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Special operations are forces that fight unconventional battles that ordinary line infantry is incapable of. It requires a special type of warrior, a professional soldier who is intelligent, dedicated, and motivated. Special operators in these teams usually undergo a grueling selection phase followed by intense training. Missions range from patrolling and sabotage behind enemy lines to training foreign forces in soldiering and tactics. In the U.S., there are six primary SOF activities listed.
  • DA
  • -Direct Action
  • SR
  • -Strategic Reconnaisance
  • UW
  • -Unconventional Warfare
  • FID
  • -Foreign Internal Defense
  • CA
  • -Civil Affairs
  • -Psychological Operations

    In addition to their obvious military value, Special Forces can provide a psychological one as well. The fear of having such units operating behind their lines can cause many commanders to tie up large numbers of forces in a counter-guerilla type operation instead of fighting at the front and adding their strength to the regular forces. For example, In John Plaster's book SOG, about the US Special Observations Group in Vietnam, the author states, "30,000 NVA--as rear security, kept out of battle by 50 SOG Americans who operated in Laos at any given time, a ratio of 600:1 or more than one battalion per Green Beret." These security forces were attempting (and many times succeeded) to track and neutralize small US teams providing critical intelligance data to the US effort there.

    Regaurdless of their military or psychological effect, special forces units require more support than conventional units. Because they are traveling in smaller teams, they require air support to survive if caught by a larger unit they can't break free from. Some missions require expra planning and intelligence, sometimes including fabrication of mock-ups for practice assaults. The higher state of readyness these units posses call for an agressive training regiment that is naturally more expensive than a peace-time infantry battalion.

    U.S. Teams
    Joint Special Operations Command
    Joint Communications Unit
    U.S. Air Force U.S. Army U.S. Navy U.S. Marine Corps

    United Kingdom Special Forces
    Army Units Naval Units Aviation Units
    Special Air Service Special Boat Squadrons HCF (RN)
    5th ABN Pathfinders 47 Squadron
    SF Flight
    148th FOB
    Para Regiment

    Australian Special Forces
    SASR RAAF Airport Defense Force

    South Korean Special Forces
    Army Units Naval Units Marine Units Aviation Units
    707th Teugim-dae 56th Special Warfare Squadron 1st Special Recon Company 259 SOS
    Special Forces Swimmer Delivery Vehicle Unit
    Rangers Small Boat Unit

    Polish Special Forces
    Grom GSP 1st PSK

    French Special Forces
    Commandement des Operations Specialesl
    Army Units Naval Units Aviation Units
    13 RDP Cofusco Combat Search & Rescue Aircraft
    1er RPIMa Commando Hubert
    Groupement Speciale Autonome Commandoes Marine EOS
    11Eme Choc (Inteligence Regiment)
    Naguers De Combat (Combat Service Action Unit)

    Israeli Special Forces
    Now expanded at Isayeret.com

    Colombian Special Forces
    Lanceros Fuerzas Especiales

    Brazilian Special Forces
    1º Batalhão de Forças Especiais GRUMEC-Grupo de Mergulhadores de Combate COMANFI- Comandos Anfibios
    Grupos de Operações Especiais PARASAR (Air Force)

    Denmark's Special Forces
    Jaegerkorpset Froemandskorpset Patruljekompagniet

    German Special Forces
    Army Units Naval Units
    Kommando Spezialkraefte

    Norwegian Special Forces
    Army Units Naval Units
    7th Jægers Marinejaegerne
    Fallskjermjaegerne (Rangers)

    Netherland's Special Forces
    7NL SBS 108th S.O.C.

    Spanish Special Forces
    Spanish Legion UOE EZAPAC

    Swedish Special Forces
    Swedish SF Overview
    Photo Gallery
    Bassak Kustjagare Swedish Air Force Rangers
    Lappland Ranger Regiment (inf) Rojdykare Fallskarmsjagare
    Attack dykarna (Assault Divers) Norrland Dragoon Regiment (cav) Liv Husar Regiment (Rangers)

    S. African Special Forces
    Special Forces Brigade RECCE

    Portuguese Special Forces
    Army Units Marine Units
    LRRPs DAE (Detachment for Special Actions)
    Companhia de Precursores

    Greek Special Forces
    MYK Katadromes ETA

    Thai Special Forces
    Amphibious Recon Btn's RT Navy SEALs

    Italian Special Forces
    9th Para Assault Regiment Comsubin

    Other Nation's Special Forces
    Argentina Belgium Canada Cuba
    EAC Para-commandoes Joint Task Force Two CTE
    Indonesia India Ireland New Zealand
    Kopassus Para CommandosArmy Ranger Wing SASR
    North Korea Pakistan Poland Rhodesia
    Special Forces SSG GSP Selous Scouts
    China Russia/CIS Singapore Turkey
    Maritime Special Forces Spetnatz SOF overview

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