JW Komandosow represents a specialized division within the Polish Special Operations Forces, whose origins can be traced back to 1957. The unit, also known as Jednostka Wojskowa Komandosow or JWK Komandosow in Polish, was initially conceptualized as a reconnaissance company by the Commander of the 6th Pomeranian Airborne Division. Over time, the unit evolved and expanded its capabilities, forming the 26th Reconnaissance Battalion in 1961.
In 1964, the unit was relocated from Krakow to Dziwnow and rebranded as the 1st Assault Battalion. After over two decades, in 1986, the battalion was moved to Lubliniec, where it became the 1st Special Forces Regiment in 1993.
The regiment was bestowed with a unique identifier in 1995, named “COMMANDO.” The unit underwent a further name change in 2011 to become the JW Komandosow (COMMANDO Special Forces Group).
JW Komandosow is dedicated to conducting a wide range of specialized land operations, including those on inland waters. The unit is entrusted with executing tasks of both operational and strategic nature in Poland and overseas.
Over the years, COMMANDO operators have served in various regions worldwide, including Macedonia, Congo, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The unit’s soldiers are renowned for their high proficiency levels, adaptability, and commitment to the success of their missions.
The purpose of this unit is to execute a wide variety of military operations that are integral to special operations. The unit has been developed and trained with the same standards and principles as the renowned British SAS, U.S. Navy SEALs, and U.S. Army Special Forces. These operations can be conducted on land and inland waters during peacetime, crisis, or war. The main types of operations that this unit is trained to undertake are direct action, reconnaissance, and special military support. These operations can be conducted independently or as part of a broader national or Allied campaign.
In Afghanistan, the JW Komandosow operators operated ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) operations. These operations were primarily focused on training and preparing local security forces and assisting with counterterrorism actions. The training and support provided by JW Komandosow operators were instrumental in enabling Afghan operators from special operations police units to reach combat readiness and conduct operations independently.
The operators of JW Komandosow are highly respected by their peers in the field due to their exceptional ability to operate covertly behind enemy lines. Their expert level of skill and experience allows them to navigate challenging environments easily, appearing as if they are almost invisible. Moreover, the JW Komandosow operators are well-known for their friendly and collaborative nature, making them valuable assets in international special operations missions.
Motto and insignia
The Insignia of the Commando Special Forces Group (Jednostka Wojskowa Komandosów or JWK) symbolizes the spirit of the Polish people and the unit’s identity. It embodies the fusion of tradition and modernity characteristic of special forces units. The JWK takes pride in its historical connections to the Polish Home Army, as it is formed from units that participated in wartime operations.
The anchor is a prominent feature in the insignia, representing the three battalions of the Polish Home Army: “Parasol,” “Żośka,” and “Miotła,” whose legacy the JWK continues. The second symbol in the insignia is a dagger, universally recognized as a sign of special forces and featured in the 1st PSK (Polski Sztab Komandosów) emblem.
The emblem’s red color is inspired by the 1st Independent Commando Company’s emblem, whose traditions the JWK carries on. The black dial color was chosen as the official color of the Special Forces in Poland.
Within the JWK, the following non-official mottos are commonly used:
- People are more important than hardware.
- Quality is better than quantity.
The JWK is the successor of several prestigious Polish special formations, including the 1st Independent “Commando” Company, the 62nd Special “Commando” Company in Bolesławiec, the Polish Independent Special Battalion, the Polish Home Army Battalions: “Parasol,” “Żośka,” and “Miota,” and the 1st Assault Battalion in Dziwnów.
The JWK is regarded as one of the former Eastern Bloc’s most respected Special Operations Forces units.