The Buzos Tácticos de la Armada de Chile, literally the Tactical Divers of the Chilean Navy, are an elite part of the 300-strong Comando de Fuerzas Especiales (COMFUES) commando unit. Dating in its current form back to just 2005 when both Marine and Navy units merged to create the current format, Chile has maintained a frogman unit continually since 1959 when it was formed with help from the British SBS and Italian COMSUBIN types.
Today, they continue to train regularly with both NATO combat swimmer units and the SEALs, and it shows.
The Buzos Tácticos show lots of U.S./NATO influence. I mean just dig those shorty Colts, multicam, boonies, and Dragers! (Photo: Armada de Chile)
The country’s defense ministry last week posted an interesting 6-minute doc on the Buzos Tácticos that, even if you don’t speak Spanish, really needs no subtitles. Lots of helicasting, Drager rebreather use, kayak teams, raider boats, and the like. Curiously, they also are trained in hazardous SAR and hard hat salvage/construction diving as well, skillsets that could have other applications in wartime or counter-terror ops.
Royal Marines exercise “Codename Snake Eyes” circa 1960 documentary– in Color!— by the Central Office of Information for the Admiralty. A great way to spend a half-hour.
The exercise involves a combined-arms amphibious attack on a fictitious Mediterranean island nation that looks suspiciously like Cyprus, complete with an airfield and radar station.
It is jolly good stuff, complete with pipe smoking, beards, Denison smocks, a wet predawn paradrop from an RAF Boxcar by SBS frogmen, Fleet Air Arm Vampires launched from an RN carrier conducting rocket attacks to soften things up, dory-landed (and Enfield/Sterling-armed!) Royal Marines from 45 Commando leaping ashore from LCVPs to complete a rock face free climb, then reinforced by Wessex helicopter-delivered 40 Commando (“choppers may be useful but they have no natural dignity”), finished off by LCM-landed 42 Commando (who finally have some FN FALs/L1A1s) on the third wave after NGFS from gun-armed cruisers.
And that’s just in the first 10 minutes!
For a less varnished but no less fascinating look at Royal Marines at the sharp end, check out “Jungle Green,” a 1964 BBC documentary following an isolated 25-man long-range patrol/listening post of 40 Commando and their two Iban trackers some 50 miles deep in the bush in Borneo during the very Vietnam-ish Konfrontasi, the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation.
Feel like some great 1957 USN Training films on UDT teams? You know those guys– the Seals before the Seals were cool.
May I suggest US Navy film MN-8328:
“The story of the United States Navy’s frogmen is a story of adventure, of brave men against the enemy, and against the sea…”