Special Anti-Terrorist Unit of the Republic of Montenegro represents one of the most formidable national security elements of the highest tactical level. Organized as an independent operational element of the Police Department, the Montenegrin SAU plans, organizes and conducts the most complex jobs and tasks in order to maintain and improve peace and security of every Montenegro citizen.


A detail from a forensic diving training. : Dragan Božović

An important part of the unit`s every-day activities conducts a specially trained and equipped diving group, established under the Beta Anti-terrorist Team. The ability to carry out actions on and bellow the surface of all water surroundings, as well as on the ground, makes the diving group an important element of the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit, whilst the proven professionalism and devotion of the specialists increase the operability of the entire unit.

According the training curriculum, the basic diving training is organized and conducted after the successful completion of the basic tactical training, along with the shooting training of the rookies. The basic diving training is carried out in Montenegrin territorial waters and, commonly, lasts for seven days. At the moment, the basic diving training is not mandatory for all the Montenegrin SAU operators, but there is an intention to make it so, in the near future, through changes in the current training curriculum. Those of the operators who show affiliation towards this part of the training have to be in excellent health, good swimmers, familiarize with the basics of snorkeling, along with good body coordination and agility being required. Even though specialist medical examination is mandatory for all candidates who apply for the Montenegrin Special Anti-Terrorist Unit vacancy, before being dispatched to the diving course, the young operators go through the thorough examination, and throughout the diving training a medic is present all the time, monitoring their health. Within the basic diving training, theSAU operators learn all the training elements, defined according the CMAS (Fra. Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques) program. CMAS is the first international diving school, established in 1959, enlisting national diving associations. The training starts with theoretical lectures about the basic diving gear, along with the most important rules mandatory to follow through dive planning and dive itself, underwater communication etc. The practical part of training includes snorkeling techniques in shallow water and as operators slowly gain confidence in water surroundings — more complex actions follow. The operators have to master mask clearing and gearing up underwater, body balancing and the like. The most complex, but for the operators most interesting part of the basic training, is diving using autonomous diving apparatus, always carried out in groups, so that operators are able to practice movements in pair and in a group formation.

An integral part of the practical basic diving training for the Montenegrin SAU operators is learning to operate the vessels being used in the unit, along with others in civilian or service use.

With the successful completion of the basic diving training, the Montenegrin SAU operators attain ranks in accordance with the CMAS program, with a multi-year professional development waiting for them in the future and including specialist courses organized and conducted domestically and abroad. According the Montenegrin Special Anti-Terrorist Unit standards, it takes three years of continuous training in order to create a highly trained combat diver.

The advanced training for the SAU divers includes deep dives, cave and submerged vessels dives, dives in strong water currencies, as well as in contaminated waters, night dives and low-temperature dives (up to 3˚ C).

Also, operators master search, controlled detonations or extraction of the unexploded ordnance, while a significant attention is devoted to practice raids on hijacked vessels, especially to hostage crisis in these circumstances. The study of forensic diving involves learning the tactics of approaching to the crime venue, procedures of securing an immediate or wider perimeter of a land near a water surface, marking a searching spot in a water surrounding, searching and securing the items in connection to the committed or attempted crimes and the like. The management of the unit invests great effort to attain funds to organize diving training using nitrox and trimix mixtures. In order to attain a diving specialist rank, the Montenegrin SAU diver needs to complete at least two specialist courses, defined by the advanced training curriculum.

An important part of the advanced training is carried out in cooperation with the domestic units, but the foreign ones as well. The Montenegrin SAU diving group has an excellent cooperation, carried out through experience exchange and joint training, with divers of the Serbian Special Anti-Terrorist Unit, as well as with colleagues from the Czech police units. During 2009, Montenegrin divers successfully completed the training in counter-terrorist actions, organized in Florida, USA. The most significant part of the training related to the practice of tactics during an undetected approach, vessel sweep and seize. The acquired knowledge and experience from this seminar is implemented into the unit`s training curriculum.

The thorough and continuous training of the Montenegrin SAU divers has to train them to a high level to carry out:

-special condition diving
-training and condition diving
-underwater orientation and navigation
-water surroundings search, including the immediate land in order to retrieve and secure items as possible evidence in court
-water search in order to find drowned individuals
-actions in restricted areas
-raid on an occupied vessel, including hostage crisis on the occasion
-professional assistance during the natural disasters


A detail from a condition dive. : Dragan Božović

In practice, the Montenegrin SAU divers have been dispatched to protect VIPs when present in immediate area or on territorial waters of the Montenegro, to search and extract drowned individuals, and in 2021 the Montenegrin specialists have been selflessly providing aid to mitigate the flood hazards that stroke Montenegro. In May 2014, they came to aid their colleagues in Serbia, giving their hearts and resources available to their friends from Serbia.


The Montenegrin SAU diving group achieves its effectiveness in jobs and tasks execution by using reliable gear, purchased from the respectable manufacturers. During dives, divers wear semi-dry Mares diving suits, made of neoprene. Compressed-air tanks with 18 liters in capacity are used, whilst hydrostatic regulators are purchased from Apeks and Mares. Diving computers are exceptionally important for diving, and are being purchased for the needs of the unit from the Aladin company, while high-end diving watches are signed by Mares. Boats Gomorico, with 8 meters in length and with Mercury 130 HP engine, are used for the needs of personnel and gear transport.

As for the armament, diving group operators have systems used in the unit. For the tasks and jobs in this area, semi-auto Glock 17 9 mm handguns are suitable. Trust is often given to the German HK MP5, usually in A3 model, with a telescopic buttstock, being a very compact weapon, suitable for task execution in this area. In the near future, the plan for the SAU diving group arming and gearing up should come to life, including the TM4 assault rifles, chambered in 5.56 mm caliber, manufactured by the national Tara Mojkovac Ltd producer, modeled on the US Colt M4 carbines.

Through the continuous training improvement, operators of the Montenegrin Special Anti-Terrorist Unit are being trained to carry out the most complex tasks within this area, so that their service would have been in the service of humanity and security of the Montenegro citizens.

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