Brazilian Army's 1st Special Forces Battalion
The Brazilian Army's 1st Special Forces Battalion is Brazil's primary special operations force, and is the only unit of the Army trained in conducting unconventional warfare. Although administratively assigned to the Army's Parachute Infantry Brigade, the battalion operates under the direct control of the Army High Command.
The battalion was initially formed in 1957 as a parachute trained rescue unit, which specialized in conducting deep jungle rescues along the Amazon basin. After conducting it's initial selection, a US Army Special Forces Mobile Training Team (MTT) conducted the unit's first training course. The unit continued to act in its rescue role until 1968 when it was reorganized as a special forces detachment and placed under the control of the "General Penha Brasil" training center. In 1983 the unit was expanded to its current battalion strength and placed within the Parachute Infantry Brigade's organizational structure.
The battalion is tasked with conducting the following missions:
The battalion is capable of conducting these missions independently, or in conjunction with conventional forces. Battalion troops are trained in jungle
warfare at the Army's CIGS jungle warfare school, amphibious operations, mountain warfare, airborne, airmoble, HAHO/HALO operations, and long range
The battalion, which is currently based at Guadalupe, near Rio de Janeiro, is organized into one command and services company, two special forces companies, one commando company, and a company sized counter-terrorism detachment. The command and services company provides logistic, medical, signal, intelligence, psychological support to the rest of the battalion.
The battalion is equipped with a variety of locally produced, and foreign purchased weapons and equipment. Weapons in use by the unit are known to include the Colt .45 and Baretta, and Imbel M-976 pistols, Belgian FN FAL rifles, US carbine, HK-53 rifles, Franchi, Remington, and Mossburg shotguns, HK series SMGs, Uzi SMGs license built Madsen model 53 SMGs, PSG-1 sniper rifles, HK LMGs, FN MAG and US M-79 40mm Grenade Launchers, 57mm recoilless rifles, Imbel 60mm light mortars, and HydroarT1M1 flame throwers.
1st Special Forces Btn Counter-Terrorist Detachement
Brazil's involvement in Counter-terrorism operations dates back to 1953, when a special intervention squad was formed by the Ministry of Aviation. The first dedicated CT unit did not come along until 1983, however, when the Counter-Terrorist Detachment of the 1st Special Forces Battalion was formed.
The CT detachment is similar to the U.S.'s Delta Force. Only those paratroop or special forces soldiers with an exemplary record are allowed to volenteer--and not many of those will be chosen. According to some reports, the attrition rate in the 14 day selection phase may be as high as 90%. Those that are selected undergo a thirteen week training session at a camp near Rio De Janeiro. . The usual items for CT groups such as marksmanship, combat shooting, parachuting, heliborne insertion, and fast-roping are all covered, but because Brazil has a varied terrain, special emphasisis placed on long range patrols and intelligence gathering in varied environments.
Besides the HK MP-5 and Colt 1911 .45, the members of the CT detachment are profficient at using machete's and dagger. Shotguns include the Remington M870 and the indigenously produced ENARM Pentagun. The favored sniping rifle is the HK PSG-1.