For those who are not familiar with Polish Special Operations Forces structure, Polish Special Forces Command (Dowództwo Wojsk Specjalnych aka DWS) has control of the following units:

  • Special Commando Unit (aka JW Komandosów) counterpart of US Army Special Forces
  • Military Unit GROM (aka JW GROM) most famous, counterpart of mix CAG & SEAL Team SIX
  • Military Unit Formoza (aka JW Formoza) counterpart of Navy SEAL
  • Military Unit Nil (aka JW Nil) command and support unit

So if you will compare it to US SOCOM, there are two components still missing – 160th SOAR and 75th Rangers. The AGAT (aka JW AGAT) were created and followed the example of 75th Rangers Regiment.

tab for combat uniform
tab for combat uniform

Pictures – up: tab for combat uniform; down – tab for full dress

tab for full dress
tab for full dress

SOFREP was invited for the 1st Anniversary of the JW AGAT. On 5th July 2012 the Unit received the Standard. According to “The Law from February 19th 1993 about tokens in Polish Armed Forces” standard is a token of military unit. Each soldier’s duty is to defend and guard it. When standard is lost due weak combat spirit the unit has to be disbanded. So to receive the standard is great honor for the unit but also a great responsibility.

The Unit's Commander Colonel Slawomir Berdychowski gives honours to the new Standard.
The Unit’s Commander Colonel Slawomir Berdychowski gives honours to the new Standard.

Not only the Standard but also Unit’s badge was introduced.

The Unit's badge was introduced
The Unit’s badge was introduced

JW AGAT was created on June 30th 2011. It is named after combat troop of Sabotage Command, Home Army (Polish resistance organization during World War II). This troop’s – AGAT (acronym of Anti-Gestapo) – task was elimination of members of Nazi administration and Army. Especially SS and Gestapo.

The main tasks for the modern JW AGAT are Direct Actions (DA) and kinetic support of special operations. It is joining features of special forces unit, airborne and mountain infantry.

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The Unit is at the end of selection process. First selection was led by the Colonel Berdychowski – Commander of the Unit. Definitely the right person for this job – former JW GROM’s member. This first selection was very important for JW AGAT. It’s target was to create the backbone of the Unit. Time – from September 12th to September 17th, 2011. Tasks – among others to cover 200 km carrying 25 kg rucksack, last night 42 km run/walk. Participants – just ensigns and officers. Oldest was 45 years old. Results – 90% of participants passed the selection! As Colonel Berdychowski said it was the best group and rather there will be no similar in future.

Picture: Colonel Berdychowski during first selection - courtesy of DWS
Colonel Berdychowski during first selection – courtesy of DWS

Selection consist of two parts: preliminary selection and detail selection. Physical fitness tests and psychological examination makes preliminary selection. Detail selection takes part in the mountains (usually in Bieszczady – south-east part of Poland). During this part are tested:

  • soldier’s psycho-physical resistance for effort and fatigue,
  • sense of direction,
  • ability to carry the task in difficult field conditions.

After this two parts soldier has to finish basic training. Then he has open way to combat team.

As I heard first JW AGAT’s member is attending Ranger School. Due some financial problems and lack of more free slots in Ranger School (all trainings and schools connected with SOF are so busy that it is necessary to wait for free slot – even for US military staff! – as I’ve heard from USSOCOM representative) DWS together with JW AGAT are negotiating arrival of some Rangers (8-10 persons) to Poland to lead the training.

But this problem is not stopping the other trainings. Two of the JW AGAT members just finished one of the most difficult jungle training – in French Guyana.

Jungle training in French Guyana 2012
Jungle training in French Guyana 2012
More jungle training in French Guyana 2012
More jungle training in French Guyana 2012
"What's for dinner today, guys?"
“What’s for dinner today, guys?”

In the following months the Unit will participate in “Anaconda 2012” and in the mountains training in French Alps.

The rule is simply – we are not able to send all for the training. So few are participating and then those few are teachers for the rest.

First Combat Squadron – Alpha, should be initially ready (IOC) at the end of 2012. The whole Unit will be ready in 2016.

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And now some informations about gear. The equipment and weapon are mix of used and new. The weapon saw combat – was used by JW GROM and JW Komandosów in Afghanistan. It is fully operational and trusted.

Each soldier is equipped with side arms: Heckler & Koch USP and HK 416 assault rifle  optionally with grenade launcher.

HK 416 assault rifle  optionally with grenade launcher
HK 416 assault rifle with grenade launcher

 

Depending on the tasks other team weapons are:

5.56 mm FN Minimi lightweight machine gun
5.56 mm FN Minimi lightweight machine gun

 

M2 HB Manroy .50 CAL Machine Gun

 

Carl Gustav recoilless rifle

 

40 mm grenade machine gun Heckler & Koch GMG

 

Light mortar 60 mm Commando LM-60K

 

Accuracy AX338 .338 long range rifle

Some other gear typical for JW AGAT:

Low Profile Night Vision Goggles for Aggressive Operations AN/PVS-21

 

 

The combat uniform is made by KAMA in MultiCam camouflage

 

The boots – Lowa Zephyr GTX® Mid TF

 

Tactical Gear System (vest, belt etc.) was made by Lubawa

 

After the official part SOFREP was invited for the party too. I can tell you – JW AGAT’s guys looks solid and are highly motivated. For sure it is thanks to Colonel Berdychowski and cadre totally commitment!!! I wish them all to keep this spirit!

For the end specially for SOFREP readers from JW AGAT sniper

 

See More About the Weapons & Gear in this Story:

M2 HB Manroy .50 CAL Machine Gun

Carl Gustav recoilless rifle

40 mm grenade machine gun Heckler & Koch GMG

Light mortar 60 mm Commando LM-60K

Accuracy AX338 .338 long range rifle

Low Profile Night Vision Goggles for Aggressive Operations AN/PVS-21

The combat uniform is made by KAMA in MultiCam camouflage

The boots – Lowa Zephyr GTX® Mid TF

Tactical Gear System (vest, belt etc.) was made by Lubawa