When we started to create a list of the best special forces in the world we used data currently available on the WEB and our on opinion based on the current standards of training, past missions and reputation specific special task force have in the community.
Also, we took under consideration recruit selection and special forces training that each candidate needs to past in order to join specific special forces unit.
10. Kommando Spezialkräfte, Germany
Size (approx.): 1300 personnel
Headquarter: Calw, Baden-Württemberg, Germany (show on map)
From 1973 until the KSK's formation in 1996, the West German (and later German) government assigned all counter-terrorist and special operations activities to the GSG 9, a highly trained police created shortly after the hostage-taking that transpired during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Before 1973, the army's Fernspäher (Long-Distance Reconnaissance), the navy's Kampfschwimmer (Combat Swimmers/"Frogmen"), and (until 1989) the Special Weapons Escort Companies—Sonderwaffenbegleitkompanien were the sole military units like anything that other nations may have seen as dedicated Special Forces units. Following the KSK's activation on April 1, 1997, about one among the Fernspähkompanie are either disbanded or merged into the newly constituted unit.
Like those of all German military units, KSK deployments require authorization from the German Bundestag (Federal Assembly). The unit has engaged in numerous anti-terror campaigns both in Europe and abroad; known engagements include operations inside Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and last in Afghanistan.
During the War in Afghanistan, although nominally under OEF command, the KSK worked under ISAF command since 2005, completing numerous operations within the vicinity of the German deployment in Kabul, including a successful raid on an al-Qaeda safehouse for suicide bombers in October 2006. KSK operators have commented within the German media about the restrictions placed on them by their national caveats and stated a preference for working directly for the Americans as a part of "> a part of OEF-A as that they had done as part of Task Force K-Bar.
As is to be expected with such units, specific operational details like success and casualty rates are considered to be top secret and withheld even from the highest-ranking members of the Bundestag. This practice has elicited some serious concerns, leading to agreement to extend both transparency and accountability, by disclosing mission details to chose members of the Bundestag, in reference to the longer term deployments of KSK forces.
On May 4, 2013 the KSK reported its first casualty. Sergeant first class Daniel Wirth was fatally shot in Baghlan Province - Afghanistan during operation "Maiwand". United States Army forces were a part of the attempted rescue mission. Daniel Wirth was honored by his sister Kathrin Wirth-Torrente during a book titled "Brothers in Bravery". It not only tells her brother's story, but also reflects on 40 additional military members who lost their lives while fighting the worldwide War on Terror within the Greater Middle East. The book was published by the Travis Manion Foundation in September 2017.
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9. Commandos Marine, France
Size (approx.): 721 personnel
Headquarter: Lorient, Saint-Mandrier-sur-Mer, France (show on map)
The Commandos Marine were formed in 1942 during war II within the UK and were modelled on British Commandos (who were founded in 1940). They were formed from Free French volunteers from different services, mainly from Navy Fusiliers Marins (Naval Infantry), other navy specialities and even from the military. They were trained at the Commando Training Centre in Achnacarry, Scotland and joined No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando because the 1st and therefore the 8th Troops. To commemorate this, the beret of the French naval commandos is worn pulled to the proper with the badge worn over the left eye or temple, the other of all other French military units.
The 1st BFMC (Bataillon de Fusiliers Marins Commandos, Commando Naval Riflemen Battalion) took part within the Normandy Landing on D-Day under the command of commissioned naval officer Philippe Kieffer, on Sword, and were for the occasion integrated in No. 4 Commando. They further participated within the Netherlands campaign, still related to No. 4 Commando. When British Commando Units were disbanded at the conclusion of War II, the 2 French Troops (forming the first BFMC) were repatriated to France to alleviate in position the first RFM (1st Naval Infantry Regiment) departing for Indochina. Most of them demobilised or returned to their services (army or other navy specialities) but Commander Philippe Kieffer made the case to the French Ministry of the Navy that a Commando Corps was a capacity required to counter the guerrilla warfare in Indochina. The surviving members of the first BFMC formed the core leadership and therefore the cadres for the Commando Training School to be created in Algeria in 1946 (Siroco Center, Matifou Cape).
Another branch comes from a Naval Reconnaissance Unit created in December 1944, Company NYO, formed from volunteers from different parts of the Navy, mainly Naval Riflemen (Fusiliers Marins) and Naval Artillery. This unit later renamed as Company Merlet (the name of its founder and commandant, Lieutenant (Navy) Jean Merlet), fought in Italy before embarking for Indochina in September 1945. it had been renamed Company Jaubert, then naturally became Commando Jaubert, the primary unit to be constituted as Commando when the French Navy decided to make a Commando Corps in 1946.
