Had navy commandos been present, they could have blown a channel through the reef, so Rear Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner called for the formation of underwater demolition teams
. A training program began in Hawaii, and UDTs were deployed throughout the Pacific.
The Navy use of underwater demolition teams
in partisan support was the first form of special operations missions for Navy swimmers.
Navy personnel, such as SEALs, underwater demolition teams
and para-rescue teams, participate in the two-week course.
The Navy responded to the need by transforming the character of Naval Combat Demolition Units into Underwater Demolition Teams
They were formed by personnel from Underwater Demolition Teams
(UDT), or frogmen, at the direction of President John F.
Russell said Silbergeld was not in the training class nor on any SEAL or underwater demolition teams
of that era.
After the November 1943 invasion of Tarawa, where aerial reconnaissance failed to disclose the natural reefs that blocked even shallow-draft craft from reaching the shore, the navy had formed underwater demolition teams
of specially trained swimmers to map the beach and destroy obstacles prior to future invasions.