Special Warfare Diving and Salvage

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Special Warfare Diving and Salvage
Banfladesh Navy SWADS Batches.jpg
SWADS Operatives
Active 2009 - Present (Official creation)
Country  Bangladesh
Branch Naval Ensign of Bangladesh.svg Bangladesh Navy
Type Special Operations Force

Primary tasks:

Other roles:

  • Anti piracy.
  • Counter insurgency.
  • Counter narcotics.
  • Counter terrorism.
  • Covert insertions/extractions.
  • Hostage rescue and personnel recovery.
  • Hydro-graphic reconnaissance.
  • Intelligence gathering.
  • Raid.
  • Underwater demolition.
Size Classified
Part of Bangladesh Special Operational Commands
Garrison/HQ Chittagong
Nickname(s) SWADS
Motto(s) In War and Peace Invincible at Sea

The Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (Bengali: স্পেশাল ওয়ারফেয়ার ডাইভিং অ্যান্ড স্যালভেজ) or SWADS is an elite Special Operations Force of the Bangladesh Navy. The SWADS are professional soldiers and are recruited through the Bangladesh Navy. The Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS) is organized, trained and equipped along the lines of SEAL/UDT teams of the United States Navy SEALs and the Republic of Korea Navy UDT/SEAL.[1]

SWADS’s are composed of professional soldiers recruited from the Bangladesh Navy. Other information about the individual units is secret. The units include SEAL, UDT, SBS, EOD/BD, BPC, SNIPER, etc.

The SWADS are composed of one unit. Although information about individual units is classified, the size of the organization is believed to be around one-thousand and its command center is in the southern port city of Chittagong.[2] Its base is formally known as "Nirvik".[3]


Although Bangladeshi Navy personnel were trained on American soil since the 1970s, American Navy instructors were instrumental in creating SWADS in late 2008.[4] SWADS was formally created in 2009 with 150 commandos and 200 divers recruited.[3] US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena provided assistance in the creation of the unit.[3]

The unit's lineage is traced back to the Nau Commandos during the country's Liberation War against Pakistan.[5][6] SWADS operators have participated alongside American Navy SEALs in Joint Combined Training Exchange programs under the Tiger Shark exercises.[5]


SWADS operatives are recruited from the Navy and are trained in Bangladesh and abroad. They are trained by various navy special forces instructors from South Korea, Turkey and the United States. The avg drop rate is 95%[1]


SWADS personnel at a joint military exercise with the US Navy in 2011.

SWADS teams are employed within Bangladesh and as well as overseas. Their missions include (but are not limited to):

Weapons and equipment[edit]

The range weapons for use by members SWADS’s is extensive. SWADS members are trained to handle all types of combat weapons, in addition to standard gear such as ballistic helmets with night optics, and underwater video equipment. One fact that makes SWADS’s unique is that they can operate in water, under water and in the air. The weapons which are operated by SWADS are given below