Romanian Special Operations

307th Marine Battalion

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The 307th Marine Battalion (Batalionul 307 Infanterie Marină) is the light infantry/reconnaissance/special operations unit of the Romanian Navy. It is located in Babadag, Tulcea County, and it was formed in the mid 1970s for the defense of the Danube Delta and Romanian Black Sea shore. Its operational capabilities are the same as those of the United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Battalions, which provided member exchange programs and instructors to its Romanian counterpart. Its base is near the largest military training range in Romania.

History

An elite separate structure of the Romanian Marines was established in 1940, one year before World War II came to Romania. Due to its good results, the Soviets ordered Romania to disband this structure after World War II, same as they ordered the disbandment of the Airborne units in the military. However, Nicolae Ceausescu’s regime started to steer the country away of Soviet influence and despite the Soviets’ opposition, the 307th Marine Battalion was re-established in 1971, as an elite battalion inside the Marine Brigade. The battalion, referred to in Romania as “Batalionul de Infanterie Marina” or BIM, has been present in this form ever since.

Training

The 307th Marine Battalion used to be formed mostly of conscripts, with only a handful of enlisted (professional) soldiers. In those times, the training process for professional soldiers was not public, but what was known is that conscripts had to make a 3,000 meter run with full gear each morning of their conscription in the military, they did group push-ups, swimming, martial arts and hand-to-hand combat training, as well as survival classes plus live firing sessions.

Since mid-2004 however, the battalion became a fully professional force, thus the training process had picked-up pace and now matches the ones in world famous SOF units.

Besides hand-to-hand combat, martial arts and swimming, the marines now practice survival techniques in woods, mountains, swamps, lowlands and marches. Live fire exercises (called LIVEX) often take place now in all those environments, as was the long training session with the Scouts in early 2005.

The pace of hiring for professional soldiers meant that some of the new enlisted men are not matching the profile for the perfect marine. The commanders’ tasks now are to identify weaknesses in the new enlisted men and kicking out whoever doesn’t fit in.


Since the late 90’s, the Marine Battalion had a subunit training in the Danube Delta at any one time. It is the only battalion in Romania who’s men are of 12 different ethnic backgrounds. Ethnic Russian, Lipovens, Tatar, Hungarian, Jews and Gypsies are enlisted in the elite battalion to uphold its multi-cultural enheritage and to provide 12 different solutions for solving a problem. All the members have also graduated foreign military courses, and they all speak foreign languages.

Since the early 2000’s the Battalion has a subunit at NATO’s disposal, which can be deployed anywhere in the world within 72 hours.

The training manuals have changed, enabling the Marines to study warfare in regions that do not exist in Romania, such as jungle and deserts

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