. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk)
230828-N-YT019-1248
230828-N-YT019-1248
Two combatant crafts assault return to amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) during Operation POLAR DAGGER, Aug. 28, 2023. Amphibious transport dock ships like John P. Murtha have many unique capabilities that make them ideal platforms to support special operations forces, such as the ability to embark helicopters from the joint force, launch and recover Naval Special Warfare combatant craft, and maintain all-domain awareness through advanced sensors. Operations NOBLE DEFENDER and POLAR DAGGER sharpen joint special operations integration and provides the forces the opportunity to test new capabilities and advance response options in defense of the U.S. homeland. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk)
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk
VIRIN: 230828-N-YT019-1248


Operation Polar Dagger demonstrates the United States' continued commitment to maintain mission readiness in various environments and to preserve capacity for follow-on operations. The integration of SEALs with Murtha, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship, underscored the flexibility and adaptability of the U.S. military in responding to the evolving strategic environment.

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A combatant craft assault returns to amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) during Operation POLAR DAGGER, Aug. 28, 2023. Amphibious transport dock ships like John P. Murtha have many unique capabilities that make them ideal platforms to support special operations forces, such as the ability to embark helicopters from the joint force, launch and recover Naval Special Warfare combatant craft, and maintain all-domain awareness through advanced sensors. Operations NOBLE DEFENDER and POLAR DAGGER sharpen joint special operations integration and provides the forces the opportunity to test new capabilities and advance response options in defense of the U.S. homeland. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk)
230828-N-YT019-1436
230828-N-YT019-1436
A combatant craft assault returns to amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) during Operation POLAR DAGGER, Aug. 28, 2023. Amphibious transport dock ships like John P. Murtha have many unique capabilities that make them ideal platforms to support special operations forces, such as the ability to embark helicopters from the joint force, launch and recover Naval Special Warfare combatant craft, and maintain all-domain awareness through advanced sensors. Operations NOBLE DEFENDER and POLAR DAGGER sharpen joint special operations integration and provides the forces the opportunity to test new capabilities and advance response options in defense of the U.S. homeland. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk)
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk
VIRIN: 230828-N-YT019-1436


"Integrating U.S. Navy SEALs with the USS John P. Murtha during Operation Polar Dagger further prepares our forces to operate effectively in the extreme environment of the high-north – while contributing to our national security objectives," said Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Commodore Capt. Bill Gallagher. “Naval Special Warfare’s ability to operate with fleet assets provides combatant commanders greater flexibility in deploying forces to counter emerging challenges in the region.”

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Two combatant crafts assault transit the Bering Sea from the well deck of amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) during Operation POLAR DAGGER, Aug. 28, 2023. Amphibious transport dock ships like John P. Murtha have many unique capabilities that make them ideal platforms to support special operations forces, such as the ability to embark helicopters from the joint force, launch and recover Naval Special Warfare combatant craft, and maintain all-domain awareness through advanced sensors. Operations NOBLE DEFENDER and POLAR DAGGER sharpen joint special operations integration and provides the forces the opportunity to test new capabilities and advance response options in defense of the U.S. homeland. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk)
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230828-N-YT019-1192
Two combatant crafts assault transit the Bering Sea from the well deck of amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) during Operation POLAR DAGGER, Aug. 28, 2023. Amphibious transport dock ships like John P. Murtha have many unique capabilities that make them ideal platforms to support special operations forces, such as the ability to embark helicopters from the joint force, launch and recover Naval Special Warfare combatant craft, and maintain all-domain awareness through advanced sensors. Operations NOBLE DEFENDER and POLAR DAGGER sharpen joint special operations integration and provides the forces the opportunity to test new capabilities and advance response options in defense of the U.S. homeland. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk)
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk
VIRIN: 230828-N-YT019-1192


The Murtha's advanced capabilities and cutting-edge technology played a pivotal role in the successful deployment of SEALs and combat craft assault boats. Equipped with state-of-the-art command and control systems, the vessel offers unparalleled flexibility in orchestrating amphibious operations. Its well deck and specialized equipment facilitate swift and seamless launch and recovery of NSW assets, enabling precision missions even in challenging environments like the Arctic. This integration not only showcases the synergy between modern fleet assets and elite special forces but also underscores the U.S. Navy's commitment to maintaining a technologically advanced and adaptable fleet.

