GROM is Poland’s elite counter-terrorism unit. GROM, Polish for “thunder”, is named after an elite Polish unit from WWII. In 1982, the Polish embassy in Bern was taken over by terrorists, and after the incident, it was suggested that an elite counter-terrorist unit is established, but the idea was rejected. It was not until 1990 after two Polish diplomats were shot in Beirut the previous year, that the unit was created.
GROM was established to deploy in a variety of special operations and unconventional warfare roles, including anti-terrorist operations and projection of force behind enemy lines. Sławomir Petelicki was the first commander of the unit. and he set up the training and selected the first group of personnel. The majority of the instructors for the initial training were trained by US and UK SOF. GROM’s selection is said to happen every day, and it never ends.
GROM have served with distinction in the War on Terror having been deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq, and prior to that, the unit has also hunted war criminals in Kosovo.