Commander Pierre Ponchardier and his Special Air Service Battalion aka SAS-B (also nicknamed Tigers Commandos), created in early 1945, fought in Indochina until 1946 before the battalion was disbanded. Ponchardier was a visionary of recent SOF. Although he wasn't subordinated to a Naval Rifleman chain of command, he ran large-scale operations in conjunction and with the support of Compagnie Merlet/Jaubert and therefore the 1st RFM. His audacity, the innovation of the TTPs and therefore the course of actions he applied in guerrilla warfare and COIN set the spirit and were disseminated to the general Commandos Marine organisation.
By a 19 May 1947 decision, the Ministry of the Navy decision created five "Commando Marine" units, organised and designed because the former British Commandos. The French Navy transformed several Fusiliers Marins companies (Naval Riflemen) already combatting in Indochina (including Company Jaubert) or based aboard French Navy destroyers (to become Commando Trepel and Commando de Penfentenyo) and gradually renewed their personnel with commando-qualified recruits after the Siroco Center (commando course) was commissioned. Commando François and Commando Hubert were formed from scratch. Although Commando Jaubert was already trained for parachute and airborne operations, Commando Hubert became the official paratrooper commando unit for the French Navy. For this reason, they integrated by preference and priority former Ponchardier SAS-B members, who were already jump qualified.
Each Commando Marine bears the name of a politician killed in action during the planet War II or during the Indochina campaign:
Captain Charles Trepel was a military officer (artillery), Free French Forces; commandant of the 8th Troop (French), No. 10 Commando (Inter-allied). MIA/KIA 28 February 1944 during an evening reconnaissance raid in Wassenaar, Netherlands .
Lieutenant Augustin Hubert was a military officer (infantry), Free French Forces; platoon leader within the K-Gun Troop (French) operating in support of Troop 1 and eight (French) integrated for D-Day to the No. 4 Commando. He was killed 6 June 1944, within the first hour of combat, when the French Troops were maneuvering to seize the Casino of Ouistreham near Sword.
Commander François Jaubert was a Naval Rifleman officer, commanding the Riverine Flotilla in Indochina, severely wounded during a joint operation with Compagnie Merlet, Ponchardier SAS-B and therefore the 1st RFM and his Flotilla. He died of his wounds 25 January 1946.
Lieutenant (junior grade) Alain de Penfentenyo was a Navy officer, commandant of an LCVP platoon, killed in action during a riverine raid on the Donai river, 14 February 1946 (Indochina).
Lieutenant (junior grade) Louis de Montfort was a corporation Merlet platoon commander. After his commander was wounded and evacuated de Montfort took command and was killed leading the corporate in Haiphong, 26 November 1946 (Indochina).
Lieutenant Jacques François was a Navy officer, commanding the first Amphibious Flotilla North. He was killed leading his unit, 6 January 1947 on the Nam-Dinh-Giang river (Indochina).
Commando François suffered dramatic losses on 29 May 1951 when it faced the attack of the 308th Vietminh division in Ninh Bình (Indochina). Only 29 survived, five were taken prisoner for months, 40 were killed and nine were declared missing in action. Their sacrifice disrupted the surprise effect and unveiled General Giap's plans for the battle of Day. It gave French General de Lattre time to organise his counterattack. This commando unit was disbanded in May 1953.
Commando Hubert officially became a combat swimmer unit on 30 March 1953. it had been a joint unit composed of Navy and military (SDEC, secret service) combat swimmers. the military branch later separated to determine their base in Aspretto, Corsica (France) and today in Quélern, Brittany (France).
Commando Kieffer was created 6 June 2008 in Ouistreham during the D-Day commemoration ceremony.
In May of 2019, four hostages were free of terrorists during an operation in Burkina Faso . French commandos took down the situation in Burkina Faso which was considered a terrorist camp. Two operatives from "Hubert" Underwater Operations Commando were killed within the operation which happened within the early morning hours of Friday morning.
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8. Fuerza de Guerra Naval Especial, Spain
Size (approx.): 500 personnel
Headquarter: La Algameca Naval Station, Cartagena (Murcia), Spain (show on map)
The Special Naval Warfare Force (FGNE) (Spanish: Fuerza de Guerra Naval Especial) is that the Special Forces unit of the Spanish Navy. It had been created on June 10, 2009, because the merge of various Special Forces units of the Spanish Navy: the Special Combat Divers Unit (UEBC), the Special Explosive Defusers Unit (UEDE) from the Navy Diving Center, and therefore the Special Operations Unit (UOE) from the Spanish Navy Marines.
