A Look Inside the Team Who Took Down Bin Laden

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Their operations are highly classified -- their names and missions rarely known to the public.
 
Considered the best of the best, the covert group of hand-picked warriors officially known as SEAL Team Six is called the "tip of the spear." That's why they were tasked with finding the world's most wanted man, Osama bin Laden.

Breaching his Pakistan compound under the cover of darkness Sunday, 40 men emerged after 40 minutes of fighting with the terrorist leader's body - without any American casualties.

Rear Adm. Edward Winters, the head of the U.S. Navy SEALs, later sent the team a congratulatory email, but cautioned them to keep remain silent about the mission.

"Be extremely careful about operational security," Winters warned. "The fight is not over."

The "fight" for SEAL Team Six began at a military base in Virginia Beach, Va., where their classified training takes place.
   
Their acronym, SEAL, stands for sea, air, and land, meaning they dominate all combat environments. Their training is intense, both physically and mentally.

Ret. Navy SEAL Senior Chief Don Shipley knows firsthand the focus and skill it takes to be a part of a special forces team. He's participated in combat missions all over the world.

"They're looking for the guy that stay calm, doesn't panic, can easily keep his mind in the game, and stay focused," Shipley told CBN News. "That just rolls on. The training continues to progress -- it never gets easier. It only gets harder."

The rigorous SEAL training gives these warriors what most would consider super powers. Some can hold their breath underwater for two minutes -- without making so much as a bubble.

"These guys are thoroughbreds. They're these sleek black stallions on top of the hill looking down at the herd," Shipley said.

"They are genetically built to withstand punishment, the pain, to ignore things, control emotion, control fear, panic," he said. "They are the best this country has."

Weeks of planning and preparation went into the raid that killed bin Laden with every possible situation and surprise taken into account.
    
Consequently, when one of the helicopters malfunctioned outside bin Laden's compound, these SEALs didn't miss a beat.

"And that was certainly one of the 'what ifs' and where that might have disrupted a lot of guys," Shipley said. "They planned for it. They roll on to plan B. The primary objective is in that building somewhere."

"We are talking the Alamo here," he continued. "We are talking about the SEAL version of raising the flag on Mount Suribachi, the capture of John Wilkes Booth. Your grandkids are going to be reading about this in the history books and guys who did it."

Many Americans celebrated in the streets as news of bin Laden's death spread, owing their gratitude to this elite group of covert warriors.
    
But don't expect to see any parades or awards ceremonies. Bin Laden's assassins have already faded back into the shadows without anyone knowing their names.

And that's how they like it.

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Mark Martin

Mark Martin

CBN News Reporter

Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/MarkMartinCBN.