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Special Naval Warfare Force (FGNE)
Special Naval Warfare Force (FGNE)
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Banderín del II Estol de la FGNE

As Commander of the Naval Special Warfare Force (FGNE), I am pleased to welcome you to our website where you will learn of our missions, training and what it means for the Spanish Navy to have a Special Operations Group.

The Naval Special Warfare Force was set up in 2009 as a Special Operations Unit. It is especially trained and equipped to carry out special operations in and around the maritime and littoral environment. The Naval Special Warfare Force, however, requires additional capabilities and responsibilities, much more specialized than traditional special operation units.

The FGNE is a Spanish Navy elite force made up of Marines and Navy personnel, trained to accomplish dangerous and risky operations and so the selection to join this force is especially tough. The Force has other units tasked with less demanding physical assignments such as command, control and support.

The Naval Special Warfare Force is based at the Algameca Naval Station in Cartagena (Murcia). Other Spanish Navy units are also located in this Station, like the General Albacete Fuster Marine Corps School, the Eastern Tercio and the Divers Center. This location is very convenient since it is very close to the submarine base, to different ranges, beaches and the Algameca port.

The FGNE is under the command of a MC Colonel or a Navy Captain, and Force members come from the Marine Corps of the Navy.

The training period of the future "green berets" of the Spanish Navy is very selective and demanding and only 40% of the applicants finally join the Force. The specialty is divided into two stages:

  • 1st Stage were students must undergo a strict selection process based on suffering capability, endurance, physical and mental strength and survival in extreme conditions.
  • 2nd Stage with use of diving equipment, operation from different naval and air platforms and planning and execution of Special Naval Warfare missions.

Those who pass both Stages are fully qualified in special reconnoiter techniques, direct action, diving, explosive handling, escape techniques, land combat, infiltration, self-defense, sniper, etc.

Subsequently, and once incorporated into the Special Operations Force, training is completed with additional courses: parachuting and high altitude parachuting (HALO/HAHO), target designator, combat vehicle driver, forward air controller, health, communications, intelligence, languages, etc.

The Naval Special Warfare Force (FGNE) is divided into different Units depending on the main tasks and missions. Namely:

  • Command and Control: Command and Staff group and a CIS platoon.
  • Combat: Squads and fire teams.
  • Combat Support Units: Craft and Paratroopers.
  • Combat Service Support Unit: Health, replenishment, transport, weapons, materiel and cargo.

Depending on the mission assigned, the different operational organizations are arranged accordingly.

In the Spanish Navy, Special Naval Warfare is understood as the set of special operations carried out by Navy units in littoral or maritime domains, or in support of naval operations. The FGNE provides especially adapted capabilities for operations from, towards or under the sea. It is also the Navy element in the joint special operations.

Those operations are divided into different components with special elements:

  • Beach and maritime reconnaissance.
  • In-depth land reconnaissance.
  • Direct actions over land targets such as enemy facilities or people.
  • Ship assaults.
  • Military assistance.
  • Non-combatant evacuation.
  • Hostage release operations.
  • Counterinsurgency and counterterrorist operations.

Our daily activities are centered in special training techniques, combat, insertion, and the aforementioned missions.

Physical exercises are very important as well as other routines with armored vehicles, inflatable craft, NBC equipment, fast-rope training, sniper drills or cross-country marches.

The FGNE trains in different national ranges: Sierra del Retín in Cádiz, Álvarez de Sotomayor in Almería, Chinchilla in Albacete, Las Bárdenas, Candanchú in the Pyrenees, Granada, Murcia, Galicia and Almería. To maintain and reinforce our basic capabilities, the Mediterranean and Atlantic littorals are also used for national and international amphibious exercises.

Another significant aspect is the number of exercises carried out with other national and Allied Special Operations units (MOE and EZAPAC) which permit interoperability and the exchange of new tactics, techniques and procedures.

In order to attain advanced capabilities it participates in national and multinational amphibious exercises with TEAR and Fleet ships.

As Marines, we have weapons used by the rest of Marine Corps units: pistols, HK G-36 rifles, MG-35 and MINIMI machineguns, and MPi-5, BARRET and ACCURACY rifles.

Our storerooms are always ready with different naval, parachuting, diving and climbing equipment.

Former Special Operations units (UOE and UEBC) have taken part in all conflicts or crises where the Spanish Navy was called upon: Sahara, Bosnia, Perejil Island, Haití and the Lebanon. Also in operation ATALANTA (Somalia), FINUL (Lebanon) and HISPANIOLA (Haití).

One of the most outstanding operations was its participation in the hijacking of the Spanish trawler "Alakrana" with paratroopers jumping in Somali waters, later picked up by the frigate "Canarias".

The new FGNE has its origins in the extinct Special Operations Unit (UOE) and the Combat Divers Unit (UEBC).

In order to rationalize and save resources the Chief of Naval Staff set up this new Unit in 2009. The Naval Special Warfare Force (FGNE) Command is in charge of specialized training, doctrine and equipment.

From the organic point of view the FGNE is under the command of the Commandant General of the Marines Corps.


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