The Fuerza de Guerra Naval Especial are often compared in deployment and operability with the us Navy SEALs, the Shayetet 13 from Israel, the Special Boat Service from the uk and other amphibious warfare Special Forces units.
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7. Shayetet 13, Israel
Size (approx.): 300 personnel
Headquarter: Atlit naval base, Israel (show on map)
Shayetet 13 (Hebrew: שייטת 13, lit. Flotilla 13) may be a unit of the Israeli Navy and one among the first sayeret (reconnaissance) units of the Israel Defense Forces. Shayetet 13 focuses on sea-to-land incursions, counter-terrorism, sabotage, maritime intelligence gathering, maritime hostage rescue, and boarding. The unit is trained for sea, air and land actions. The unit has taken part in most of Israel's major wars, also as other actions.
The unit is one among the foremost secretive within the Israeli military. the small print of the many missions and identities of active operatives are kept highly classified. The unit is respected as among the simplest of the world's Special Forces, and is compared to the United States Navy SEALs and Britain's Special Boat Service. Unlike many other Israeli Special Forces Units which take men just for their 36-month mandatory service, volunteers for Shayetet 13 must comply with service a minimum of four and a half years (18 months over and above the traditional commitment). Unit's Motto: "As the bat emerges from the darkness, because the blade cuts through with silence, because the grenade smashs in rage." additionally the unit also mentioned as "people of Silence".
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6. Snow Leopard Commando Unit, China
The ounce Commando Unit (Simplified Chinese: 雪豹突击队), formerly referred to as the Snow Wolf Commando Unit (Abbreviation: SWCU; Simplified Chinese: 雪狼突击队), may be a police tactical unit of the People's Republic of China under the People's Armed Police, tasked with counter-terrorism, riot control operations , and other special tasks like anti-hijacking and bomb disposal. The SLCU, along side Beijing Municipal peace Bureau's SWAT unit, was tasked with many of the safety responsibilities of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Officially, the SLCU is understood because the 3rd Group, 13th Detachment, People's Armed Police Beijing General Corps.
The former Snow Wolf name was bestowed on the unit due to the known tenacity of Arctic wolves and their ability to both survive and thrive in extremely harsh conditions.
After its secret establishment in October 2002, the Snow Wolf Commando Unit (SWCU) trained out of the general public eye for five years. The SWCU and therefore the Beijing SWAT unit were unveiled during a demonstration at the Beijing academy on 27 April 2006 as a part of a PR effort for instance the capabilities of the People's Armed Police to affect terrorism, the protection of delegates, and to enforce law and order within the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The SWCU had participated in anti-terrorist exercises with Russia on 4 September 2007 referred to as "Cooperation-2007." SWCU operators are deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq to guard Chinese diplomatic personnel.
The unit underwent a reputation change and have become officially referred to as the Snow Wolf Commando Unit'. Consistent with Qu Liangfeng, a senior PAP officer responsible of the daily operations of SWCU, the name change was "inspired by the story of a brave and cunning snow wolf, which escaped an ambush by a hunter and his eight hunting dogs."
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5. JW GROM, Poland
Size (approx.): classified
Headquarter: Warsaw HQ, Gdańsk; Poland (show on map)
GROM, which stands for Grupa Reagowania Operacyjno-Manewrowego (English: Group (for) Operational Maneuvering Response), which also means "thunder", is one among the five special operation forces units of the Polish soldiers . it had been officially activated on July 13, 1990. It's deployed during a sort of special operations and unconventional warfare roles, including anti-terrorist operations and projection of force behind enemy lines.
The unit was named after the Silent Unseen (Polish: Cichociemni Spadochroniarze Armii Krajowej) – Poland's elite war II special-operations unit.
In the 1970s and 1980s, there have been several formations of Special Forces units within Poland, but these were either trained in purely military tasks (sabotage, disruption of communications and such) or in purely counter-terrorist roles. After the Polish embassy in Bern was appropriated by a gaggle of 4 Polish emigrants calling themselves Polish Revolutionary Home Army in 1982, General Edwin Rozłubirski proposed that a clandestine military force be established to counter the threat from terrorism and other unconventional threats. This proposal, however, was initially rejected by the People's Army of Poland.
