Training Segments of Training


Column about diving as a part of the training of the elite units.

Column about close protection as a part of the training of the elite units.

Column about martial arts as a part of the training of the elite units.

Column about tactical exercises of the elite units.

Rubrika o padobranstvu kao segmentu obuke pripadnika elitnih jedinica.

Training of the operators of the elite police and military units consists of theoretical and practical activities that are carried out by teaching principle through defined plan and program in order to train and specialize them to efficiently execute tasks and duties within the purpose of the specific unit, which is based on legal regulations.

Training execution by teaching principle implies that it is organized and carried out under the supervision and direct participation of the instructors, who are, by rule, the most experienced operators of the specific unit, specialized in a particular segment area that is the subject of the training. Also, training of the operators is, as a rule, defined in advance, through relevant plan and program which is defined for a specific period of time (for example, 3 to 6 months, one year) and which is in accordance with defined purpose and the needs of the specific unit. In practice, units of this kind are usually independent organizational parts of the state ministry of interior or defence, which among other things means that commands of the units are free to independently develop and define plans and programs of training, but usually within the standards that were previously set by those ministries.

There are several criteria as general which affect the definition of plan and program of the specific unit.

1. Security requirements. Security needs, as a result of a assessment of the specific security system (mostly those are systems of national states or organized political entities), are the most general criteria of the elite units` organization, as well as their tactical and operational purposes. It is well known that during seventies and eighties terrorist threats greatly contributed that almost all modern national states organize units for special purposes, specially trained and equipped to perform most complex security challenges. These security requirements are usually estimated at the regional level within a national state, at the state level and at the entire region where a national state (or political entity) is organized.

2. The purpose of the unit. As bolded, the purpose of the unit directly affects the plan and program of the training of the unit`s operators, who must be trained to reliably and efficiently perform tasks in all conditions. It should be noted that the type of the state ministry, within which the unit is organized, also affects the unit`s purpose and the official authority of the operators, so that in practice is precisely defined, for example, in which situations police units can be activated, in which military. This is often defined through specific laws[1], because those are very important social relations of the public interest. Given that the purpose of the unit often consists of several types of activities and tasks, units within their organization organize specialist groups or teams, whose operators are specially trained in particular areas and acquire specialists` titles. So, units can have anti-terrorist groups (ATG), diving groups or teams, alpinist groups, sniper groups, K9 handlers, groups or teams for close protection of the VIPs etc.

3. Funds. Organization and every-day activities at units of this kind are very expensive and each state or political entity allocates significant funds for this purpose. The process of training and professional development of the operators goes continuously and that requires vast funds, which can often be a limiting factor which is, of course, then reflected to the plan and program of training, or training frequency or volume.


The training process can be divided, according to several criteria, to basic, advanced and specialist, as well ass individual and group training. The activities within these types of training can vary, considering the previously mentioned criteria that determine the purpose of the unit and its plan and program of training.

Within basic training new operators of the unit learn to operate with weaponry that is used in specific unit, its tactical usage through theoretical and shooting classes in different conditions. There is always a significant emphasis on learning the actions of security checks of weapon and main principles of safe weapon handling. Here should be mentioned the so-called selective training, selection, which usually consists of drill and elements of basic training. The drill has a different purpose and latter phases of the selection in fact are activities of the basic training, but candidates or new operators of the unit are evaluated and ranked according to their results, which directly affects the decision of their admission to the unit[2]. Operators also learn to operate with vehicles of the specific unit, special physical training is on going all the time, which involves improving physical fitness and strength, as well as training of self-defence/martial arts. Also, within basic training operators can carry out some elements of the parachute, alpinism and diving training, as well as actions of providing first aid.

Photo: GIGN, Fra (left) | Konstantin Lazarev (right)

Advanced training includes study of more complex activities within tactics of the special operations (for example, executing anti-terrorist actions), performing actions in different terrain and climate conditions and the like.

Specialist training includes specialized courses through which operators specialize in a particular segment of training, such as diving, parachuting or handling explosive devices. Referral to a specialist professional training usually means that an operator has successfully completed previous phases of training, which requires several years of continuous work, and obtained title of the specialist means that in future this operator can share his knowledge to his colleagues as a qualified instructor.

Individual training. is intended for improving combat readiness of an the individual. It should be noted that results of each operator are continuously monitored and are important guides for instructors and chiefs/leaders of groups or teams in planning future training of specific operator. Through individual training operator improves his physical readiness, strengthens character traits such as self-confidence, courage, determination, making himself a better individual and better member of a group or team.

Group training involves activities that are carried out through teamwork and is more important than individual (which mostly depends on the individual`s own initiative and desire), as a group or a team is certainly more reliable at conducting tasks than an individual.

Training can be organized and carried out independently, within specific unit, or in cooperation with other units of similar purposes from the country or abroad. One of the respectability criteria of the specific unit is established cooperation (and its frequency) with foreign units. This kind of a cooperation is largely determined by politics of the national state or political entity, which means that friendly and ally relations between countries are a major precondition for cooperation between their special units. Joined courses and seminars are great opportunities for operators to compare their level of training with colleagues from abroad, as well as to exchange professional experiences.

Many plans and programs of these units involve training in alpinism, parachuting, diving and other trainings. This is because operators must be able to carry out actions in all terrain and climate conditions. Also, successful implementation of these segments of training raise the quality of each operator, because challenges of this kind force them to overcome fear and accept conditions that are not normal to average persons (i.e. water environment, high altitude etc), by which they improve their self-confidence and improve in all aspects of life, not just in the professional sphere. Through this training operators begin to believe they can do more and better that average persons, that human will can be the strongest booster or a largest obstacle, but it depends on the individual`s faith in his abilities.

[1] In the Republic of Serbia, those are, at first place, Police Law and Law of the Serbian Armed Forces.
[2] The results of the operators of the unit, who are steady employed, are also evaluated, usually on annual basis, through regular and sudden checks. If an operator does not meet the criteria at these checks, he can, under certain terms, be removed from the unit and returned to the unit where he worked previously.

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