Members of the PDSS groups are recruited from the marines on a voluntary basis, under the recommendations of the commanders. Recruit should be emotionally counterbalanced, not be afraid of darkness, loneliness, closed space, should well transfer physical loadings, immersing in the large depths and differences of pressure.
After the recruit passes the psychological tests and medical commission, he becomes the cadet. Base preparation (26 weeks) begins further and it consists of 3 stages:
1st stage - 7 weeks (educational day - 15 hours). The cadets run very long distances, swim, and have to beat an obstacle course. Every second day the requirements are increased and training becomes more difficult. The instructors make even more problems, by spilling water, setting fire, blowing up charges near the cadets. During the last week the cadets are exposed to extreme physical and mental strains. The cadets run over 100 kilometers with a complete battle set and swim 10 miles towing a cargo up to 40 kgs. On average, only 1 out of 15-20 cadets passes this stage.
2nd stage - 11 weeks. The Cadets study underwater equipment, mines and other explosives, tactics of small groups both in the water and on the ground, recon, radio communication, cold weapons (knives etc.) and fire-arms (including underwater) training, parachute preparation, mountain climbing, driving of vehicles (ground, water, underwater), hand-to-hand battle on ground and in water (including fatal, traumatic, shock influence). During this preparation stage, a formation of small groups (up to 2, 3, 4 men) starts. The members of these groups study to understand each other from a half-word or half-look.
After the second stage, the cadets have to pass the exam on guarding and defense of coastal objects and ships from the saboteurs of the opponent - the special training programs are carried out, when various battle operations are simulated. Successful cadets, who have passed the examination, are directed to the separate brigades of the marines.
3rd stage - 8 weeks. The Cadets have to improve their skills. Under the recommendations of their instructors, some of the cadets remain in the brigades of marines; others come back to the PDSS groups, where they are trained further. The most capable cadets are offered to continue their training in special recon - sabotage center. This center prepares the members of group "Delfin".
There, cadets jump with a parachute from any heights, at any time of day or night, in any weather, on any district, land on ropes from helicopters, jump from the helicopter to water from height of 5 meters. They study to leave a submarine, to destroy the ships, sluices, dams, bridges and anti-submarine systems at the oceans, to capture air stations, command items and centers of communication, to survive in any climatic zone and in any weather, to make escape from captivities, to use poison, to use all kinds of the domestic and foreign weaponry etc. The hand-to-hand combat skills are developed individually for each employee. In “Delfin", the members of the group specialize on all regions of the world: Latin America, Northern America, Western Europe, South - East Asia, Southern and South - Western Africa, Near East, Mediterranean sea etc.
After finishing the preparation at the center, the cadets are sent in Sevastopol (Black sea, Ukraine). There they study various methods of struggle against sea animals, for example, sharks and dolphins (specially trained for fighting the underwater saboteurs).
Once per year the employees of "Delfin" have to pass the re-training – studies of new equipment, arms, experience of the domestic and foreign battle swimmers. Once per month the employees have the exams in all disciplines.
The group "Delfin" has access to all the weaponry that is required for fulfillment of their missions. Along with the standard Russian and foreign arms, specially designed underwater weapons like automatic device APS – 55 or pistol SPP - 1н, that can shoot underwater and can also be used on land, are available. The group also has a wide range of explosive devices, vacuum ammunition, small (27 kg) and large (70 kg) nuclear charges, means of neutralization of water-acoustic and electronic devices, closed cycle respiratory devices, devices of underwater orientation, super small submarines "Piranha" (6 saboteurs plus equipment), "Siren" torpedoes (2 saboteurs and equipment, torpedo is released from a standard torpedo tube of a submarine), electrical towage devices "Triton" and "Akula" (Shark) and a lot of other equipment.
Instructors of group "Delfin" also prepared the battle swimmers for groups "Alfa" and "Vympel". In 1970-80 underwater saboteurs worked in battle operations in many countries of the world: Angola, Vietnam, Egypt, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Ethiopia etc.
It is known that two underwater saboteurs were lost when mining a cargo ship of USA in the Kamran bay (Vietnam). They were killed by dolphins, which protected a bay. After that the members of group "Delfin" were introduced to anti-dolphin training too. Another known situation – at the coast of Africa the members of the "Delfin" were protecting the Soviet trade court and they noticed 6 unrecognized underwater saboteurs. The commander of the group "Delfin" dropped his knife and gave the order: “Fight without the weapons". The opponents had accepted a call. The fight was severe, and in several minutes the opponents were beaten. In one week it became known, that the opponents were the underwater saboteurs from South Africa Republic.