In 1989, many Jews were allowed to emigrate from the Soviet Union to Israel. Poland was one among the few countries that provided aid within the sort of organization for the operation, later dubbed Operation Bridge (Operacja Most). After two Polish diplomats were shot in Beirut, Lt. Col. Sławomir Petelicki was sent to Lebanon to secure the transfer of civilians and therefore the Polish diplomatic outposts.
Upon his return to Poland, he presented his plan for the creation of a special military force to the Ministry of Interior, a force that might be trained in special operations to be deployed within the defense of Polish citizens in situations almost like the one in Lebanon. Petelicki's ideas were well received, and on June 13, 1990, GROM was formally established as JW 2305.
Sławomir Petelicki was chosen because the first commander of the newly formed unit. As a Polish secret agent from Służba Bezpieczeństwa specializing in sabotage and subversion, he seemed perfectly suited to oversee the unit's initial formation. He gathered around himself a gaggle of like-minded and professional soldiers, functionaries and set about choosing soldiers that might be fit special operations. thanks to the high risks involved in special service, it had been decided that each one men should be from professional service. the primary batch of recruits all came from a spread of already-existing special units within the Polish soldiers . Among these were:
1 Batalion Szturmowy from Lubliniec (then referred to as 1 Pulk Specjalny Komandosów and now referred to as JW Komandosów)
48, 56 and 62 Kompania Specjalna
6 Brygada Desantowo-Szturmowa
Polish Navy divers
Anti-terrorist units of the Policja
Mechanised Warfare Officer School in Wrocław
Reconnaissance units of PAF
Out of the possible recruits, only alittle group passed the training. Many of those initial instructors were trained by the Special Forces of the us and therefore the uk . Currently, Jednostka Wojskowa GROM is co-operating with similar units of other NATO countries.
During its formative first few years, JW 2305 remained completely secret and hidden from the general public . it had been first reported to the press in 1992 and have become known to the general public in 1994, after their first major operation in Haiti.
Before October 1, 1999, JW 2305 was subordinate to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, after which era command was transferred to the Minister of National Defence, until 2007. Since 2007 JW GROM is under the command of Dowódca Wojsk Specjalnych (Commander of Polish Special Forces).
War on Terror
For the 2003 invasion of Iraq, GROM formed the a part of the core of the Naval Special Operations Task Group, along side United States Navy SEALs, British Royal Marines and attached US Psy Ops and civil affairs teams. On March 20, 2003, US Marines from 1st F.A.S.T. Company and GROM operators assaulted the KAAOT Oil Terminals, whilst US Marines from 1st F.A.S.T. Company and United States Navy SEALs from SEAL Team 8 and 10 seized the MABOT oil terminal, both terminals were seized with no casualties and explosives which were found on the terminals were made safe by GROM and SEAL operators. A mixed team of 35 GROM operators and 20 United States Navy SEALs from SEAL Team 5 seized the Mukatayin hydroelectric dam, 57 miles northeast of Baghdad. Iraqi troops guarding the dam surrendered without a fight, there have been no casualties to the team (with the exception of 1 GROM soldier, who broke an ankle during the insertion from a US Air Force MH-53J Pave Low helicopter. SEAL and GROM units continued to cooperate throughout the remainder of the invasion phase, with raids and anti-sniper missions in Baghdad.
Following the invasion, GROM operators formed the core of Task Unit Thunder, as a component of CJSOTF-AP (Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula), providing a Tier-1 counterterrorism unit for the task force. along side Task Unit Raider (consisting of Det One operators), both units became the task force's primary protest assets, operating in conjunction on multiple occasions.
A GROM sniper aided Det One's in its first "real" mission - an in depth target reconnaissance operation - during which the sniper apprehended the target, (a suspected insurgent sniper). GROM's early success in Iraq made it a valuable contributor to CJSOTF-AP. In September 2004, United States Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle was temporarily assigned to GROM's Combat Team B in Baghdad for every week . The CIA reportedly found GROM snipers useful thanks to their low rules of engagement threshold. In 2007, United States Army Special Forces , Polish GROM conducted Operation Jackal against insurgents in Diwaniyah.
In 2007, GROM and JW Komandosów were deployed to Kandahar (after earlier successful tours of Iraq operating alongside United States Navy SEALs) under direct US Command. They weren't restricted by any national caveats-the only restriction placed on them was regarding cross-border operations into Pakistan. along side protest successes, they were considered very effective in training and mentoring Afghan National Police units.
