Laboratory: Stennis Space Center
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, this project aimed to identify injury risk factors that are culturally-specific to the SWCC. The NSW Group 4 project has established an injury prevention and human performance research laboratory at Stennis Space Center, Stennis, MS. Our research included testing the specific task and demands of the SWCC and identifying the biomechanical, musculoskeletal, physiological, and nutritional characteristics which contribute to injury and inhibit optimal performance. Research activities at Stennis Space Center are currently ongoing with Phases 1 and 2. The 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. 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 was validated to improve the previously identified suboptimal SWCC-specific characteristics. Funding for the Naval Special Warfare Group 4 project has been provided by ONR Awards #N000140810412 / N000141110929.