Saturday, June 30, 2007

Most Elitist Portuguese Special Force

The Portuguese GNR Special Operations Force (Pelotao deOpeacoes Especiais) is another well-trained highly disciplined clandestine force, with the best of the very best chosen from the military with the priority in selection given to the other elite forces (paratroops, marines and commandos). Their mission: taking whatever military action is required whenever public order is threatened by dangerous and armed elements.

This particular force is not to be confused with the GOE/PSP which is a special action group tasked with police and anti-terrorism assignments.

One of their unusual activities is intervening in a crisis which has not been anticipated by Portugal's intelligence services so the reaction time is often short.

The three phases of training include: basics of special operations aimed at developing individual skills, team combat practice involving five members and use of special weapons during tactical operations at platoon level and along with other units.

Members are in their late twenties, averaging 28 years of age. Priority in training is placed on shooting, martial arts, mountain climbing, use of explosives, boxing and calisthenics, amongst others. Psychological reaction under stress and methods to cope with organized violence with emphasis on the legal limits of their actions are included in lectures for this elite force.

The interesting uniqueness of POE is that it is a force that has never participated with other similar forces in other countries.

Armaments utilized by POE include: HK9mm handguns, HK MP-5 and HK MP 5 KA1 submachine guns, Colt commando R6450 AR-15 9mm assault rifles, Scorpio 12 mm shotguns, Schermuly CA 38mm grenade launchers, and Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG Mannlicher SSG-69 sniping rifles (used widely by many special units around the world) fitted with Swarowski-optik Tirol ZFM 6x 42 scopes. Another unique weapon that the force can use is the crossbow. This will be used in situations of extreme danger such as when hostages' lives are threatened.

More pics coming up soon!

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