The Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS) force is an elite Special Operations Force of the Bangladesh Navy. It is organised, trained and equipped along the lines of SEAL/UDT teams of the Republic of Korea and United States Navy SEAL.
The size of the organisation is believed to be of brigade strength and its command centre is located in the Southern port city of Chittagong.
SWADS teams are employed in direct action and reconnaissance both inside Bangladesh as well as globally. They are capable of undertaking various missions such as:
- Anti piracy.
- Counter insurgency.
- Counter narcotics.
- Counter terrorism.
- Covert insertions/extractions.
- Hostage rescue and personnel recovery.
- Hydrographic reconnaissance.
- Intelligence gathering.
- Underwater demolition.
To join this maritime special operations forces unit members of Bangladesh Navy undergo the world’s most extreme mental, psychical and advance weapons training at special warfare schools in Bangladesh and abroad where the average failure rate is approximately 90%.
Instructors of these schools are known for their “brutality”, which are designed to mould individual candidates in to the finest warriors.
Advance training for instructors are primarily conducted in the Republic of Korea, Turkey and United States with their respective SEAL/UDT’s.
Weapons & Equipment
All types of weapons, nightvision sights, ballistic helmets, ballistic jacketss, underwater gear and vehicles are available to SWADS teams for completion of their missions. Typically a SWADS operator may be seen armed with 5.56x45mm NATO Colt M4 Carbine SOPMOD, Daewoo K1 assault rifle, Daewoo K2 assault rifle, Daewoo K7 9mm sub-machine gun, HK MP5 9mm submachine gun , sniper rifles, 9mm Daewoo K5 semi-automatic pistols and locally manufactured 7.62mm assault rifles such as Type 56 and BD-08.
At least 21 US-built Defender Class fast boats are operated by Bangladesh Navy SWADS. They are also provided with helicopters and submersible vehicles for undertaking stealthy insertion and extraction operations.