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Grupul Special de Protecţie şi Intervenţie

Grupul Special de Protecţie şi Intervenţie (Special Group for Protection and Intervention, GSPI) is an organization under the control of the Romanian Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reform. The designated nickname of the unit is Acvila, which is Romanian for "Eagle".

Created in January 2003 to satisfy the needs of Romania and the European Union regarding counter-terrorist operations and internal protection, the plans for the structure of GSPI benefited from the experience of other similar units within the European Union, especially Germany's GSG 9. MAI's counsellor from the German Ministry of Interior, Walter Sperner, former commander of GSG 9, personally helped in the creation and development of GSPI.

GSPI Acvila is composed of 4 anti-terrorist intervention groups, 1 sniper team, 1 CPU (Close Protection Unit), plus additional medical, training and logistics sections. GSPI is said to number around 200 people.

Pre-selection lasts 10-14 days, and selection usually lasts between 30 and 45 days. At the end of these two first trials, only 15% of applicants are validated. After that, a final exam follows, and if the candidate passes, he is now a member of the team. Three to five more years will then be dedicated for him to fully qualify in all the skills needed to become an operational member, during which he is trained in climbing and descending, parachuting, diving, explosives, first aid, instinctive shooting, aggressive car driving, VIP protection, and other disciplines.

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