Special forces, the name speaks for itself. These are elite units of a country’s defence force that can go beyond the horizon and achieve the impossible like a daily routine job. Every special force in the world has to go through some badass training which sometimes may seem ridiculous to a common man but is essential to mould them into what they are. Here are some of the best special forces from around the world:
1. THE NAVY SEALS
Remember Osama bin Laden? This special force took out the most feared terrorist in the world. They are Battle proven and thus, are a pioneer in special forces. SEAL basically means sea,air,land which shows the diversity to operate in any terrain.
ORIGIN: United States Of America
IN SERVICE SINCE: 1962
DEPLOYMENTS/ MAJOR OPS: Korea,Iraq,Somalia,Afganistan
TRAINING: The navy seal has very hard and long training schedule. Starts with the BUD/S school where the main filtering happens and then seal proceed on to the para course followed by the gruelling 26 weeks SQT( seal qualification training). One becomes a Seal after passing through this. During the training, there is phase called ” HELL WEEK” which is a period of 5 days where one gets to sleep 4 hrs maximum while doing 20hrs of physical routine!
SPECIAL MENTION: The SEAL TEAM 6 is said to be the most elite of the navy SEALS such that their identity and location is unknown.This unit took out Osama bin laden and is under the direct command of the POTUS ( president of the united states).The fallout rate of to become a seal is more than 80%.
2. SPECIAL AIR SERVICE
The SAS, special air service is the special force of the united kingdom.They mainly specialise in hostage rescue, gathering intel,counter-terrorism. The SAS is a unit of the British army and came to fame since the Iranian siege.
ORIGIN: United Kingdom
IN SERVICE SINCE: 1947
DEPLOYMENTS/ MAJOR OPS: Kosovo war, gulf war, Afganistan
TRAINING: The selection is from personals of the British armed forces. The selection involves a hill phase followed by a jungle phase, then survival phase and finally interrogation phase. Only 15-20 % of the whole pass out as SAS in the end.
SPECIAL MENTION: The SAS are put through a unique final phase of selection ie resistance to interrogation which lasts around 36hrs. This involves gruelling interrogation and physical torture. The SAS believes this makes them mentally strong.
Spetsnaz is the collection of Russian special forces. There are various groups to perform different task and are thus, trained to excel in the same field. They take up tasks such as anti-terror ops, intelligence gathering etc.
IN SERVICE FROM : 1957
DEPLOYMENTS/ MAJOR OPS: Soviet-Afgan war,Beirut hostage crisis, Ukraine war, Syrian war
TRAINING: The Spetsnaz has a gruelling training regime where physical abuse is a common thing. They believe that physical abuse makes them mentally tuff to counter any enemy in the most brutal way. The ration is that only 1 out of 3 makes it in the forces
SPECIAL MENTION: Though trained in all aspects the Spetsnaz alpha group is considered to be the elite and take the frontline when it comes to ops. They are the tip of the sword and take on ops like sabotage behind enemy lines, jungle and modern warfare. Any Spetsnaz solider can kill a man in hand to hand combat as they are well versed in the same.
The marine commandos of the Indian Navy are the most elite special force in the country. They are a version of the navy seal which can operate in any terrain and handle any scenario. Trained to take on ops like hostage rescue,sabotaging enemy location, asymmetric warfare reconnaissance, the MARCOS can do it all.
IN SERVICE FROM : 1987
DEPLOYMENTS/MAJOR OPS: CT ops J&K, Anti-piracy Somalia, 26/11 Mumbai
TRAINING: The selection for Marcos are from the personnel of the India navy. The Marcos are trained at INS Abhimanyu, the training is continuous and rigorous. In the first phase, the fallout rate is 50% which goes on to raise up to 90% during the final phase. Only a handful make it through the tough training. The ” DEATH CRAWL” is the pinnacle of the training phase where one has to move in an 800 thigh-high mud with 25kg gear after a 2.5km obstacle course, the final phase also include firing a target 25m away with a buddy standing next to it when you are sleep deprived and exhausted.
SPECIAL MENTION: The Marcos can be deployed in any terrain/scenario from the hostage rescue to the Himalayas, from the jungles to the bay of Bengal, they train everywhere and can operate anywhere, thus are regard as the best in the world. The Marcos are also deployed in counter-terrorism ops in J&K and have earned the term ‘dhadiwali fauj’ for their badass nature.
