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Who has the best Special Forces ?

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posted on Dec, 4 2004 @ 08:25 PM
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I was also in the Teams and agree with Justice Fighter (although I never had the opportunity to work with them), the Israelis are the best and the Shayetet are the best of the best.

Check them out at the Israeli Spec Ops website--
www.isayeret.com...

That said, I'm going to throw out a ranking based on a fairly simple criteria, the answer to the following question: What Special Operations unit has the best training, the most experience and the ability to respond to the widest variety of scenarios using unconventional tactics?

1) Shayetet 13
2) SBS
3) U.S. NavSpecWar/SEALs
4) UK SAS
5) UK Royal Marines

Notice how I said the BEST training and not the MOST training. Focused training overrides more for more's sake (quality over quanity). The Brazilian Jungle Warfare school's a negative example of this. It's hard and it's long, but to no purpose except to be called the toughest, which also makes it the dumbest.

Also, my question didn't take into account equipment or resources, because ultimately the operator is what matters the most. To whit, Lance Armstrong would be the greatest cyclist the world has ever seen even if he was buck naked on a Big Wheel.

Finally, people have been mentioning the Spetsnaz as one of the best. As a child of the Cold War, we trained to encounter them while I was in the Teams. Certainly their training was brutal, with rumors of them actually killing people as part of their training--prisoners from the Gulags apparently, but they were never known for being particulary adept or smart. I would equate them with the SS Stormtroopers of WW II.

And, especially now with the Russian military in a horrible state of arrears, they are entirely ineffectual. If you doubt my estimate of their efficacy, look at the last two hostage "rescue" attempts in Russia: the school, and prior to that the theater. In each case HUNDREDS of victims perished. Compare this to the SAS's Iran Embassy operation (flawless) and there you have the litmus I used to come up with the assessment.

Fire in the hole!

Mick




posted on Dec, 4 2004 @ 08:59 PM
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to be fair the spetnaz unit there are not really a counter terror unit. thier job is to kill things not hostage rescue.
i mean give spetnaz a target say destroy a bridge, they'd probably do a top notch job. give them a mission say to capture a VIP they'd probably do a good job but mabye not get the hostage, this being said my spetnaz knowledge on thier counter terror/hos rescue is limited.
also if the isreali unit is soo good why is it that they have never tried to kill arafat? it would have killed the head of the snake not the body.



posted on Dec, 4 2004 @ 11:17 PM
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United States Air Force Pararescue, hands down.

They go where the seals can't go, and do what they can't. They are on alert when Air Force 1 & 2 are in the sky, as they are charged for recovery should either go down.



posted on Dec, 4 2004 @ 11:50 PM
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I think that the special operators in all of the leading western nations (like the UK, Aus, and US) are all pretty darn good at what they do. They also cooperate and share training methods and tactical doctrine. The bottom line, I wouldn't want to have to go up against any of these lads because they are all highly trained, highly motivated and highly capable of kicking butt anywhere in the world. I for one am glad they are on our side and I thank them (and the regular forces for that matter) for their sacrafice, dedication to duty and professionalism.



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 12:08 AM
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Originally posted by crisko
United States Air Force Pararescue, hands down.

They go where the seals can't go, and do what they can't. They are on alert when Air Force 1 & 2 are in the sky, as they are charged for recovery should either go down.


The USAF PJ's are among the most highly specialized and generally unknown special operators around, but thier mission is a bit different from (IMHO) the spririt of the original post. Their job is prmarily search and rescue, so their job is to go in after downed air crews either by jumping, walking in or down a cable. They are trainied to fight their way in, provide sophisticated medical care in the field and walk/fight their way out if necessary. However you won't find any USAF PJ's doing undonventional warfare, assaults or other covert (blow stuff up) missions.

Another stealthy special unit is USAF Special Operations, not much is known publicly about this branch of the air force, but they work with other spec ops forces doing stuff like all weather insertions / pickups and close air support (AC-130 Gunship).



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 01:19 AM
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. Compare this to the SAS's Iran Embassy operation (flawless)

Mick



That was everything except Flawless.More luck that the Terrorist were unaware of SAS tactics and abilities.
If the same situation occured next week the outcome wouldn`t be so lucky



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 02:41 AM
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I dont think there is a right or wrong answer to this question. All Special Forces units around the world have their own victories and defeats, and some have more experience than others.

