Grupo De Operacoes Especiais
Portugal Created GOE in December of 1979, following a trend in Europe at that time that was due to the 1972 Munich Olympics. By early 1983, the 150 man unit was operational. GOE established close ties with the British SAS and have based their structure along SAS lines.
A GOE hopeful must endure a brutal eight month training phase and be prepared for nearly constant training while within the unit. Topics that are covered include; tubular assault ( as in buses, trains, and aircraft ), building clearing, and sea-fairing vessel assaults. In addition, the last two months of their training focuses on VIP training.
GOE has a eclectic array of vehicles to ensure that any potential
hot spot is quickly reachable by the GOE operators. This array ranges
from specially modified Range Rovers to Mercedes Benzes. These vehicles
are specially modified with platforms and hoists that make egressing into
aircraft and buildings faster and safer.
The HK MP-5 \family is heavily used, the HK 502 12 gauge shotgun is also utilized. GOE operators have a liberal personal weapons policy, so it is not unusual to see team members carrying pistols that range from Brownings to SIG Sauers to Glocks. They favor the HK PSG-1 7.62 sniper rifle; but, due to recent close ties with Israeli units, they are evaluating the Galil 7.62 sniper rifle.
In a recent CT competition, GOE placed fourth out of at least nine participating teams. They have not seen an "big" action (other than an attempt at freeing hostages that were being held in the Turkish embassy in Lisbon; the terrorists accidentally blew themselves up along with two hostages), but this can be taken as a testament to their skill and reputation.