Pathfinders Company (Portugal)
|Air-Land Pathfinders Company
Companhia de Percursores Aeroterrestres
|Active||Unknown – Present day|
|Type||Special Operations Forces (SOF-type)|
|Size||60 elements (1 company)|
|Part of||Portuguese Rapid Reaction Brigade|
|Motto(s)||Deixa arder em ti a chama de ser Prec
(Let burn in you the flame of being Prec)
The Air-Land Pathfinders Company (Portuguese: Companhia de Precursores Aeroterrestres) - known as the Precs - is a special reconnaissance unit of the Portuguese Paratroopers. This unit is part of the Airborne Support Battalion which is based in Tancos. Its specialty are high altitude mission insertions through the use of HAHO and HALO jumps and reconnaissance of landing zones for other paratroopers to be dropped.
The Pathfinders Company is attached to the Airborne Support Battalion, of the ETP. It is a key element for aerial infiltration, through operational free fall (using HALO and HAHO jumps), although the unit can be inserted by sea or ground transport.
This unit was practically unknown by the Portuguese society in general and even on the Portuguese Armed Forces until very recently and is considered to be the elite of the Portuguese paratroopers. The Precs have participated in a variety of national and international exercises.
The Pathfinders Company is commanded by a major and includes:
- Pathfinder Detachment Alpha - includes 16 elements (1 captain, 5 sergeants and 10 other ranks), being qualified to do HALO and HAHO jumps;
- Pathfinder Detachment Bravo - includes 16 elements (1 lieutenant or 2nd lieutenant, 5 sergeants and 10 other ranks).
- Recon of Landings Zones for both fixed wing and rotor aircraft and airborne drop positions, while establishing the needed assistance to air traffic control navigation and communications, in hostile conditions.
- Limited direct action.
- Recon on any information required by airborne Command.