The german counter-terrorism and special operation unit that was formed post the black September event. This force is highly trained in the hostage situation and infiltration scenarios and is the best in what they do.
IN SERVICE FROM :1972
DEPLOYMENTS/SPECIAL OPS: Lufthansa 181,Mogadishu, KLM hijacking
TRAINING: The selection process involves testing one not only physically but also psychologically. This is done by a series of examinations and interviews. They are put through a 22-week rigours training programme. Counter-terrorism training is given to selected few of the GSG-9 in which they are made to go through mental stress on a constant basis. Only 1 in 5 makes to the final.
SPECIAL MENTION: The GSG-9 is considered as the best in hostage rescue scenario and are a frontline in teaching special forces of the world in the same. The NSG of India sorted its help post the 2008 attack.
6. JW GROM
The polish special force knows as the JW GROM is the elite counter-terrorism force of the country. The history of the force goes back to the world war where they performed some stealth ops behind the enemy lines but were groomed to a special force in the 90’s only.
IN SERVICE FROM : 1990
DEPLOYMENT/MAJOR OPS: Afgan war 2001, Iraq 2003
TRAINING: The Grom initially trained under us navy seals. In addition to the physical training, the are subjected to psychological exhaustion tests to remove weak applicants. The training also includes frogman,sniping,parachuting
SPECIAL MENTION: 75% of Grom are paramedics and thus, the GROM are considered as a very good support unit. They complimented the SEALS in the afghan war and supported in their ops.
7. SHAYETET 13
The maritime special force of Israel, the Shayetet 13 is trained to take up a variety of operations. They are trained in the sea to land incursion, sabotage, maritime intelligence, hostage rescue. They are one of the most active special forces of the world.
IN SERVICE FROM : 1949
DEPLOYMENT/MAJOR OPS: 6-day war, Gaza war, Yom Kippur war
TRAINING: The training of the Shayetet 13 last for almost 20 months which includes series of maritime diving,boarding, counter-terrorism training. Cadets are put through high-risk underwater training and are also subjected to cold water survival.
SPECIAL MENTION: The Shayetet 13 is the best when comes to counter-terrorism in the sea, which shall involve boarding, maritime warfare.Also, all members of the forces are trained in Krav Maga, Hand to Hand combat.
8. EKO COBRA
The special anti-terrorism unit of the Austrian police is highly trained to take on hostage and counter-terrorism ops. The are known around the world for their agility and speed. They are said to be formed since the Munich Olympics incident.
IN SERVICE FROM : 1978
DEPLOYMENTS:/ MAJOR OPS: Graz-Karlau prison, Tupolev Tu-154 incident
TRAINING: The training involves a series of elongated scenarios of hand to hand combat, rappelling, incursion techniques, marksmanship. Apart from this, there is also series of psychological tests that are rigorous enough to tier one out completely.
SPECIAL MENTION: Since most of its ops rely on high-speed reaction and reflexes, the cobras are considered to be the finest around the world and thus have a relatively low strength as the standards are very high.All members of the cobra have to be among few in the world to have a very low reaction time!
9. Special Service Group
The special service group i.e SSG of Pakistan is the special forces of the Pakistan navy.They are considered to be one of the best in Asia next to the MARCOS.The specialise in naval warfare, stealth ops, counter-terrorism.
IN SERVICE FROM: 1956
DEPLOYMENTS/MAJOR OPS : Indo-Pak wars, soviet-afghan war, siachen war
TRAINING: Like all special forces they have a very rigours training that involves air,land,sea in order to increase its degree of operation.One has to earn 3 badges to be SSG namely “SKYDIVER”, “MOUNTAIN WARFARER”, “COMBAT DIVER”. Only 5% make it to the final of all the recruits.
SPECIA MENTION: The SSG is among one of the few forces around the world that can operate in any terrain. Recently a special division of SSG is being made who are put through high altitude warfare courses so as to make them efficient in case of Siachen kind of standoff. This will make the force more lethal as it adds one more terrain to its operational capability.
These are the best special forces around the world and the men who serve in them are truly a class apart from a normal human being.In modern warfare scenarios these special forces of highly trained men will be the tip of the sword and will make the different between any two countries. Do you have it in you to be among the best, to be special?