"Bassak" Swedish Naval Counter-SOF Unit
Sweden's long, isolated coastline and harbors have long been a favorite target of Soviet, and now Russian intelligence services. Thoughout the Cold War Soviet naval Spetsnaz units, operating tracked midget submarines, routinely penetrated Swedish territorial waters.
To counter the threat posed by these incursions, the Swedish Navy formed a new specially-trained security unit in 1992. Known as Bassakerhetskompaniet, or Bassak (Naval Counter SOF Unit), the unit is tasked with defending Swedish naval installations, and protecting ships against attack by enemy SOF units.
The Bassak company consists of 134 men and 12 dogs, which are subdivided into a HQ and support platoon, two SakJakt (Counter SOF Ranger) Platoons, and two Sakbevakning (Counter SOF guard) Platoons.
SakJakt platoons are composed of six four-man squads. Each four man squad will have one dog assigned to it. SakJakt teams are composed of the following:
Using foot patrols, small high-speed boats, and ground vehicles, teams can respond to any security breach of their assigned patrol area. When conducting water-borne surveillance or reconnaissance missions, teams are equipped with canoes and SCUBA gear to aid in their unseen movement.
Each year between 80-90 new recruits try out for the unit. Before being allowed to serve in the company, recruits must successfully complete a selection and training course. SakJakt training, which lasts for a period of 330 to 420 days, includes instruction in basic patrol techniques, field craft, orienteering, marksmanship, and specialized training course for dog handlers.
Once a candidate completes his basic training he will spend one week conducting a field training exercise, and be required to complete a 70-100 km forced march. Upon completion of these requirements the student is then subjected to a number of tests to gauge his level of fitness and his knowledge of his newly acquired skills. The tests include:
Bassak routinely conducts operations and training exercises with its sister service's specialized security units and other naval units in the course of its duties.
Bassak has access to all standard weapons with in the Swedish military arsenal. The standard rifle is the Ak5 (a license made variant model of the Belgian FNC). There are also sniper versions (Ak5b) and ones equipped with the US manufactured M-203 40mm grenade launcher (Ak5c). Fire support is provided by Belgian manufactured FN Minimi 5.56mm LMGs (KSP-90).