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Detasamentul pentru Interventie Rapida
- Rapid Intervention Detachment -

The Rapid Intervention Detachment of the Romanian Armed Forces passed through several changes in the past decade, consisting mainly of the name of the unit and the chain of command.

Created sometimes during the early 1990s, the detachment incorporated the best men from all the structures of the armed forces. It was transferred from the 30th Guard Brigade to the Military Police and later to the Special Operations Command. It changed its name from the special missions subunit to DPDM and DIR.

Despite the name changes and the structure it belonged to, the detachment represented the elite of the military for around 15 years.

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History
Characteristics
Admission
Training
Weapons
Order of Battle
Exercises
Operations
Stories


History

The history of this amazing detachment

The Rapid Intervention Detachment has a long and complicated history. The last attempt to completely hide the unit from public opinion was abandoned when in december 2003 the Ministry of Defence confirmed the existance of DIR, the latest designation of this elite detachment.

Incorporating highly trained members, this unit is formed for the purpose of sending Romanian combatants to covert operations abroad, at the request of NATO and the United Nations. As it turns out, DIR members have been involved in a large number of operations in conflict areas abroad.

DIR The first phase of the unit can not fully be track, but it is assumed it was created, under one form or another, in the early 1990s. The earlier public mention of the unit cites the early 1990s, when a small, elite detachment was said to exist in the military. The detachment, simply called "the special missions subunit", existed within the 30th Guard Brigade "Mihai Viteazul". The 30th Guard Brigade was composed of 3 guard battalions and 1 special detachment - this one.

The three battalions were performing guard duties during ceremonies, international visits, as well as around the clock duty in the presidential palace.


The special operations detachment was probably performing close protection duties for foreign dignitaries while visiting Romania, as well as for Romanian military officials. Other missions are likely to have been performed as well.

In 2001, major cutbacks in the armed forces have meant the disbandment of the 30th Guard Brigade and its transformation into a regiment. The 30th Guard Regiment keeps the official name "Mihai Viteazul", however it is now composed of only two guard battalions.

The "special operations subunit" was then designated as DPDM - Detasamentul de Protectie al Demnitarilor Militari, or the Military VIPs Protection Detachment. Do not let the name confuse you, this is anything but a group of mere bodyguards. DPDM was not mentioned in any official documents, and its activity remained shrowded in mistery.

DIR It is unclear in what order the detachment changed its command chain, but we can simply note the following changes: after being extracted from the 30th Guard Brigade, the detachment was for a while under the command of the Military Police. Then, by an order signed in april 2001 by Victor Babiuc, at that time the Defence Ministry of Romania, it was transferred under the command of the Directive of Military Protection and Security, the counter-intelligence section of Military Intelligence. It seems that after a while the detachment was transferred back to the Military Police, where it belonged in 2003.

After that, it is possible the detachment was under the direct control of the General Chief of Staff, but that remains unconfirmed.

Big changes followed during 2004. After more than 80 years of having armed forces composed of three branches - ground forces, air force and navy, the Special Operations Command was created in october 2004 as the 4th major branch of the military. The Special Operations Command includes the Special Forces battalion, DIR, and PSY OPS.

As such, DIR belongs now to the Special Operations Command, where it is likely to remain for an indefinite period.

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Characteristics

What defines DIR ?

DPDM combatants are selected at a high failure rate and practice protection and CQB techniques on a daily basis. This closely-knit commando unit's single purpose is to accompany and secure military personalities in their daily activities, at work or whenever else necessary.

This elite special forces unit is designated for assuring the protection of military VIP's and for surgical anti-terrorist strikes.

Some of the fighters of the DPDM are ex- high performance sports masters. Remarcably, DPDM also has women among its combatant members. Known as "the men of the shadows", the members of DPDM ensure the protection of Romanian military VIP's, as well as visiting foreign military officials on their stay in Romania. This mission is very similar to the one of SPP's FIAT. DPDM is a "Defense Ministry's FIAT", smaller, but equally capable.

In fact, several members of FIAT were ex-DPDM members, which transfered from the military to the SPP (equivalent of the US Secret Service), where they perform the same missions, but get a much, much higher pay-check.

As some of the former members of this elite unit went to SPP, others have left to become members of SRI's Anti-Terrorism Brigade, the country's leading CT structure.

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But perhaps the best men that the Defense Ministry and the Romanian Armed Forces in general lost, are the former DPDM fighters who quit, and left abroad to become personal bodyguards of characters such as Silvester Stalone and Madonna.

Thanks to Doru Dragomir for some of the information in this article

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Admission

What does it take to become a member of DIR

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No information is available regarding the admission standards and selection courses for becoming a member of DIR.

One needs to be reminded however, the fact that a large number of DIR members are former or current national, balkan, european, world and/or olympic champions at disciplines such as martial arts, althetics and swimming.

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Training

 

Public unveiling in december 2003
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demonstration in december 2003
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demonstration in december 2003
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demonstration in december 2003
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demonstration in december 2003
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demonstration in december 2003
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demonstration in december 2003
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demonstration in december 2003
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demonstration in december 2003
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demonstration in december 2003
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demonstration in december 2003
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demonstration in december 2003
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demonstration in december 2003
Demonstration for mass-media in the 15th of may 2004
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Weapons

A variety of weapons is employed by DIR operatives, which include but is not limited to the Jericho pistol, Uzzi submachineguns, AK-74S automatic rifles and Glock 17 9mm pistols.

