But, we aren’t talking about beer. We’re referring to the UDT-SEAL
Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida, that’s open to the public. BUD/S is an
acronym for Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL.
It’s the first of three phases that the elite Navy Special Forces Teams undergo to qualify for the SEAL designation.
The UDT-SEAL museum, established in 1985, honors that segment
of the military that was — and, to a large extent, still is — cloaked
in secrecy. It traces the group’s beginnings to the start of WWII, when
the first men were trained — at the precise location of the present
museum. The facility honors the first Scouts & Raiders, Naval Combat
Demolition Units, Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) and now the SEALs.
Located on North Hutchinson Island, this 165,000-square-foot facility
includes a 4,500-square-foot building housing exhibits of actual
equipment, weapons, explosives, boats and helicopters used by these
“frogmen” all the way up to, and including, Operation Desert Storm.
A special section also details SEAL involvement in rescuing
Apollo astronauts when they returned from their missions (remember when
space capsules didn’t have wings and wheels?).
The UDT-SEAL Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-4 pm; Monday, between January-April, 10am-4pm; Sunday, 12-4 pm.
For more information, call (772) 595-5845, or go to navysealmuseum.com.