Comando Raggruppamento Subacquei e Incursori Teseo Tesei

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Teseo Tesei Diver and Raider Command Group
Comando Raggruppamento Subacquei e Incursori Teseo Tesei (COMSUBIN)
Comando Subacquei ed Incursori marching.jpg
Personnel of COMSUBIN
Country Italy
Branch Marina Militare
TypeSpecial Forces
RoleSearch and rescue
Special operations
Direct Action
Garrison/HQPorto Venere (HQ)
Motto(s)"E Fluctibus irruit in hostem" (From the sea we assault the enemy)
EngagementsIraq War
War in Afghanistan
Lebanon Wars
Decorations1 Croci di Cavaliere all'O.M.I.
1 Medaglia d'argento al valor di Marina
1 Medaglia d'argento al valor civile
Rear Admiral Paolo Pezzutti
Admiral Gino Birindelli M.O.V.
Admiral Luigi Faggioni M.O.V.

Every single man of this Department is an assault machine, in the main sectors are 10 or 15 years ahead of the existing technologies and tactics, in our academies we study them as a model, an example to follow[1]

COMSUBIN (Comando Raggruppamento Subacquei e Incursori Teseo Tesei; Teseo Tesei Diver and Raider Command Group) is the elite commando frogman force and one of the Italian special forces.

Italy was the first nation to use frogmen and human torpedoes. The Italian Naval Assault Divisions are considered to be the precursors to modern Naval Special Forces.

Their record can be traced back to World War I and the operation against the Austrian-Hungarian Battleship Viribus Unitis in Pula Harbour in 1918.

In World War II famous operations were Suda Bay, Alexandria, Gibraltar, and Malta.

Italy's frogman group originated in 1938 as the 1a Flottiglia Mezzi d'Assalto (1st Flotilla Assault Vehicles), which was reformed in 1940 as the Decima Flottiglia MAS (10th Flotilla Assault Vehicles, X MAS).


See Operations of X MAS for Italian wartime frogman operations.

After World War II ended, the victors forbade Italy from maintaining special operations personnel. The Decima Flottiglia MAS was disbanded but the training experience gathered during the war was not lost, it was preserved in units scattered across the new Marina Militare.

  • 1954: Italy joined the North Atlantic Council and the United Nations. The Allied Powers relented. The Decima Flottiglia MAS was reformed, and had various names as the years passed.
  • 1960: Its name was settled as Comando Raggruppamento Subacquei ed Incursori Teseo Tesei (Teseo Tesei Diver and Raider Commando Group, COMSUBIN) after Major Teseo Tesei.

COMSUBIN is currently based in three detachments near the Gulf of La Spezia in the Liguria region of north-west Italy. In keeping with its traditions, the command has long been known for its acquisition and use of unconventional weapons and small arms, such as the Armalite AR-10.

Some nations including Italy have continued to make and keep human torpedoes after 1945.


While the most storied task of COMSUBIN is the destruction of enemy naval assets, particularly by sea, COMSUBIN's six principal components (described below) all perform markedly different tasks.

The Operational Raider Group[edit]

The Operational Raider Group (Gruppo Operativo Incursori) is a commando frogman unit of some 150–200 men and may be considered the force most closely associated with maritime special operations. The Raiders have four specific assignments that they are expected to complete:

  • Attacks on naval and merchant ships while in port or at sea using a multitude of different weapons systems.
  • Attacks on port or coastal civilian and military installations and infrastructure up to 400 km from the coast.
  • Counter-terrorism operations especially on ships and dedicated to the recovery of hostages.
  • Infiltration and long-term stays in hostile territory for reconnaissance or long-range naval targeting missions.

COMSUBIN GOI wear the green commando beret. Members are largely drawn from the ranks of the Navy's own San Marco Marine Brigade after a rigorous selection process.

The Operational Divers Group[edit]

COMSUBIN commandos training on the Eugene A. Obregon (T-AK 3006) during exercise Clever Sentinel in 2004.

