In this age of global terrorism, an advanced and highly trained military force is necessary for any country who wants to protect and defend its people from both external and internal threats. Almost every country with an organized army have special units consisting of extremely skilled soldiers, performing specific missions.
Here are ten best special forces in the world based on their combat record, training and technological and logistical advancement.
10. Gruppo di Intervento Speciale GIS (Italy)
GIS is a part of Italian Carabinieri Military Police and it is a counter-terrorism, special operations airborne unit. Known worldwide for its sharp shooters, the Italian State Police created GIS in 1978 and its main purpose was to fight terrorism. It has one hundred soldiers, three three operational sections and one sniper and reconnaissance team. The GIS was mostly given security of VIP personnel and anti-terrorism tasks.
A GIS section can be deployed from the base in just thirty minutes as each section is further divided into a detachment of four men. GIS is also known for having good relations with its British and French counterparts, the SAS and GIGN respectively.
09. Shayetet 13 (Israel)
Sharing the Israeli Army motto “Never Again”, Shayetet 13 is a naval special forces unit and is a part of Israeli Navy. Shayetet 13 specializes in maritime hostage rescues, maritime intelligence gathering, sabotage and counterterrorism. The Shayetet 13 has been active and has operated in almost of Israel’s wars.
It is also one of the most secretive special forces of the world and the details of all their missions and deployments is highly classified. The Shayetet 13 resembles the US Delta Force in many aspects.
08. Special Services Group SSG (Pakistan)
Similar to the British special forces SAS, the Special Services Group is highly trained special operation force and is a part of Pakistan army. It was founded in 1958 and it was designed to be multi-purpose task force.
The SSG is trained for counter terrorism, personnel recovery, reconnaissance, hostage rescue, unconventional warfare, asymmetric warfare and foreign and internal defense. The SSG was deployed in every war Pakistan had, and most recently in the Kargil war.
07. Jednostka Wojskowa GROM, JW GROM (Poland)
JW GROM is one of the five special operations unit of the Polish armed forces, it was founded on July 13, 1990. It is an elite special operations and counter-terrorism unit. Anyone wanting to join this special unit has to go through a series of hard tests including psychological test, durability test, truth test and field test.
It is used for various tasks from infiltration behind enemy lines, counter-terrorism operations and unconventional warfare. The 450 members of the unit are divided into squads of four and it was fully operational in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
06. National Gendarmerie Intervention Group, GIGN (France)
National Gendarmerie Intervention Group is French special operations unit which is part of the French Armed Forces and is specially trained for anti-terrorism and hostage rescue missions. After the Munich massacre in 1972 Olympics, France felt the need for a specialized force to tackle terrorism and as a result GIGN was created in 1973.
It has around four hundred operators which are trained to respond to extremely violent attacks and rescue situations. Observations security and protection are the three special features of the unit.
05. Grenzschutzgruppe 9 der Bundespolizei GSG 9 (Germany)
Established in 1973 as a direct result of the Munich olympics in 1972, GSG 9 is special operations counter-terrorism unit and is a part of the German Federal Police. The german police failed to free the eleven hostages from the terrorist in the summer olympics of 1972.
The GSG 9 is trained for anti-terrorism, hostage rescue, kidnapping and extortion and they have successfully completed 1500 missions from 1972 to 2003.
04. Einsatzkommando Cobra EKO COBRA (Austria)
The third force created in reaction to the 1972 Munich summer olympics, EK COBRA is the main Austrian special operation, counter-terrorism force which was founded in 1978. This special operation force successfully took part in the hostage rescue mission in Graz-Karlau prison and it successfully neutralized hijacking situation while the plane was still in the air.
EKO COBRA is well known for its quick involvement in the war against terror. Otherwise it maintains a really low profile and is mainly engaged in anti-terrorism operations.
03. 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (United States of America)
Otherwise known as Delta Force, the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta was formed in 1997 because of multiple terrorist attacks in the United States. national intervention operations, direct action and counter-terrorism. Tough physical and mental test are needed to be cleared if anyone wants to enter the six month training program that leads to the final selection.
The Delta Force is a multi-purpose task force and has been active in major american campaigns like the first Iraq war, the Afghan War and currently the second Iraq war. The Delta Force has inspired many special forces which are performing their duties in their respective countries.
The Special Air Service was created during the second world war in 1941 and it is a part of the British Army. Many a countries have modeled their special forces according to the SAS.It serves as a counter-terrorism force in peacetime, but at times of war it is deployed as a special operations uint.
The SAS is made up of one regular regiment and two territorial regiments. The world witnessed its quality when in 1980 it attacked the Iranian embassy in London and rescued hostages during the siege of the embassy.
1. United States Navy Seals (United States of America)
One of America’s most famous and competitive special forces the members of U.S navy’s sea, land and air teams are commonly known as seals. They have been deployed in almost every attack that american forces did, and oftenly the U.S navy seals are the first ones to land on the battlefield.
Their duties contain almost all of the maritime intelligence, defence and small unit maritime military operations. As the name suggest, they are trained for combat in any type of environment. One of their recent successes was the finding and then killing of Osama Bin laden in Pakistan.