JW Formoza

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Emblem of the unit

Jednostka Wojskowa Formoza, (en. Military Unit Formoza) (2007-2011 Morska Jednostka Działań Specjalnych, MJDS) (en. Naval Special Operations Unit), other old names: Sekcje Działań Specjalnych Marynarki Wojennej (Polish Navy Special Operations Sections), Grupy Specjalne Płetwonurków (Special Frogmen Groups).

JWF is now part of Wojska Specjalne (1975-2008 - part of the Polish Navy). The Formoza was founded in 1975. Its first commanding officer was (now a retired) certified commander, kmdr por. dypl. Józef Rembisz. In 1974, a research team dealing with matters related to naval frogmen was created. The team was to draw up a concept for the organisation and formation of a special division of naval frogmen.

The unit was originally intended to comprise three sections of frogmen, a technical section, section and management. But it was necessary to change this premise; a frogman could not go under the water without a safety leash. It was found possible to omit this regulation. A basic team now consists of a pair formed to safeguard each other, three pairs create a special group, five groups – a section. At the very beginning, conscripted soldiers served in the unit, nowadays the unit is entirely professional, which has increased its operating effectiveness. A three-year training system was preserved, for instance, during the first year, mainly shooting, swimming long distances, driving vehicles and foreign languages are practiced.

In September 1987, the unit changed its name to Special Operations Department and the Special Naval Frogman Groups were created in 1990. The unit has formidable striking power, two frogmen may sink or take control of an enemy’s ship, several of them may block even a large group of ships. The current official name Formoza comes from a Polish Navy seamen nickname of unit's training base "Formoza" (from relation between mainland, coast and island like PRC and ROC Taiwan - Formosa) - a former WW2 German torpedo test platform, 500 m away from coast in Gdynia Naval Harbour (Formoza means Formosa in Polish).

Present Day[edit]

The headquarters are stationed in Gdynia, Poland. It is subordinated to Wojska Specjalne. Reportedly, the Special Operations Sections consist of six groups and a base. Jednostka Wojskowa Formoza is prepared for special operations in times of peace, crisis and war. Its basic tasks include the carrying out of operations on the sea, under water and in on-shore facilities, as well as land special operations. Usually the Formoza co-operates with a water subunit of the JW Grom, the frogmen subunit of the Jednostka Wojskowa Komandosów (formerly 1 Pułk Specjalny Komandosów) and some of its equivalents in the navies of the states belonging to NATO.

Commanders JW Formoza[edit]

  • 1975 – 1982 - CAPT(N) Jozef Rembisz
  • 1982 – 1989 - CAPT(N) Zbigniew Kluzowski
  • 1989 – 1998 - CDR Andrzej Szymanski
  • 1999 – 2002 - LCDR Jan Pawlowski
  • 2002 – 2004 - LCDR Tomasz Zuk
  • 2004 – 2006 - LT(N) Krzysztof Niedzwiecki
  • 2007 – 2009 - CDR Jan Pawlowski
  • from 13 November 2009 – CAPT(N) Dariusz Wichniarek
A headquarters of Formoza in a former torpedo test platform "Formoza" 54°32′55″N 18°34′02″E / 54.54861°N 18.56722°E / 54.54861; 18.56722.

Equipment[edit]

Standard armament of the mariners from the Special Operations Sections:

References[edit]