The Operational Divers Group (Gruppo Operativo Subacquei) has 200 or so personnel specialising in scuba diving with air to 60 m, oxygen to 12 m, nitrox to 54 m, heliox to 150 m, and to 300 m with a mini-submarine or a special suit. Their task after World War II was de-mining most of Italy's northern ports ravaged by years of war and full of magnetic mines and dangerous munitions onboard sunken ships. This they largely accomplished by 1949, letting Italy's economy get back on track relatively quickly. Since World War II, they have performed de-mining and unexploded ordnance operations across the world, especially in the Persian Gulf, the former Yugoslavia, and Albania. A detachment of them operates off an Italian Navy minesweeper. They also specialise in rescuing navy personnel from stricken ships and submarines and assist the civil authorities in maritime rescue operations. COMSUBIN GOS wear a medium blue beret.

The Special Naval Group[edit]

The Special Naval Group (Gruppo Navale Speciale) supports and moves the Raiders and the Divers, with the aid of three specialist ships: the ANTEO, MARINO, and PEDRETTI.[citation needed]

  • Italian ship Anteo (A 5309) carries a mini-submarine for submarine-rescue operations to a depth of 600 m and is specialised in supporting Diver operations and in particular rescue of or from submarines in distress.[citation needed]
  • two Marino class (Mario Marino and Alcide Pedretti) are speedboats dedicated to supporting Raider operations.[citation needed]

Two Angelo Cabrini-class high-speed multipurpose vessels are being constructed, for commissioning in 2019/2020.[citation needed]

The Study Centre Group[edit]

The Study Centre Group (Raggruppamento Centro Studi) keeps the entire unit up-to-date with the latest equipment and technological advances in specialist fields. It is divided into four major sections: Arms and Explosives, Materials and Raider Vehicles, Submarine Experimental Materials, and Submarine Human Physiology. All Italian Navy doctors specialise at the Submarine Human Physiology section (in Naval submarine pathology). The centre has a hyperbaric chamber often used for decompression therapy by civilians needing this treatment.

The School Group[edit]

The School Group (Gruppo Scuole) is the Diver School and the Raider School and trains all raiders and divers, and trains non-COMSUBIN personnel in special tasks such as Diver Obstacle Demolition for the San Marco Marines (the Italian Navy's Marine Regiment), and divers for other Italian State bodies such as the police and firefighting forces.

The Logistics Group[edit]

The Logistics Group (Gruppo Logistico) is responsible for maintenance operations of all kinds and for the health and well-being of all COMSUBIN members.

Operational capability[edit]

COMSUBIN (Comando Subacquei Incursori) is first and foremost a secret special operations unit. Its membership is a fairly well-guarded secret.

The Raiders are composed of volunteer officers and non-commissioned officers with an average age of 29 who are capable of:

  • surface and under-water swimming
  • use of naval units
  • assault on stationary and moving naval units
  • deployment from helicopters through various means
  • movement during day and night in unknown and rocky terrain
  • deployment from submarines while underwater and on surface
  • use of automatic and commanded parachute
  • use of arms, explosives and special weapons
  • capability to reside in unknown hostile territory for long-term
  • use of various land vehicles

After a member has qualified as a Raider, he may take up a number of specialisations including:

  • Free Fall Parachutist (HALO/HAHO)
  • Mountain Guide
  • aerial photography analyst
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal
  • Launch Director
  • Military Mountain Troop Instructor
  • Naval and Submarine Photographer

Former COMSUBIN Raiders may join other branches of the elite unit to continue serving the Navy or may join other parts of the military as instructors. Senior operators may transfer to the Italian Military Intelligence Agency "AISE" along with their other counterparts from the Army, Air Force and Carabinieri.

Overseas deployment[edit]

COMSUBIN Raiders have been deployed to these places:


The COM.SUB.IN. has a dedicated array of weaponry and equipment.[2]


Sub-machine guns[edit]

Assault rifles[edit]

Sniper rifles[edit]

Grenade launchers[edit]

Machine guns[edit]

Rocket launchers[edit]


  1. ^ L'Espresso, 1º novembre 2007, pag.42.
  2. ^ Ciocchetti, Tiziano (22 May 2019). "La situazione delle forze armate italiane: l'armamento degli incursori di Marina". Difesa Online (in Italian). Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  3. ^ [1]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°03′59″N 9°50′51″E / 44.06639°N 9.84750°E / 44.06639; 9.84750