The Special Actions Detachment (Destacamento de Ações Especiais) or DAE is the maritime special operations force of the Portuguese Navy.
Raised in 1985, the DAE is one of the smallest special forces units within the Portuguese Armed Forces. It is responsible for conducting special operations, beach reconnaissance, Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), maritime counter-terrorism, demolition operations, and other missions in support of Portuguese and NATO armed forces.
SELECTION & TRAINING:
DAE operatives are drawn from the ranks of Marines, all having high operational experience. Due to the nature of its actions, candidate acceptance is extremely restrictive and selective. Only 5–10% of the applicants manage to join the unit.
Upon completion of the basic selection phase prospective recruits then begin the first phase of their training. Phase 1 of their training is conducted at the Navy’s combat diver school. Students receive instruction in: basic combat diving techniques, EOD and underwater demolitions. Candidates who successfully complete the first phase are assigned to the DAE on a probationary status, and begin their second phase of training. Phase 2 instruction includes courses on: escape and evasion techniques, advanced driving, mountaineering, offensive operations, parachuting training and basic English. Once a trainee is permanently assigned to the DAE he will continue to receive various courses of instruction throughout his career.
DAE conducts regular training exercises with its NATO counterparts, including the United States Navy DEVGRU, British Special Boat Service, French Commandos Marine as well as the respective naval counter-terrorist units.
They were deployed to Angola in 1992, to Zaire in 1997, to Guinea-Bissau in 1998, to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006 (as part of the EUFOR) and to Somalia in 2009.