Bangladeshi Special Operations

Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS)

The Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS) is an elite Special Operations Force of the Bangladesh Navy.


The Bangladesh Special Warfare Diving and Salvage is a specially organized and elite team of highly trained personnel who are equipped and trained using many of the same guidelines as the United States Navy Seals. The team is composed of the very best members of the forces who are not only are employed in action in Bangladesh but around the world through UN Peacekeeping missions.


The brigade began in the 1970s and adapted not only the techniques of the United States Navy SEALs but also those of the Koreans as well. The SWADS, as they are known, is considered to offer one of the most advanced and strenuous weapons training program in the world.

Selection Process

SWADS operatives are recruited from the Navy and are Navy trained. Those who excel in their servies in the Navy and are considered fit for this branch of the special service are recommended by their superiors to try out for this special forces team.


The SWADS teams are well equipped to take on several different types of challenging missions including hostage rescue, anti piracy, counterinsurgency, counter narcotics, counterterrorism, covert extractions and insertions, intelligence gathering raids and underwater demolition. SWADS are a division of the Navy in Bangladesh.

Known Missions

Missions of the SWADS are domestic in nature and not global. In addition to being a military special forces unit of the Bangladesh Navy, the SWADS also help on land as well. During domestic crisis, they are called in for peace keeping as well as personal recovery of individuals in the advent of natural disasters. Currently, their missions have been of the domestic nature and do not currently involve other countries. However, during acts of terrorism or global conflict, they are a sought after special forces unit known for being well adapted to both land and sea as well as having the ability to engage in hand to hand combat with the enemy.


The SWADS are professional soldiers and are recruited through the Bangladesh Navy. The Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS) is organized, trained and equipped along the lines of SEAL/UDT teams of the United States Navy SEALs and the Republic of Korea.

The SWADS are composed of one unit. Although information about individual units is classified, the size of the organization is believed to be of battalion strength and its command centre is in the southern port city of Chittagong.


SWADS teams are employed both inside Bangladesh as well as overseas. Their missions are including but not limited to:

Covert insertions/extractions
Hostage rescue and personnel recovery
Hydrographic reconnaissance
Intelligence gathering
Underwater demolition


To join this maritime special operations forces unit members of Bangladesh Navy undergo some of the world’s most extreme mental, psychical and advanced weapons training at special warfare schools in Bangladesh and abroad where the average failure rate is over 90%.Instructors for this special forces team in Bangladesh come from Korea, Turkey and the United States. Only 10 percent of those who are Navy trained in Bangladesh make it through the rigorous training that also includes physical endurance training, mental training and the weapons training

Instructors of these schools are known for their “brutality”, which are designed to mold individual candidates into some of the finest warriors.

Advanced training for instructors are primarily conducted in the Republic of Korea, Turkey and the United States with their respective SEAL/UDT’s.


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