The British SAS probably have the most combat experience out of all the Special Forces around the world from Malaya, Oman, Northern Ireland, the Falklands and the Gulf. Although I know little about Spetsnaz.

The Australian SAS was formed in 1957 but did not become a full regiment until 1964. The SASR was modelled on the British SAS but from combat experience in Vietnam they decided to use a five-man patrol instead of the British four-man patrol. This actually makes them a more efficient unit.

The New Zealand SAS was formed in 1954 to work alongside the British SAS in Malaya.

GSG-9 was formed in 1972 and trained with the British SAS, adopting many of its methods and procedures.

Delta was (apparently) formed in 1977 by Colonel Charles Beckwith, who served with the SAS in the early 60s. Deltas structure, selection and philosophy closely mirrored that of the SAS, but have now been refined.

NOCS (Italian anti-terrorist unit) was formed in 1978 and were initially trained by the SAS.

The SAS has helped train and establish many of the worlds Special Forces or Anti-terrorist units including such countries as Spain, Morocco, Singapore and Bahrain.

Who is the best? I dont know but I respect them all



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 02:59 AM
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It's great to see everyone here being the armchair generals. Anyone here other than me have actual personal experience with any SF soldiers/operations.

I worked with an SAS(Australia) Sniper a few years back when I was in the service.



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 06:39 AM
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Oh yeah, and the french C.R.A.P ( do not laugh, it doesn't mean crap ) aren't so bad.

Heh funny the French GIGN are among the best counter-terrorist units in the world. In fact they go through more training than any other unit, because other than most counter-terrorist units, they train to wound and disable rather than flat out kill. They have seperate units for ground, air and water and have pretty much the strictest entrance conditions in the world.

The only CT unit that I would say is better than the GIGN is the German CT units like GSG. They are not a para-military unit, they are linked to the german police which gives them the additional power to arrest suspects. They also go through very strict training and have helped train some units of the American Seal Teams.



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by Ezekial
It's great to see everyone here being the armchair generals. Anyone here other than me have actual personal experience with any SF soldiers/operations.

I worked with an SAS(Australia) Sniper a few years back when I was in the service.


You sound like a boom mic assistant who got to work on a set with Tom Cruise.

It's not uncommon for them to leave the unit and take up instructor positions, or go on to work in the private security sector.



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 05:19 PM
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devilwasp:


Originally posted by devilwasp
to be fair the spetnaz unit there are not really a counter terror unit. thier job is to kill things not hostage rescue.


Exactly, which doesn't fulfill the last part of my question--


Originally posted by Froggy150
the ability to respond to the widest variety of scenarios using unconventional tactics?


They lack flexibility. A key hallmark of Special Operations. Their mission abilities are too narrow.

As for your question--


Originally posted by devilwasp
also if the isreali unit is soo good why is it that they have never tried to kill arafat?


I think the answer is more political than military (and now conjectural as well).

But if the military had been tasked with "taking out" Arafat, convetional methods, such as smart munitions, would have been the preferred method. Because, while assassinations fall well within the realm of Spec Ops (e.g. during Viet Nam, SEALs entered villages in the night and killed village elders sympathizing with the VC), the target in this case is in an urban environment in a heavily fortified compound and so conventional methods are simply better. The right tool for the job. But you bring up an excellent point: so often Spec Ops are tasked by conventional commanders who simply do not understand how to best use them and so are relegated to jobs that would be better served by conventional troops (heavy infantry is usually what would be better employed).

Now, if the intention was to apprehend Arafat, that would be an appropriate Spec Ops tasking. With heavy support, of course, from conventional forces.

Although in either case, success is hardly guaranteed. Look at the U.S.'s blunder with Castro: the Bay of Pigs. And stuff the CIA was cooking up, like exploding cigars (wait, I've got to wipe my eyes so I can see the screen--I was laughing so hard I started crying; the idea's like the CIA or MI5 meets loony toons cartoons!)

