Underwater Demolition Command

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Underwater Demolition Command
Διοίκηση Υποβρυχίων Καταστροφών (ΔΥΚ)
DYK emblem.jpg
Underwater Demolition Command (DYK) emblem
Active 1957–Present
Country  Greece
Branch Hellenic Navy Seal.svg Hellenic Navy
Type Special Forces
Role
Size ~100 active duty
Part of Naval Training Command
(Greek: Διοίκηση Ναυτικής Εκπαίδευσης (ΔΝΕ))
Nickname
  • Frogmen (Greek: Βατραχάνθρωποι)
  • Frogs (Greek: Βατράχια)
  • OYK (Greek: ΟΥΚ)
  • Oykades (Greek: Οϋκάδες)
Website Underwater Demolition Command
Commanders
First Captain Konstantinos Egkolfopoulos
Insignia
Abbreviation Δ.Υ.Κ.
Greek Navy MYK team on exercise

The Underwater Demolition Command (Greek: Διοίκηση Υποβρυχίων Καταστροφών), abbreviated as DYK (Greek: ΔYK,Greek pronunciation: [ðik]), until 2002 known as the Underwater Demolition Unit (Greek: Μονάδα Υποβρυχίων Καταστροφών), abbreviated as MYK (Greek: ΜYK,Greek pronunciation: [mik]), is the Greek Navy's elite special warfare unit.

History[edit]

Carrying on the tradition of the Hellenic Navy in naval special operations, the unit was established in 1957 with help from the United States Navy's Underwater Demolition Team, when two Greek officers were sent to Little Creek in Virginia to study UDT operations[citation needed]. On their return, they trained a dozen men who formed the nucleus of the MYK cadre. The OYK has been deployed on numerous occasions[citation needed]. It was deployed during the first Gulf War in 1991, providing assistance for the naval embargo against Saddam Hussein, boarding 217 suspect vessels[citation needed]. In 1996, the OYK was involved in the Imia crisis when Turkish commandos infiltrated the rocky island. Small OYK teams dispersed in surrounding islands to acquire targets and surveil activities, pending a political solution to the crisis and withdrawal of Turkish forces[citation needed]. In 1997, during the violent unrest that erupted in neighbouring Albania, the OYK were responsible for taking control of the international airport of Tirana [clarification needed] and the evacuation of 240 foreign dignitaries from Albania (Operation Kosmas).[1]

Structure[edit]

The OYK is organised into subsections called Underwater Demolition Teams (Greek: Ομάδες Υποβρυχίων Καταστροφών), commonly known in their abbreviated form as OYK (Greek: ΟΥΚ,Greek pronunciation: [oik]), that specialise in a particular area. Each subsection consists of 25 men split into five teams of five.

OYK-1 and OYK-2 are the main assault sections of the OYK that conduct unconventional warfare, sabotage, DA raids, naval boarding and maritime counter-terrorism[citation needed].

OYK-3: This section specialises in reconnaissance and hydrographic survey. Establishing and reconnoitering beach landing sites prior to a main amphibious assault and provide intelligence during its procession[citation needed].

OYK-4: The section specialises in EOD and underwater demolition of obstacles that may prevent an amphibious landing as well as naval mine clearance, in conjuction with a minesweeper or by own means.[citation needed].

OYK-5 is a reserve section that is only activated in wartime or a declared state of emergency. It is made up of reservist personnel from the MYK and Officers and Petty Officers from the instructor body[citation needed].

The selection and training course lasts roughly seven months and is divided into three phases similar to that of the US Navy SEALs BUD/S course. The course has an extremely high failure rate similar to that of its US counterparts. The candidates will go on to airborne school and then continue to learn advanced naval special warfare techniques[citation needed].

2015 Independece Day Parade Controversy[edit]

The OYK generated controversy at the Greek Independence Day parade of 2015, when it chanted a nationalistic refrain: «Και το όνειρο μας είναι / στην Πόλη εμείς να μπούμε / σημαία να υψώσουμε / τον ύμνο εμείς να πούμε», roughly translated as 'Our dream is to enter the City (Constantinople) to raise our flag and sing our anthem'. Opposition ministers from the PASOK party launched attacks on the defence Minister Panos Kammenos, accusing him of mishandling matters of vital foreign policy. Concerns were also expressed by the government (SYRIZA) MP Vassiliki Katrouvanou, who called the chants 'a clear offense to our republic', and highlighted the ongoing need to remove certain far-right elements from the Greek armed forces.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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