There are the boys in blue and then there are the boys in black. We’re talking about Special Operations forces. Poland has GROM (Operational Mobile Reaction Group – the acronym itself means “Thunder”) and Canada is protected by JTF2 (Joint Task Force 2)
According to its website JTF2’s primary role is “counter-terrorism” including surveillance, security advice and close personal protection. JTF2 has served on missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti. And with the G20 Summit happening this week in Toronto you can bet that the boys in black are keeping a watchful eye all around us.
According to the Toronto Star “the soldiers of JTF2 are plotting and preparing for every eventuality. It could be a hijacked airplane or a subway bombing like the one that killed 52 and injured some 700 in London as British Prime Minister Tony Blair hosted the 2005 G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. It could be a dirty bomb made of black-market nuclear, chemical or biological materials that G8 leaders are looking to eliminate, or a conventional bomb made of 1,600 pounds of ammonium nitrate like the one the RCMP feared was being plotted when an unknown man made the suspicious fertilizer purchase earlier this week.”
JTF2’s Polish equivalent and NATO ally is GROM.
Originally trained by Special Forces of the United States and the United Kingdom, the unit is a mixture of Delta Force, SAS, and the Navy SEALs and operates under the official motto “Tobie Ojczyzno!” (For you Homeland !) and the unofficial one “Victory or Death.”
According to the Weekly Standard “…the name actually stems from a special-forces commander, Gromoslaw Czempinski, who, during the first Gulf War, led a Polish unit into Western Iraq to rescue a group of CIA operatives. One of the other men on that secret mission was Slawomir Petelicki–the father of GROM.”
GROM has also been active in Iraq and Afghanistan where perhaps they even rubbed shoulders with Canada’s commandos.
You won’t be seeing them in Toronto but if you plan on travelling to Poland for the 2012 Euro Cup, you just might see them there.