CaptAvatar:


Originally posted by CaptAvatar
I think that the special operators in all of the leading western nations (like the UK, Aus, and US) are all pretty darn good at what they do. They also cooperate and share training methods and tactical doctrine. The bottom line, I wouldn't want to have to go up against any of these lads because they are all highly trained, highly motivated and highly capable of kicking butt anywhere in the world. I for one am glad they are on our side and I thank them (and the regular forces for that matter) for their sacrafice, dedication to duty and professionalism.


I agree.

crisko/CaptAvatar:


Originally posted by CaptAvatar

Originally posted by crisko
United States Air Force Pararescue, hands down.

They go where the seals can't go, and do what they can't. They are on alert when Air Force 1 & 2 are in the sky, as they are charged for recovery should either go down.


The USAF PJ's are among the most highly specialized and generally unknown special operators around, but thier mission is a bit different from (IMHO) the spririt of the original post. Their job is prmarily search and rescue, so their job is to go in after downed air crews either by jumping, walking in or down a cable. They are trainied to fight their way in, provide sophisticated medical care in the field and walk/fight their way out if necessary. However you won't find any USAF PJ's doing undonventional warfare, assaults or other covert (blow stuff up) missions.

Another stealthy special unit is USAF Special Operations, not much is known publicly about this branch of the air force, but they work with other spec ops forces doing stuff like all weather insertions / pickups and close air support (AC-130 Gunship).


Again, I agree with Avatar. I worked with the Air forces CCT (Combat Control Technicians), which is what Avatar seems to be referring to at the end of his/her post, and found them to be very capable, if rather lightly armed, operators. Comms wise, they're VERY good, and since the ability to call in fire support is probably THE major weapon in the Spec Ops arsenal, that's not a bad thing to be good at.

My problem with the PJs is that as a unit they don't really answer all components of my question. As Avatar noted they would never be tasked with direct action missions (ambushes, assassinations, kidnappings, reconnaissance, etc.) unless it was in support of their primary mission (which, for instance, I can't ever see assassinations and kidnappings being required), rescuing downed pilots. So, again, like the devilwasp's Spetsnaz, they simply lack the flexibility I see as one of the most important components of Spec Ops.

Additionally, the only insertion technique they admittedly have on the SEALs is their airborne (HALO/HAHO) abilities, which are simply the best in the world, bar none. They will jump out of anything and train to do so (passenger jets, for instance) and will jump INTO anything (a forest, for instance, which is what every other jumper wants to avoid!).

But SEALs are standard HALO/HAHO qual'd and possess far more aquatic skills than PJs ever will, so I would rate the PJs edge in this one area as marginal.

The PJs' medics are also better than SEAL corpsman (overall--some SEAL corpsman attend SF Medic School in San Antonio, TX (the Special Forces, or Green Berets, have the most top notch medics), the best in the world, or "goatlab"; but it's only some and not all graduate to attain the title of "field surgeon" upon completion as the "rock out" or attrition rate's high even for SEALs).

But, again, that's very mission specific (i.e. a pilot, their intended target in a rescue mission, after punching out or crash-landing, is likely to be injured) and SEAL corpsman undergo enough advanced medical training to support a huge variety of missions in various theaters of operation (including dive medicine, for instance).

weirdo:


Originally posted by weirdo
That was everything except Flawless.More luck that the Terrorist were unaware of SAS tactics and abilities.
If the same situation occured next week the outcome wouldn`t be so lucky


I'm going to have to disagree with you. Surprise and violence of action are the two keys to direct action missions including hostage rescue and ambushes. In the case of the Iranian Embassy, the SAS developed the tactics to achieve both and employed them to that effect. Of course those tactics are dated now, just as the Brits aren't called the redcoats and don't fire muskets anymore, either (tactics which eventually proved ineffectual as well, allowing for the birth of the U.S.
). New tactics need to be continually developed as the enemy grows familiar with the old strategies to keep the element of surprise.

JSaulKane:

I'm not going to include your quote here, because my reply's turning into an epic post, but, while I agree that the SAS have a historied past, and feel they are some of the best operators in the world (they did make my top 5--actually, 3 UK units did, which is telling) in comtemporary terms, the Israeli Shayetet (in one form or another) have been conducting combat operations, for all intents and purposes, CONTINUALLY, since the modern inception of the country on May 14, 1948.