DIR members have also been spotted using the PSL sniper gun, the PSG-1 and Steyr sniper rifles as well.

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Order of Battle

Apparently the entire detachment is stationed somewhere at the outskirts of Bucharest. Judging by the fact that all the photos cialis used with vigrx during public demonstrations across the years have been taken in the Domnesti live firing range, we could safely assume that is one of their headquarters, if not the only one.

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Exercises



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Blue Road 2004

It has to be mentioned here that DIR has a large number of international and national exercises every year. They take place with similar structures from other countries or within Romania, and there's so many of them that a reasonable track can not be kept or published here.

Being a small and elite counter-terrorist unit, DIR doesn't lack partners in other Romanian structures for performing a large scale exercise. As such, it is known that DIR operatives regularly participate in exercises together with units such as Brigada Anti-tero and the Jandarmery's Special Intervention battalion (renamed in 2005 from CT battalion).

Besides the two CT structures, DIR participates in small or large scale exercises with the Incursion Divers, the 21st Mountain Hunters battalion and the Scouting battalions. In other words, the best units from the other three major branches of the armed forces.

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Blue Road 2004
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Blue Road 2004

Exercises sessions with international partners are difficult to track for the obvious reason that they are seldom publicized in the media.

It is even more difficult to track the participation of DIR operatives in multinational exercises which take part abroad.

On a yearly basis DIR operatives held large scale exercises with a wide arrange of structures from the military, secret services and the Ministry of Administration and Interior, as described in the previous paragraph.

One major exercise, to which Serbia was invited to participate out of courtesy, was Blue Road 2004.

A multitude of services and branches from both countries participated to one of the largest international exercises held at the banks of the Danube river in the past few years.

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Blue Road 2004

 

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Blue Road 2004

Designed as a complex tactical exercise, Blue Road 2004 took place mainly at the location of the Iron Gates, a 1970s large scale hidro powerplant built in cooperation by Romania and at that time, Yugoslavia. Located on the Danube river, at the border between Romania and nowadays Serbia, two Iron Gates powerplants are in existance and there are plans for the building of a third.

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Blue Road 2004
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Blue Road 2004

Blue Road 2004 represented the first time Serbia participated to an exercise conducted by NATO standards. The Serbian forces had the priviledge of meeting the best forces from Romania, a NATO member and a veteran of international operations of the past 15 years.

However, instead of reminding all that, as well as other details, the Serbian civil and military media demonstrated that the years of communist propaganda are not quite a thing of the past in that country. A large number of articles were published in the Serbian media regarding Blue Road 2004, all of which depicted the event same way they would have done 20 years ago. The articles mention the heroic participation of Serbian forces to the first exercise organized according to NATO standards, exercise in which they demonstrated their fine capabilities and proved once again that they are some of the best in the world. The only mention of Romania in some of the articles comes when the location of the exercise is depicted. Other articles do not mention it at all.

A new wave of ideas followed the exercise, which stated that Serbia is a regional power and would become a member of NATO in 2007 (3 years afterwards).

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Blue Road 2004

Blue Road 2004 represented a major exercise, one of the dozens each year to which DIR, as well as other units, participate on a reggular basis. The presence of Brigada Anti-tero, DIR, the Jandarmery's CT battalion, the Scouting formations, the incursion divers, the paratroopers, the Border Police and other Romanian structures added to the importance of the event. As a courtesy, the neighboring country of Serbia, which had recently come out of 4 lost wars in which they lost large parts of their territory, was also invited to participate, as an encouragement for euro-atlantic integration.

Unfortunately, it seems the Serbian media and public saw the things from a totally different perspective.

Nevertheless the event helped the two countries share expertise and prepare together to confront possible future terrorist attacks directed towards civilian population or areas of national interest for both countries - the Iron Gates.

The presence of Serbian Special Forces to the event is also to be noted, although the exact units to which they belong could not be tracked. It is possible they were part of the 72nd Special Brigade, the 60th Para Brigade and other units such as the Serbian Cobras or even Perugia, a top secret unit believed to be the best in Serbia.

Future similar exercises have been planned but so far did not take place.

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Blue Road 2004

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Operations

The real life operations of units like this ones are most often classified and little information becomes available to the public. Such is the case of DIR as well, which oficially is not mentioned of being deployed abroad at any time.

However, in the world of special operations, reality and press articles do not meet very often. We also have to consider the very reasons for the creation of DIR in its current state and designation. Gathering the best men from the military in a single, small detachment, which lacks nothing in terms of equipment and funding, is surely something you don't do simply to perform demonstrations for foreign officials or to guard your own military VIP's.

I would keep this section short and remind of only one quote to complete it, until more information will become available. Asked by a reporter after the demonstration in december 2003 if he's ever been in a real operation, a young DIR member replied "aahh, many". Asked again, "how many exactly?" he continued: "there were a lot of them. I forgot their number".

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Stories

With the creation of the Special Forces battalion, one would expect DIR to be disbanded and all its operatives to be transferred to the new, integrated unit. But that wasn't the case - DIR remains as a stand-alone unit, one of the three units under the control of the Special Operations Command. Due to the fact that DIR had over 100 operatives in the mid 2000's, while the Special Forces battalion is designed to have 500, one could assume DIR would get to keep its status as an elite counter-terrorist unit of the military. If we add the fact that the Special Forces have at least one module built to be inter-operable with the US Army Special Forces (Green Berets), one could assume DIR could have adopted the SAS model of a small, counter-terrorist, special operations capable detachment.

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