The Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (SWCC) is one of the elite combat units of Naval Special Warfare and specializes in the operation of rapid mobility in shallow water where larger ships cannot operate. Modeled after our research with Naval Special Warfare Group 2 (NSWG2), this project aimed to identify injury risk factors that are culturally-specific to the SWCC operator.
The Naval Special Warfare Group 4 (NSWG4) project established an injury prevention and human performance research laboratory at the John C. Stennis Space Center, MS in 2010. Our research initiative tested the specific task and demands of the SWCC operators at Special Boat Team 22 (SBT22) and identified the biomechanical, musculoskeletal, physiological, and nutritional characteristics which contribute to injury and inhibit optimal performance.
Research activities at the Stennis Space Center have identified that Operators at NSWG4/SBT22 are tactically different than NSWG2, and testing demonstrated culturally-specific injury patterns, and suboptimal characteristics relative to injury and optimal tactical readiness. Anecdotal evidence provided by NSWG4/SBT22 medical command identified a distribution of injuries to SWCC operators. The data from the current proposal was provided to NSWG4/SBT22’s Tactical Athlete Program (TAP) personnel to incorporate into current training. The modified TAP program underwent validation to improve the previously identified suboptimal SWCC operator-specific characteristics (completed October 2013).
Funding for the Naval Special Warfare Group 4 project has been provided by ONR Awards #N000140810412 / N000141110929.