SIIAS

- Serviciul Independent de Interventii si Actiuni Speciale -
SIIAS patch


The Independent Special Interventions and Actions Service is an elite unit under the command of the Romanian Police.

The unit incorporates the best combatants from all the country's rapid intervention formations (DIAS), and is composed of 3 detachments, 30 men each, both located in Bucharest.

SIIAS is composed of members which are hand-picked for their performances. Athletes, world champions and experienced psychologysts were wrapped together to form this service.

Created in 1995 from a core of specialists from the Police Organized Crime Task Force, the unit performs the most dangerous operations and is responsible for special police duty across the country.

US Equivalent: FBI's HRT


Characteristics
Admission
Training
Weapons
Order of Battle
Exercises
Operations
Stories

Characteristics

SIIAS is a special forces unit belonging to the Ministry of the Interior. Its highly trained fighters intervene only in the most difficult missions encountered anywhere in the territory of Romania. Very dangerous criminals, armed robberies, vehicle hi-jacking, hostage taking and until now Ministry of the Interior VIP protection are their specialities.

Back to Menu

Admission

Only the finest make it to SIIAS. If you are top of the line in whatever you're doing, you got a chance; otherwise you might as well just quit trying.

Experience is a must. Some special forces recruit their members from a large segment of the population and experience is not required. Two popular examples of this would be the US Navy SEALs and the US Army Rangers. Other special forces recruit their members from men who are already in the branch and proved to be best of their units. Such an example would be Delta Force.

SIIAS is part of the second cathegory. Recruiting is not done "from the outside", but only from the inside. Former DIAS fighters, as well as former BAT members have been recruited into this service. Some examples of SIIAS fighters would be a 5-dan martial arts instructor, a rappeling expert, a phychologyst with experience in negociations, etc.

Former DIAS members who have been in that force for many years and have participated and handled very well a lot of dangerous missions and situations also thicken the lines of the SIIAS. Fighters from DIAS units in Bucharest, Timisoara, Constanta, Brasov or Galati hold an advantage, because their units have daily missions in their large cities. Six years in DIAS Bucharest and a thick operations file can get you into SIIAS, that is of course, if there's a free spot. You will read about that in the Order of Battle Section.

SIIAS

SIIAS demonstration

Photo by SIIAS

Back to Menu

Training

SIIAS

SIIAS fighters train daily. They have to.

Six hours at the gym would seem exagerate even to a performance athlete, however it is a must for any SIIAS fighter. Body building training is followed by long runs, hand-to-hand combat, rappeling from and into buildings or from helicopters, as well as daily shooting sessions with all the weapons in their arsenal.

Most of the time, SIIAS use live ammunition in their training sessions, a rough reminder of their deadly trade. No mistakes are allowed, whether in training or in a real mission.

SIIAS

Back to Menu

Weapons

SIIAS uses weapons which are also used by their collegues from GSG-9, RAID or HRT. The 9mm Glock pistol with a reserve of 18 rounds plus one on the barrel, PSG-1 and MP5-3 are widely used. The poor equipment of the past has now been replaced with the latest in special forces outfitting.

SIIAS training

500x375, 262 kb JPEG

SIIAS on training, 2010

Photo by SIIAS

SIIAS demo

500x353, 34 kb JPEG

SIIAS demo in downtown Bucharest

Photo by SIIAS

SIIAS training

500x375, 207 kb JPEG

SIIAS on training, 2010

Photo by SIIAS

In the early days, SIIAS had a very low budget. The fighters even had to manually confectionate their own protection equipment, while gear such as pants, jackets and boots were bought from the common hypermarket by each fighter, at their own choice. They also used the good-old Romanian-made Carpati 7.62mm pistol, which had only 6 rounds plus one on the barrel. The Carpati, although one of the best pistols in the world in its time (1960's), had become completely obsolete in today's world of kevlar and multiple targets. The four decades have taken its toll on it, and a new weapon was badly needed.

Also, the rappel gear was outdated, second hand and even dangerous. The only SIIAS fighter ever to lose his life died in a demonstration, falling from high above the Police headquarters building in Bucharest when his second hand rappel gear broke in half.

SIIAS

SIIAS demonstration

Photo by SIIAS

However things radically changed for SIIAS starting with 2001. A former fighter, now back to civilian life, had started his own company. Area of work? special forces gear. His company produces pants, sweaters and jackets made of kevlar and tuaron, special goretex boots, rappel gear, special helmets and other such stuff. He presented his offer to the Ministry of the Interior which was very interested of it.

This was followed in early 2002 by the Government's aquisition of an unspecified number of 9mm Glock pistols, PSG-1 rifles and MP5-3 automatics, produced under license at Cugir, in central Romania. The factory there has a centuries-old tradition in firearms production and it was always top of the line.

