SPECIAL FORCES UNITS 1 Special Forces Units Brian M. Farrell Everest College SPECIAL FORCES UNITS 2 Special Forces are “military or police units specially trained, equipped, and organized to combat terrorism” (Coombs, 2006, pg. 251).
The Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) “is a battalion-sized high-readiness special operations unit and is capable of conducting and enabling a broad range of missions, including direct action, defense diplomacy, and military assistance, and special reconnaissance” (Special Forces of Canada, N. D. ) CSOR began its recruitment in 2006, with 175 candidates. Its formal initiation took place in August of 2006 with 250 soldiers. These soldiers were trained in rappelling from “helicopters as well as static and free fall parachuting” (Special Forces of Canada, N. D. This unit has been in Afghanistan since 2006 supporting Canadian coalition forces. This group also helps with the training of its international relations. This regiment is highly moveable, expertly trained making them a special operation force that can handle a multitude of conflicts at home and abroad. Special Air Services or SAS, is a corps of the British Army. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF). The UK limits its information about its special forces so there is little “publicly verifiable information” on the SAS (D Squadron 23 SAS (R), Ministry of Defense, N.
D. ). What is known is that SAS Regiment is comprised of 4 operational squadrons designated as A, B, C, and D. Each group has 60 men and a leader, these squadrons are further divided into 4 smaller groups consisting of 15 members each. Each of the 4 members of the group has a special skill in addition to the skills acquired during training. These special skills include such things as signals, demolition, medic, and linguist. The areas these groups focus on are boat troop, air troop, mobility troop and mountain troop.
SPECIAL FORCES UNITS 3 Members of the UK armed forces can apply for Special Forces, but the recruitment usually targets those with air force background. Recruitments are held twice a year. Training selections takes about 5 weeks and usually start out with around 200 candidates. The training is grueling consisting of such things are personal and combat fitness tests. Next is marching cross country increasing their distance each day, ending with what is known as the hill phase which is completing 40 miles with all equipment in 20 hours.
Additionally they must be able to “run 4 miles in 30 minutes, and swim 2 miles in 90 minutes (D Squadron 23 SAS (R), Ministry of Defense, N. D. ). There is also jungle training where candidates are taught various techniques including survival skills. Once this is achieved candidates go on to “battle plans and foreign weapons and take part in combat survival, escape and evasion” (D Squadron 23 SAS (R), Ministry of Defense). Probably the most intense of all the testing is the final test resistance to interrogation which lasts for 36 hours.
By the end of all testing of the 200 candidates there are about 30 who successfully finish. Most candidates drop out after the first several days. United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG) DEVGRU for short was formerly known as SEAL Team Six (ST6) “is one of the United States four secretive counter terrorism and Special Mission Units” (The iron will of Seal Team 6, 2011, May). Like the UK there is very little public information, because DEVGRU is highly classified. The White House and the Department of Defense offers little or no information on its activities.
ST6 was formed after the American hostages at the US Embassy in Iran in 1980 were unable to be rescued. The team came into existence in October of 1980 and an intense effort was made to have it operational within 6 months. ST6 was the Navy’s first counter-terrorism unit. Prior to ST6 existing, SEAL Teams were already training to combat terrorism. “SEAL Team 6 started SPECIAL FORCES UNITS 4 with 75 shooters”.
ST6 had unlimited resources and its funding surpassed the “entire US Marine Corps” (The iron Will of Seal Team 6, 2011, May). In 1987 ST6 was replaced with DEVGRU, the reason is unknown; however ST6 is still used when referring to DEVGRU. During the development of ST6 time was limited so recruits were hand-picked from their existing Navy Record and a personal interview. The main criteria in this recruiting were combat experience, language skills to communicate with the population where they are placed, the ability to “blend in as a civilian during an operation; and finally SEAL skills” (The iron will of Seal Team 6, 2011, May).
The training was intense with emphasis on “shooting skills, range firing, close quarters battle (CQB) and stress shooting in a variety of conditions” (The iron will of Seal Team 6, 2011, May). Information concerning SEAL units is highly classified and little is known about the recruitment and selection process. Among the things that are known is that all applicants come from regular SEAL teams. It would be safe to assume that again like the UK applicants must be in top physical condition, be well respected within the Naval Warfare Community and have completed multiple deployments.
Candidates must be interviewed by a review board to determine if they are suitable. Those who pass this process must attend a six to eight month training course. This course usually starts out with approximately 20 candidates per session, but by the end of the course this number is drastically diminished. During the training candidates are carefully observed to ascertain whether they are “suitable to join individual squadrons, while “unsuccessful candidates are returned to their previous assignments” with no possibility of applying again (The iron will of Seal Team 6,2011,May).
SPECIAL FORCES UNITS 5 References Combs, C. (2011). Terrorism in the twenty-first century (7th ed. ). Boston, MA: Pearson Publishing D Squadron, 23 Special Air Service Regiment (R). Ministry of Defense. Retrieved from: http://www. armyjobs. mod. uk The iron will of Seal Team 6 – CBS News Video, Cbsnews. com. 6 May 2011 Retrieved from: http://www. cbsnews. com