Destacamento do Accoes Especiais ( DAE )
The Portuguese Marine Corps (Fuzileiros Navais) DAE (Special Actions Detachment) combat-diver unit is a relatively new force. Raised in 1985, the unit is one of the smallest special operations units with the Portuguese armed forces.
The Det. is responsible for conducting special operations, beach reconnaissance, CSAR, maritime CT, demolition operations, and other missions in support of Portuguese, and allied armed forces.
Unit members are drawn from the ranks of experienced marines. Volunteers must comply with the following to join:
Upon completion of the basic selection phase perspective hopefuls then begin the first phase of there training. Phase 1 of their training is conducted at the Navy's combat diver school. Students receive instruction in: basic combat diving techniques, EOD, and under water demolitions.
Candidates who successfully complete the first phase are assigned to the Det. on a probationary status, and begin their second phase of training. Phase 2 instruction includes courses on: escape and evasion techniques, advanced driving, mountaineering, offensive operations, and basic English. Once a trainee is permanently assigned to the Det. he will continue to receive various course of instruction though out his career.
The unit is currently composed of approximately 28 men, lead by a Commander, and is subdivided into a command cell and four combat teams. The command cell contains the unit commander, his deputy (a Lieutenant Commander) and a small staff of two. The combat teams are composed of four men; three seamen and a commanding Petty Officer.
Although the Det. has yet to see combat, it has been involved in a number of Portuguese law enforcement operations, and has deployed in support UN peace keeping efforts.
The Detachment is equipped with a variety of weapons and equipment. Most of its weapons are of US or German manufacture and include the M-16A2 series rifles, M-4 carbine, and its derivatives, US M-203 40mm grenade launcher, G3 rifles, Walther PP 7.65 mm pistols, P-38 9mm pistols, Colt 5.56mm LMGs, M-3 7.62mm light machine guns, Carl Gustov 84mm Rocket launchers, assorted hand grenades, and mines and mortars, depending on mission requirements.
The Det. is equipped with Zodiac rubber boats and Skua fiberglass hulled assault craft. Divers use LAR V closed circuit breathing equipment when a stealthy under water approach is required. The Detachment also has access to the various ships and aircraft of the Portuguese Navy when long distance transport is required.