Underwater Offence (Turkish Armed Forces)

The Underwater Offence (Turkish: Su Altı Taarruz), or SAT, is the Special Operations Forces unit of the Turkish Navy, based in a Naval Base near İzmir, on the Aegean coast of Turkey and Istanbul.

Underwater Offence Group Command
Su Altı Taarruz Komutanlığı (SAT)
Logo of SAT
Country Turkey
AllegianceTurkish Armed Forces
BranchTurkish Navy
TypeSpecial Forces

The missions of the Su Altı Taarruz (SAT) include the acquisition of military intelligence, special reconnaissance, direct action, counter-terrorism and visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) operations. They are trained and organized in a similar way to the U.S. Navy Seals who have close training relationships with them.


The first S.A.T. course was conducted in 1963 in the city of Iskenderun, The original name of the S.A.T. unit was Su Altı Komando (S.A.K.) ("Underwater Commando") and was bound to the Kurtarma ve Sualtı Komutanlığı (K.S.K.), or Rescue and Underwater Command. In 1974 S.A.T. group command became bound to the Turkish Navy's General Command, and participated in the Turkish military landing in Cyprus later that year. They have conducted the beach reconnaissance mission prior to the amphibious landing of the Turkish Armed Forces at Pentamili beach near Kyrnia (20 July 1974). Other publicised operations of S.A.T. commandos are as follows:

  • Counter Narcotics Operation (1993): Oppose boarding and detention of the M/V Lucky-S carrying 11 tons heroin. M/V Lucky-S detained at international waters before ship's crew able to sink her and brought to Turkey for legal action.
  • MV Avrasya hijack (1996): On 16 January 1996, Avrasaya was hijacked at Trabzon, Turkey by six Turkish citizens descended from the Caucasus and two Chechen and one Abkhaz, led by Abkhaz Muhammed Tokcan. There were 45 crew and 120 passengers on board at the time. S.A.T. commandos prepared and deployed on scene for a hostage rescue mission but after the negotiations the hijacking ended without any further operations.
  • Kardak (Imia) Crisis (1996): Undetected infiltration to the disputed island protected by Hellenic Navy. The operational success of S.A.T. commandos had shocked the Greek political and military ranks and later forced Greece to step down and return to status quo antes.
  • Kartepe hijack (2011): A small ferry named Kartepe hijacked by a Kurdish/PKK militant carrying IED with 24 crew and passengers. After the fail of negotiations S.A.T. commandos stormed the ferry and killed the lone hijacker, secured the IED and rescued all the 24 hostages unhurt.


Their main tasks are:[1]

  • Surveillance on enemy structures, facilities, defense systems or strategically relevant buildings.
  • Covert sabotage against naval units and/or enemy structures.
  • Covert landing and infiltration.
  • Reconnaissance on behind-the-beaches being considered for amphibious landing operations.
  • Determining secure landing paths.
  • Direct action during first wave of landing missions.
  • Hostage/POW/downed pilot rescue.
  • Counter-terrorism missions.
  • Close quarters combat.


The training period of the Turkish Naval Special Forces, which lasts 50 weeks, is shorter than that of the OKK. It starts off with an 8-week-long Indoctrination period, followed by two consecutive training phases which Airborne Training, Adv. CQB and Special Ops Training.[1]

Training and Duration:

  • BUD/S: Indoctrination Period – 5 weeks
  • Phase I (Basic conditioning + Hell Week) – 9 weeks
  • Phase II (Diving) – 8 weeks
  • Phase III (Land Warfare) – 9 weeks
  • Post BUD/S:
  • Airborne Training – 3 weeks
  • Special Ops Technical Training – 2 weeks
  • Medical Training – 30 weeks
  • Platoon Training – 18 months[1]


Underwater Offence Command's equipment includes:[2]


Submachine Guns

Assault Rifles

Machine Guns

Sniper Rifles

Rockets & Explosives


  1. "Su Alti Taaruz (SAT)". Shadow Spear. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  2. "Sualtı Taarruz Komutanlığı". Özel Kuvvetler. Retrieved 19 May 2014.

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