The Brazilian Navy’s Role in the Confederations Cup

The Brazilian Navy’s Role in the Confederations Cup

By Dialogo
June 04, 2013

The task was to take over the command of a ship suspected of carrying illegal material. The Brazilian Navy Combat Divers Group (GRUMEC) created a scenario comprised of hoods, weaponry, and flybys accompanied by agility and elements of surprise as part of their training for the Confederations Cup, on May 23, in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro.

Seven soldiers from the Approach Team on board the Super Puma airplane infiltrated the ship using a fast rope cable from which they slid down. It demanded caution and boldness from the group to continue on their path to the walkway, where the command is located. With rifles, grenades, pistols, and bullet-proof vests, some soldiers carry almost 66 pounds of equipment. Rapid Action Boats also led another group to the location to support the action.

“During the exercise, our team was ordered to simulate an approach to the ship, which was not responding to our attempts at making contact. Because it was at sea and there is no landing area, the best way for the group to enter was to use this method, or speedboats. The team must take over control of the ship as soon as possible to begin the inspection,” explained Lieutenant Felipe Fonseca Mesquita Spranger, combat diver.

The Boston Marathon attack, on April 15, was a wakeup call for the Brazilian government and population. Besides the Confederations Cup, scheduled to take place between June 15 and June 30, the country will host international events that will gather a large crowd in many cities, and attract global attention, including the World Youth Day in July 2013, the 2014 World Cup, and the 2016 Olympic Games. Therefore, the Brazilian Navy has been preparing to combat possible attacks during the events. The Combat Divers are the only qualified, trained, and equipped individuals to perform such approaches on ships, vessels and oil platforms.

“The Navy has made significant investments in this unit, striving for better preparedness of the troops for these events, during which the divers will be assigned tasks related to threats such as terrorism, bombs, celebrity abduction, and the entry of illicit material through the ports and airports, and for which they have been training daily,” stated Major Cláudio Pereira da Costa, chief of Diver Operations.

Among the investments, the unit has acquired new equipment, including the Combat Diver Propulsion Device, a self-propelled vehicle which allows the divers to have underwater mobility for long distances with no physical effort. The equipment can carry up to two people and a large quantity of explosives. They also have the FROGS and CODE diving equipment for closed circuit, allowing for greater autonomy and discretion, as well as the CRABS, for semi-closed circuit, and used for underwater deactivation of explosive devices.

According to Commander Costa, if needed, they may employ the GRUMEC for recovery and rescue activities focused on counter-terrorist, deactivation of explosive devices, and maritime interdiction operations activities. During the Confederations Cup they will act in Rio de Janeiro and in Salvador, Bahia. Each team has specialists in areas like diving, aerial operations, communications, intelligence, weaponry, vessels and motors, and combat first aid.

Surprise effect with a Super Puma!!!!! Hahahahahahah