Nowadays, SIIAS has good equipment.

Back to Menu

Order of Battle

SIIAS

SIIAS demonstration

Photo by SIIAS

SIIAS is an entire service, with both fighters and civilian employees. Their total number is unknown, but what it is known is that SIIAS has exactly 60 fighters. They are organized in two detachments, of 30 men each. Is this exact number that adds another obstacle to the admission, as when a new SIIAS member is recruited, it can only mean one of three things: either the old member has died, he quit/got replaced, or he got fired.

Since such warriors do not get fired and as they rarely quit, it leaves us with two options: either he got replaced because of his age (such as the example of the former fighter that now runs an equipment company), or he died.

SIIAS

SIIAS demonstration

Photo by SIIAS

Both these detachments are permanently stationed in an undisclosed location in or around Bucharest; however they can reach any point in the country in a moment's notice. The Special Aviation Unit of the Ministry of the Interior can transport them at any time with its modified IAR-316 Alouette, IAR-330 Puma or Mi-8T Hip helicopters, the first two being Romanian-made.

Back to Menu

Exercises

Not much is revealed about the SIIAS fighters and exactly who they are training with, when and where. However since its admission in the Atlas group, exercises with European partners have become an annual event.

SIIAS

500x749, 55 kb JPEG

SIIAS operative at an international SF competition

Photo by SIIAS

SIIAS fighters train daily. They have to.

Six hours at the gym would seem exagerate even to a performance athlete, however it is a must for any SIIAS fighter. Body building training is followed by long runs, hand-to-hand combat, rappeling from and into buildings or from helicopters, as well as daily shooting sessions with all the weapons in their arsenal.

Most of the time, SIIAS use live ammunition in their training sessions, a rough reminder of their deadly trade. No mistakes are allowed, whether in training or in a real mission.

SIIAS

500x333, 24 kb JPEG

SIIAS operatives during an exercise with German counterparts, in Germany

Photo by SIIAS

Back to Menu

Operations

SIIAS has operations on a daily basis. It is remarcable that such a small unit sees action each and every single day of the year. One, twice or even three times in each one of the 365 days of the year, SIIAS is involved in an operation, somewhere in Romania. This leaves little time for exercises and even training (which lasts for so many hours). SIIAS members are on call 24/7, same as Delta Force operators. Day or night, wednesday or sunday, whether they are on duty or enjoying a holiday at the shores of the Black Sea, SIIAS fighters can be called upon whenever necessary, in order to perform a mission.

Unfortunately the exact missions of the SIIAS can not be detailed in here, as the persons they acted against, although cold blooded criminals, have the right to sue anyone who mentions their name.

But what can be done is remind some of their missions without naming the persons who got arrested.

A Romanian that had served for 3 years in the infamous French Legion, a collection of convicted criminals from around the world, ran away to Belgium, where he was the author of several robberies and other such acts. After a while, he left Belgium and came to Romania, where he laid low in an apartment in Brasov (central Romania).

A team of SIIAS operators rapelled down from the apartment block and entered the apartment from all directions. Several operators broke the windows and "landed" in his living room, while at the same time others have smashed the door and were going in thru the main hallway.

He never had a chance. Although he was heavely armed, he was imobilized and hand-cuffed before he even realized what was going on.

Another action where SIIAS operators were called upon was in one case where several masked men have done an armed robbery of a currency exchange office in central Timisoara (Western Romania).

SIIAS

SIIAS demonstration

Photo by SIIAS

SIIAS

SIIAS demonstration

Photo by SIIAS

The local DIAS fighters, renowned to be some of the best of all DIAS forces in the country, quickly came to the scene and had started to pursue the offenders. However the offenders were heavily armed with pistols, mini-guns and even heavy machineguns. Although this might seem as a standard scenario for foreign countries, such an event has never happened in Romania before. But the DIAS officers had their own weapons, and a terrible urban warfare took part on the streets of Timisoara. SIIAS operators, which arrived a little while later all the way from Bucharest, took over the pursue operation and several of the offenders were arrested, without any life losses or injuries.

It's easy to randomly shoot people on the street or do 200 push-ups, however CT and hostage rescuing operations of the past two decades have proved that only the finest can actually rescue people and capture criminals without shooting innocent by-standers or actually killing the very hostages they were trying to rescue, such as is often the case in third world countries.

Back to Menu

Stories

Incredibly, SIIAS also has a female fighter among its ranked. Married and with two hildren at home, the highly trained professional is nicknamed "Iron Maiden" amongst the group's members. Her speciality though, is unknown.

Back to Menu