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4. Delta Force, US
Headquarter: Fort Bragg, North Carolina, US (show on map)
The 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (SFOD-D), commonly mentioned as Delta Force, Combat Applications Group (CAG), "The Unit", Army Compartmented Element (ACE), or within JSOC as Task Force Green, is an elite special operations force of the us Army, under operational control of the Joint Special Operations Command. The unit is tasked with specialized missions primarily involving counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, protest , and special reconnaissance, often against high-value targets. Delta Force and its Navy and Air Force counterparts, DEVGRU and 24th Special Tactics Squadron, are the U.S. military's primary Tier 1 special mission units tasked with performing the foremost complex, classified, and dangerous missions directed by the National Command Authority.
Most Delta Force operators are selected from the us Army Special Operations Command's elite Special Forces Groups and therefore the 75th Ranger Regiment, also as from other special operations units.
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3. British SAS, UK
Size (approx.): 360 personnel
Headquarter: Stirling Lines, Hereford, UK (show on map)
The Special Air Service (SAS) may be a Special Forces unit of British Army. The SAS was founded in 1941 as a regiment, and later reconstituted as a corps in 1950. The unit undertakes variety of roles including covert reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, protest and hostage rescue. Much of the knowledge and actions regarding the SAS is very classified, and isn't commented on by British government or the Ministry of Defence thanks to the sensitivity of their operations.
The corps currently consists of the 22nd Special Air Service Regiment, the regular component under operational command of uk Special Forces , also because the 21st (Artists) Special Air Service Regiment (Reserve) and therefore the 23rd Special Air Service Regiment (Reserve), which are reserve units under operational command of the first Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade.
The Special Air Service traces its origins to 1941 and therefore the Second war . it had been reformed as a part of the Territorial Army in 1947, named the 21st Special Air Service Regiment (Artists Rifles). The 22nd Special Air Service Regiment, which is a component of the army , gained fame and recognition worldwide after its televised rescue of about two of the hostages held during the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege.
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2. Spetsnaz, Russia
Headquarter: Kubinka-2, Moscow region, Russia (show on map)
The Special Operations Forces of the soldiers of the Russia or simply SOF (Russian: Силы специальных операций; ССО, tr. Sily spetsial’nykh operatsii; SSO) are strategic-level Special Forces under the Special Operations Forces Command (Russian: командование сил специальных операций; KCCO, tr. Komandovanie sil spetsial’nalnykh operatsii; KSSO, or KSO) of the overall Staff of the soldiers of the Russia . it's also a structural and independent unit of the soldiers .
The first units of what would become the Special Operations Forces were transferred from the GRU in 2009 as a part of the continuing 2008 Russian military reform. The Special Operations Forces Command was found out in 2012 and announced in March 2013 by the Chief of the overall Staff Valery Gerasimov. Consistent with Gerasimov, the SOF was designed as a strategic-level asset, elite special operations force units of the KSSO whose primary missions would be foreign interventions including sabotage, anti-terrorism actions, foreign internal defense operations and undertaking the foremost complex and classified special operations assigned to them.
The KSSO is analogous in structure to the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and SOF operatives are modelled after the U.S. Delta Force and Navy SEALs. The Special Operations Forces Command reached full operational capability in late 2013.
SOF doesn't belong to any branch of the Russian soldiers and are distinct from the Special Forces of the most Directorate of the overall Staff of the Russian soldiers that until 2010 were under the most Intelligence Directorate (GRU) and whose subsequent subordination was left unclear until 2013 where the choice was reversed and Spetsnaz GRU units were reassigned to GRU divisions and placed under GRU authority again. Russia's SOF are manned exclusively by professional personnel hired on contract, of which all are full-time servicemen consisting of commissioned officers and regular soldiers.
In February 2015, Russian President Putin decreed that 27 February be the Day of the SOF to mark, consistent with Russia's official journalism (albeit not acknowledged formally), the establishment of Russian control over the building of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Simferopol, Ukraine, exactly one year prior on 27 February 2014.
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1. Navy SEALs, US
Headquarter: Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, US (show on map)
The us Navy Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) Teams, commonly referred to as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's primary special operations force and a component of the Naval Special Warfare Command. Among the SEALs' main functions are conducting small-unit special operation missions in maritime, jungle, urban, arctic, mountainous, and desert environments. SEALs are primarily tasked with capturing or if necessary, eliminating high level targets, or gathering intelligence behind enemy lines for future military actions.
As of 2020, all active SEALs are male and members of the U.S. Navy. The CIA's highly secretive and elite Special Operations Group (SOG) recruits operators from SEAL Teams, with joint operations going back to the MACV-SOG during the Vietnam War. This cooperation still exists today, as evidenced by military operations in Iraq, and Afghanistan.
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