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DCSL

- Combat Search and Rescue detachment -

DCSL stands for Detasamentul Cautare - Salvare prin Lupta or Combat Search and Rescue Detachment.

It's a small detachment under the command of the Romanian Air Force which is tasked to rescue downed airmen during combat operations. Recently formed, the unit is stationed somewhere near Bucharest and its selection, training and equipment is very similar to the ones of the 610th Special Forces battalion.

US Equivalents: Air Force Parajumpers (PJs)

Detasamentul Cautare-Salvare prin Lupta

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History
Characteristics
Admission
Training
Weapons
Order of Battle
Exercises
Operations
Stories

History

After the 1989 Revolution there are two primary turning points in the organization of the Romanian elite units. The first turning point took place around 1998 when several units were established and others renamed, throughout the national security system (defense, intelligence community and law enforcement). The second turning point took place in the mid 2000's, starting roughly around 2002 and ending around 2008. The establishing of the combat search and rescue detachment happened at the end of this second turning point, when the Romanian military's strategy was to have a SOF unit in each one of the three major branches of the military. The Ground Forces already had their SF battalion, which was turned into a regiment and later a brigade, and the Navy recently renamed, improved and expanded their incursion divers detachment into GNFOS. It was now the Air Force's turn to establish its own SOF unit.

But the RoAF previously had several elite battalions, units which were transferred to the Ground Forces by the spring of the year 2002. Firstly organized into regiments, later one brigade and 3 independent battalions, these units were under the command of the Air Force for roughly 3 decades. Initially named Paratroopers, later Special Missions and lastly Special Operations, the units' transfer to the Ground Forces left the Air Force with no elite combatant troops.

This was to change when the second wave of changes in the Romanian special operations community was to occur. A decision was taken which implied the military to have a dedicated combat search and rescue unit. Since the need of the Romanian armed forces for such a unit is much smaller than the need of larger countries (such as US, UK or France), the unit will not be a regiment or battalion size but a small detachment. Since the other two branches already organized their SOF units, the detachment was put under the command of the Air Force.

As eye of the phoenix secrets of the one dollar bill such, on the 1st of September 2008 the Detasamentul Cautare-Salvare prin Lupta or the Combat Search and Rescue detachment was established.

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Characteristics

DCSL is an elite unit who's primary task is to rescue downed airmen in hostile terrain. The recruitment process is identical to the one of the SF battalion and the unit holds period training exercises with the SF battalion as well as with the Navy's special operations unit, GNFOS.

 

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Admission and Selection

The selection process for the detachment seems to be the same as the one for the Special Forces. It is however not clear if would-be operators attend the SF selection course or if they are participating in a separate process.

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Training

No training details available yet.

Weapons and Equipment

DCSL operatives use a wide arrange of firearms available in the regular military as well as weapons available only to elite units. As such, they employ various versions of AKM, PSL sniper rifles, UMP and G-36 variants.

For transport to and from the target as well as aerial fire support, they employ locally-made IAR-330 Puma SOCAT helicopters. Transformed from the IAR-330 Puma helicopter, the Puma SOCAT is fitted with an opto-electronic search and detection system, as well as a 20mm cannon and can carry unguided rockets as well as anti-tank missiles.

Order of Battle

DCSL is a small detachment composed of 3 combat teams, all of which are located near Bucharest.

Since 2010 the detachment operates using IAR-330 Puma SOCAT helicopters, which were previously stationed at Bucharest-Otopeni military airfield. After 2011 the helicopters were relocated to Bacau, a move which sparkled some protests from the pilots. After the helicopter's relocation, the operators seem to remained near Bucharest.

Exercises

Detasamentul Cautare-Salvare prin Lupta

DCSL during exercise Dacian Thunder 2012 at Campia Turzii Air Force Base, Romania

Photo by Senior Airman Natasha Stannard, 19 july 2012

DCSL operators attend yearly and seasonly exercises with their counterparts from the Ground Forces (SF) and Navy (GNFOS).

 

Operations

No operations are known yet, although it is rumoured that some operators have been detached to Afghanistan embeded in other units, a practice which is common in the Romanian military since the start of its massive troops deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans in the early 2000's.

Stories

No stories yet regarding this recently formed detachment.