Argentine Special Operations

Agrupación de Buzos Tácticos (APBT)

The Tactical Divers Group (Spanish: Agrupación de Buzos Tácticos, APBT) is the premier special operations force of the Argentine Navy. The Buzos Tácticos are based at Base Naval Mar del Plata (BNMP) on the Atlantic coast of Argentina. Its men are high-qualified combat divers, EOD/demolition technicians, and parachutists.

The APBT was the first special forces division created in South America. The unit was established in 1952 on board LST ARA Cabo San Bartolomé with instructors who were former X-Mas Italian diver commandos. In those times a reduced Tactical Divers Group was operating in the ARA San Bartolomé; years later the Navy created a second group in the Escuadra Naval del Plata. In 1966 both services merged, creating the actual Tactical Divers Group.

The APBT is trained to operate in diverse environments, such as jungle/riverine, maritime and extreme cold weather. All members are top niche combat swimmers and divers.

The APBT course is similar to the U.S. Navy SEALs Course, and takes place mostly in the Mar del Plata area. Topics include HALO/HAHO parachuting, airborne, unconventional warfare, underwater demolition, and counter-terrorism. The course is open to line officers and NCOs, and is very selective, with a high attrition rate.

The unit is attached to the Submarine Forces Command, which comes under the Chief of Naval Operations. This unit is one of the two special operations forces’ units of the Argentine Navy, the other being the Agrupación de Comandos Anfibios (APCA), under Marine Corps Command.

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