The history of the 5th Regiment of Special assignment (5. PSU – 5.pluk špeciálneho určenia) is rather short and can be tracked to the establishment of Slovak Republic in the year 1993. In the first 2 years, the regiment was operated as the 3 th company of special forces, but in the year 1995 it was reorganised and renamed to Jozef Gabčík’s (J.Gabčík: Slovak member of the Czechoslovak army relocated during the world war II in Great Britain. He was member of a special group, which was sent in the year 1942 to Czech Republic to assassinate one of the Nazi’s main bosses Reinhard Heydrich) 5th Regiment of Special assignment. Since the year 2002 the regiment became professional unit of the Slovak Army.
The regiment draws from the tradition of czechoslovakian airborn and recon units from the former 22nd airborne brigade (regiment) deployed in Prostejov and from the message of the World War 2 airborne units, what is indicated also by the honorary name of the regiment.
The commander has control over:
- staff (operational team, command support platoon, counter – intelligence group, secret files office,
- 5 detachments of the special reconnaissance (4 detachments of special assignment + 1 detachment of special support)
- training detachment,
- special communication platoon,
- rear-technical group,
- regiment’s bandage station.
The regiment has totally approximately 450 men.
Each of the detachments of the special reconnaissance has 10 men (there are two medics and two officers, snipers, radio-operator, operator, technician and engineer in the group).
The special support regiment has at disposal group of snipers (9 men in group), group of combat divers and group of anti-tank guided missiles.
There are L-410 aircrafts, Mi-17 helicopters and trucks at disposal for the 5th Regiment of Special Assignment‘s transport purposes. There are winter ski-kits available for the regiment. The winter ski-kit consist of white ski-alpinistic skies, white camouflage suit, seal straps, telescopic poles, white hood and special googles with extra hard glass with UV filter.
The main task of the 5th Regiment of Special Assignment is depth and special reconnaissance, including diversion tasks in the enemy‘s rear. There is a wide-range of activities, which are used in recon units. The majority of the activities of the airborne-recon units could be used also in the critical situations caused by terrorism. The 5.PSU can be used also to support civil interests while cooperating with other security forces, specialy in hard accesible terrain. Longtime reconnaissance and information gathering could be good example.
Recruitment and training
Applicants for duty in the 5th PSU must be at least 2 years in duty as profesional soldier of Slovak army. Profesional sportsmen and martial arts experts have advantage when joining the 5th PSU. The 5th PSU uses combat techniques of belgian Commandos upgraded by Muay- Thai elements.
Applicants must succesfully complete the 2 weeks selection process test, which is taking place in the army‘s training facility Lešť. The test includes: psychological tests, interviews, physical tests, cross-country movement with full gear, survival, stress tests, strength and reaction speed tests.
After completing this selection process, the applicants are reasigned to 3-month preparation course, after which they should know the area of specialisation. After completing the course, they pass a special training for particular specialisation and concrete function.
The last part of the preparation training is the so-called “uniting” part, which takes usually 1 – 2 years. Only after that is the soldier fully qualified to become a member of the 5th PSU.
The training itself is not missing climbing, mountain terrain movement and tacticts training. There is a close cooperation with colleagues from Belgium, Norway and Austria. Members of the 5th PSU gain their experience also from missions in Kosovo, Cyprus, Golan Heights, Afghanistan and Iraq. 5th PSU has good experience and cooperation mainly with the belgian Paracommandos and with american 10th group Special Forces. Several members of regiment passed 7-month course for special forces officers. One member of the regiment received an U.S. distinction – the purple heart.
- modernized version of czechoslovak “Samopal vz. 58”
- SMG vz. 61 – Škorpión
- SMG H&K UMP
- pistos vz. 82 – Makarov 9mm (replacement with 9mm Luger)
- sniper rifle SVDN-1 Dragunov
- sniper rifle AW 308 Accuracy
- heavy sniper rifle vz. 96 FALCON kalibru 12,7 mm
- antitank missiles Fagot and Konkurz
- 40mm grenade launcher HK
- 60mm mortar (made by israel)
translated by: PP