Ezekial:

Perhaps you didn't see my original post. I'm an ex-U.S. Navy frogman (SEAL) and had the pleasure of working with nearly every U.S. Special Operations force (excepting the PJs). I also worked with the Korean Royal Marines as well as various central and south American fuerzas especiales and buseos tacticos (special forces and tactical divers), since that was my team's AO. Additionally, my friends and teammates worked with: UK SAS, SBS and Royal Marines; Aussie SAS, the French Foreign Legion and frogmen (I forget what they're called); Dutch Royal Marines; Norwegian Commandos; and probably more, but this is off the top of my head.

I was involved in deposing Col. Manuel Noriega during Operation Just Cause, Panama, 1989-90. While not much of an operation compared to Desert Storm or the current Iraqi invasion (or even Somalia, perhaps), it still got hot where I and my teammates were at.

So, I think my curriculum vita puts me outside the precincts of "armchair general."

Finally, Johnny Redburn:

I think both those units are excellent at counter-terror, but again, the question I posed as a useful gauge for Special Ops if applied to these units hinders their inclusion in a list because their scope is too parochial. I'm not even sure I would bill either of them as Special Operations units, actually. I think you'd be better off comparing them to the U.S. FBI's HRU team or whatever version Britain has. In other words, police HRUs rather than military Spec Ops.

And an aside: just a pet peeve of mine, so perhaps a bit of a rant (that's a caveat), and not intended to annoy, but "Special Forces" is a misnomer promulgated by the media when applied to the entire world's Spec Ops units. Special Forces actually refers to the U.S. unit colloquially called the Green Berets (when I was in the SEALs we called them the Girl Scouts--they both wear green berets, right? And both are about as tough, eh?
Just a little healthy rivalry
).

Keep your eyes on the horizon, your nose in the wind and watch out for your topknot,

Mick


[edit on 5-12-2004 by Froggy150]

[edit on 5-12-2004 by Froggy150]



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 05:22 PM
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The Green Beanies' shoulder flash says right on it, "Special Forces."

M.

[edit on 5-12-2004 by Froggy150]



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 05:30 PM
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if you have a green lid then your a kick ass guy, if you have a tan beret you are one of the best in the world.
what head gear or unit ID have the SEAL's have?



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 05:39 PM
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Dear devilwasp:

A Trident. It's an eagle clutching a musket and a trident. In gold. It's the largest breast insignia authorized in the U.S. military and commonly called a "Budweiser" by BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training) graduates.

Here's a picture of one--
shop.navyseals.com...

Ciao,

Mick



posted on Dec, 7 2004 @ 08:10 PM
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Originally posted by cargo

Originally posted by Ezekial
It's great to see everyone here being the armchair generals. Anyone here other than me have actual personal experience with any SF soldiers/operations.

I worked with an SAS(Australia) Sniper a few years back when I was in the service.


You sound like a boom mic assistant who got to work on a set with Tom Cruise.

It's not uncommon for them to leave the unit and take up instructor positions, or go on to work in the private security sector.



Oh man, I guess that was an insult but damn it was funny. I could have easily said something that hinted that I was in the SAS without actually saying it to create the image that I was in the SASR. But I was just in the Regular Army when I was working in conjunction with a number of SAS guys in an Armoury.


Originally posted by Froggy150
Ezekial:

Perhaps you didn't see my original post. I'm an ex-U.S. Navy frogman (SEAL) and had the pleasure of working with nearly every U.S. Special Operations force (excepting the PJs). I also worked with the Korean Royal Marines as well as various central and south American fuerzas especiales and buseos tacticos (special forces and tactical divers), since that was my team's AO. Additionally, my friends and teammates worked with: UK SAS, SBS and Royal Marines; Aussie SAS, the French Foreign Legion and frogmen (I forget what they're called); Dutch Royal Marines; Norwegian Commandos; and probably more, but this is off the top of my head.

I was involved in deposing Col. Manuel Noriega during Operation Just Cause, Panama, 1989-90. While not much of an operation compared to Desert Storm or the current Iraqi invasion (or even Somalia, perhaps), it still got hot where I and my teammates were at.

So, I think my curriculum vita puts me outside the precincts of "armchair general."


