Home Europe US Navy special warfare units stage Trojan Footprint, Black Swan drills

US Navy special warfare units stage Trojan Footprint, Black Swan drills

US Naval Special Warfare operators on the Danube
Hungarian Special Operations Forces and Naval Special Warfare operators test Special Operations Craft-Riverine (SOC-R) capabilities in the Danube River in Budapest during Black Swan, May 5, 2021. Photo: SOCOM

US Naval Special Warfare Operators are in Europe for simultaneous exercises with Croatia, Germany, Hungary, and Romania taking place between May 3 and 14.

Trojan Footprint, which will engage countries located on the Black Sea, is aimed at helping standardize training for NATO partners and allies if they are called to support the region.

Trojan Footprint 21, the premier annual SOF exercise led by Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR), utilized SEAL and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (SWCC) teams in Romania and the Black Sea to conduct various training with SOF units from Georgia, Spain, and Romania.

“We appreciate the opportunity to train with a diverse group in a strategic location,” said a US Navy SEAL commander present for the exercise. “Our objectives throughout Trojan Footprint are especially useful for the countries located on the Black Sea, and it also helps to standardize training for NATO partners and allies if they are called to support the region.”

While in Romania, the Naval units’ training included close air support (CAS) with joint terminal attack controllers calling for fire from an AC-130J gunship, visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS), vehicle interdiction, over the beach (OTB), close quarters combat (CQC), fast rope infiltration and extraction (FRIES), and special reconnaissance.

Naval special operations Forces from Croatia, Hungary, and the US conduct maritime training in the Adriatic Sea during the Black Swan 21.

Concurrently, Naval Special Warfare units also mobilized to Croatia and Hungary for Black Swan 21. Black Swan 21 is an annual Hungarian led multinational special operations forces exercise. It was held in conjunction with Trojan Footprint 21 to test military synchronization capabilities and to defend multiple domains in Europe simultaneously.

“Our primary mission during Black Swan is to train with the Special Operations Craft-Riverine (SOC-R) along the Danube River,” said a US Navy SEAL maritime planner.

The Danube River is Europe’s second longest river, flowing from the Black Forest in Germany, passing through ten countries, and emptying into the Black Sea in Romania. Training and familiarization with the SOC-Rs will help the Hungarian SOF maneuver and defend quickly whether in small towns or major cities like Budapest.

“Each year, Trojan Footprint and Black Swan provide opportunities to evaluate SOF capabilities, particularly the more complex aspects of combined SOF integration,” said US Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Peter C. Musselman, Senior Enlisted Leader of Special Operations Command Europe. “The continuous rotational deployment of NSW’s units to the European theater is a key component of SOCEUR’s operational approach. Combined maritime SOF training strengthens interoperability and drives capability development vital to successful operational employment.”