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A Naval Special Warfare combatant craft assault returns to amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26), which transited through the Bering Sea, during Operation POLAR DAGGER, Aug. 28, 2023. Amphibious transport dock ships like John P. Murtha have many unique capabilities that make them ideal platforms to support special operations forces, such as the ability to embark helicopters from the joint force, launch and recover Naval Special Warfare combatant craft, and maintain all-domain awareness through advanced sensors. Operations NOBLE DEFENDER and POLAR DAGGER sharpen joint special operations integration and provides the forces the opportunity to test new capabilities and advance response options in defense of the U.S. homeland. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk)
230828-N-YT019-1772
230828-N-YT019-1772
A Naval Special Warfare combatant craft assault returns to amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26), which transited through the Bering Sea, during Operation POLAR DAGGER, Aug. 28, 2023. Amphibious transport dock ships like John P. Murtha have many unique capabilities that make them ideal platforms to support special operations forces, such as the ability to embark helicopters from the joint force, launch and recover Naval Special Warfare combatant craft, and maintain all-domain awareness through advanced sensors. Operations NOBLE DEFENDER and POLAR DAGGER sharpen joint special operations integration and provides the forces the opportunity to test new capabilities and advance response options in defense of the U.S. homeland. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk)
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk
VIRIN: 230828-N-YT019-1772


“Amphibious transport dock ships, such as ours, have many unique capabilities that make them ideal platforms to support special operations forces,” said Capt. Doug Langenberg, commanding officer of USS John P. Murtha. “The amphibious Navy’s participation in Operation Polar Dagger in the High North allows us to test new capabilities and advance response options, giving our joint force an asymmetric advantage over our competitors in a maritime environment.”

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Naval Special Warfare operators transit the Pacific Ocean in combatant crafts assault during Operation POLAR DAGGER, Aug. 28, 2023. Amphibious transport dock ships like John P. Murtha have many unique capabilities that make them ideal platforms to support special operations forces, such as the ability to embark helicopters from the joint force, launch and recover Naval Special Warfare combatant craft, and maintain all-domain awareness through advanced sensors. Operations NOBLE DEFENDER and POLAR DAGGER sharpen joint special operations integration and provides the forces the opportunity to test new capabilities and advance response options in defense of the U.S. homeland.
230828-N-YT019-1591
230828-N-YT019-1591
Naval Special Warfare operators transit the Pacific Ocean in combatant crafts assault during Operation POLAR DAGGER, Aug. 28, 2023. Amphibious transport dock ships like John P. Murtha have many unique capabilities that make them ideal platforms to support special operations forces, such as the ability to embark helicopters from the joint force, launch and recover Naval Special Warfare combatant craft, and maintain all-domain awareness through advanced sensors. Operations NOBLE DEFENDER and POLAR DAGGER sharpen joint special operations integration and provides the forces the opportunity to test new capabilities and advance response options in defense of the U.S. homeland.
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk
VIRIN: 230828-N-YT019-1591


During the operation, the SEALs deployed from the well deck of the Murtha in combatant craft assault boats in the Bering Sea, navigated to a remote island, conducted an over-the-beach patrol, and exfiltrated via helicopter. The joint operation underscored the strategic importance of the Arctic region, while also highlighting the United States' commitment to employing a multi-faceted approach to homeland defense.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk
Two Combatant Craft Assault boats are launched from the well deck of amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) during Operation POLAR DAGGER, Aug. 23, 2023. Amphibious transport dock ships like John P. Murtha have many unique capabilities that make them ideal platforms to support special operations forces, such as the ability to embark helicopters from the joint force, launch and recover Naval Special Warfare combatant craft, and maintain all-domain awareness through advanced sensors. Operations NOBLE DEFENDER and POLAR DAGGER sharpen joint special operations integration and provides the forces the opportunity to test new capabilities and advance response options in defense of the U.S. homeland. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk)
Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk
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Two Combatant Craft Assault boats are launched from the well deck of amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) during Operation POLAR DAGGER, Aug. 23, 2023. Amphibious transport dock ships like John P. Murtha have many unique capabilities that make them ideal platforms to support special operations forces, such as the ability to embark helicopters from the joint force, launch and recover Naval Special Warfare combatant craft, and maintain all-domain awareness through advanced sensors. Operations NOBLE DEFENDER and POLAR DAGGER sharpen joint special operations integration and provides the forces the opportunity to test new capabilities and advance response options in defense of the U.S. homeland. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk)
Photo By: Mass Communications Specialist 2
VIRIN: 230823-N-YT019-1212


Naval Special Warfare Group TWO produces, supports, and deploys the world’s premier maritime special operations forces to conduct full-spectrum operations and integrated deterrence in support of U.S. national objectives. For more information, visit https://www.nsw.navy.mil/

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