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|Special Actions Detachment|
Destacamento de Ações Especiais
Operators of the Special Actions Detachment
|Active||1985 – present|
|Role||Counter terrorism, direct action, unconventional warfare, combat search and rescue, special reconnaissance, covert operations|
|Part of||Portuguese Marine Corps|
|Garrison/HQ||Lisbon Naval Base|
|Motto(s)||Braço Às Armas Feito ("An arm to Arms addrest", from The Lusiads, Canto X, 155, v. 1)|
|Engagements||Operation Cruzeiro do Sul, Angola 1992|
Operation Forrez, Zaire 1997
Operation Crocodilo, Guinea-Bissau 1998
Operation Forrec, D.R Congo 1998
Operation Tarrafo, Guinea-Bissau 1999
INTERFET, Timor-Leste 1999–2000
EUFOR, D.R. Congo 2006
It is responsible for conducting special operations, beach reconnaissance, Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), maritime counter-terrorism, demolition operations, and other missions in support of Portuguese and NATO armed forces.
The unit is led 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 8. The combat teams are composed of ten men: petty officers and seamen and a commanding petty officer.
DAE operatives are drawn from the ranks of Marines, all having high operational experience. Due to the nature of its actions, candidate acceptance is extremely restrictive and selective. Only 5–10% of the applicants manage to join the unit.
Upon completion of the basic selection phase prospective recruits then begin the first phase of their 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 underwater demolitions. Candidates who successfully complete the first phase are assigned to the DAE 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, parachuting training and basic English. Once a trainee is permanently assigned to the DAE he will continue to receive various courses of instruction throughout his career.
DAE conducts regular training exercises with its NATO counterparts, including the United States Navy DEVGRU, British Special Boat Service, French Commandos Marine as well as the respective naval counter-terrorist units. They were deployed to Angola in 1992, to Zaire in 1997, to Guinea-Bissau in 1998, to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006 (as part of the EUFOR) and to Somalia in 2009.
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