BBE (Bizondere Bijstands Eenheid or Special Backup unit)
The BBE is a part of the Royal Dutch Marine. It has a force of 90 volunteersfrom the Marine Corps. The marines, who volunteer has to complete a 48 week long course, which is much harder than the selection for the Royal Marine. During the course are the marines tested to determine their stability and reactions under stress. The BBE’s main function is as a counter-terrorist unit. They are trained to storm buildings, aircrafts, ships and trains. They are also trained in riot control so that they can be called to assist the police.
In May 1977 13 South Moluccan extremists hijacked the Rotterdam-Groningen passenger train. Their the demanded the creation of independent state of South Moluccan free from the Indonesian rule. To years earlier had their been an attempt to hijack a train, but the affair had ended peacefully after a 13-day siege. But this time the terrorist showed that they meant business, they shot train driver. The BBE was called in, and during the nearly three week long siege, the BBE studied the rutine and faces of the terrorists. At dawn on the 11. June 1977 a pair of F-104 Starfighter Jets made a low-level supersonic pass over the train to distract the terrorist, at the same time BBE marines blew in the train doors, scream at the hostages to get down. Six of the terrorists were killed and the remaining seven were captured. One of the marines were wounded, but two of the 80 hostages were killed.
During the planning phase, it was decided that the most important aspect of the operation would be the creation of a diversion at the moment the assault began. Planners decided that two F-105 Starfighters would approach the train, then kick in their afterburners as they overflew it. Simultaneously, explosive charges placed at the front of the train would be detonated. On the morning of July 11, two teams of BBE commandos (one for assault, the other for covering fire) approached as the planes neared. When the afterburners and the bombs blasted through the early morning air, they achieved not only the desired effect of distracting the terrorists, but also had the unanticipated benefit of causing the hostages to dive for the floor. The BBE operators burst in firing their highly accurate Heckler and Koch MP5 submachine guns. The result, after a two minute firefight: seven hijackers shot, six captured. Two hostages were killed during the battle. Nonetheless, this assault remains a textbook counterterrorist operation.
Stationed: Information wanted
Weapons: H&K MP-5 family, Colt Lawman .357 revolver, Steyr SSG, H&K G3 rifles and FAL rifles.
Picture: BBE marines training on a ship.