I do apologize if my statements about armchair generals was offensive to those of you who have also served their country and have actual knowledge of Special Forces units. And yes your CV is quite excellent, far better than mine I can tell you straight out.



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 09:57 PM
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Hey Froggy:

A little off topic, but you and the others may get a kick out of this story:

My bro is a USAF communications specialist who worked with a lot of spec ops people when he was stationed in Panama (he was there during Just Cause). He would "go places and do things" in the jungle. He would be put down in LZ's at night and "these guys would just appear" take him someplace a few days hike so he could "do things" and they provided for his and his crew's safety. LOL, I quoted because that is all he would tell me about what he was doing.

Anyway, the story is this: He got an assignment to help out some SEAL's who were having a problem with their radio gear - They had a joint support agreement. He gets on a helicopter, goes for a 3 or 4 hour flight to some island and lands on a beach. He gets out and one of the SEALs brings him over to his radio setup. The SEAL says "it isn't working". So my bro looks at it, takes the antenna wire and connects it to the back of the unit and says "anything else" and starts laughing his a** off. The SEAL guy starts laughing, says "yea, one more thing" opens a giant cooler of beer, thows him one and says "sit down". If I am remembering this correctly, he said that they just wanted to find out if they would help them out if they needed it. He spent the next 4 hours drinking with them, and said they were a good bunch of guys.

[edit on 10-12-2004 by CaptAvatar]

[edit on 10-12-2004 by CaptAvatar]



posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 03:09 PM
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I'm going to have to disagree with you. Surprise and violence of action are the two keys to direct action missions including hostage rescue and ambushes. In the case of the Iranian Embassy, the SAS developed the tactics to achieve both and employed them to that effect. Of course those tactics are dated now, just as the Brits aren't called the redcoats and don't fire muskets anymore, either (tactics which eventually proved ineffectual as well, allowing for the birth of the U.S.
). New tactics need to be continually developed as the enemy grows familiar with the old strategies to keep the element of surprise.




[edit on 5-12-2004 by Froggy150]

[edit on 5-12-2004 by Froggy150]


The Iran Embassy was unique and provided an insite into HRT in the worst case synario.Multiple hostages spread out in a building designed to prevent access.But the basics were flawed, they weren`t aware of the strength of the Bomb proof glass at the front of the building.At the rear basic abseilling technique was a fcuk up.Charges used at the rear resulted in a serious fire which resulted in casualties.Luck prevented a terrorist from detonating a frag in the area that was used to remove hostages.
This was a successful operation but to say it was flawless would be a mistake.An example of a flawless HRT assualt in extremly difficult situation that could have resulted in large casulalties was the rescue at Mogadishu Airport,Somalia 1977 by the west German GSG-9.Four Terrorist armed with hand granades,explosives and automatic hand guns held 86 passengers and five creww aboard a Boeing 737.After the assualt Only four passengers suffered slight injures one member of GSG-9 suffered minor wounds.
Text book operation that was flawless and has yet to be repeated.They did not recieved the amount of fame the SAS has.



posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 06:54 PM
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It has to be my mom. She can tell you what have been drinking, for how long, with whom (sp?), the time Ive got back from the party (within seconds) ande the colo of my underware on that particular date.....



posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 06:58 PM
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Originally posted by stish
It has to be my mom. She can tell you what have been drinking, for how long, with whom (sp?), the time Ive got back from the party (within seconds) ande the colo of my underware on that particular date.....



Has she informed you of the size of your IQ


D

posted on Dec, 12 2004 @ 03:28 AM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man


The SAS have a great training program, but I'm sorry all you UK guys out there - it's not any better then other top units - or so says a Navy SEAL I am friends with WHO HAS TRAINED WITH SAS.



Yeah, but who wouldn't say that their force is better than another country. Go anywhere in the world and talk to a SF guy and they'll always say that they're better than everybody else. And also, I thinkt hat when soldiers talk to civilians they probably rather keep them in some sense of comfort and make them feel that they're well-protected. Now there's nothing wrong with that and I have no doubt that the US SEALS are great, but getting an opnion from someone who is with a particular group and asking what they think of someone who they have trained is; is like asking a football player who plays for a certain to give an opinion on who he thinks is the better team. His team, or another team that he has trained with. It's too subjective.




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