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Poll Question: Who do you think was/are the most highly trained special forces units?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
2 [3.70%]
25 [46.30%]
15 [27.78%]
3 [5.56%]
9 [16.67%]
This topic is closed, no new votes accepted

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Galahadlrrp View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Galahadlrrp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Apr-2009 at 08:23
--This thread is kind of mixed up. It uses the term special forces repeatedly, when what is meant is special operations forces. There's a difference; lumping them together is like discussing apples and oranges and calling them both citrus fruits. The omnipresent SEALS and SAS are both special operations units; so are US Army Special Forces. But the mission of Special Forces is different from that of the SEALS and SAS.
--Unless something has changed since I went thru Training Group Special Forces, "The mission of Special Forces is to organize, equip, train and lead indigenous forces in the art of counter-insurgency warfare". IE.....they are specialists in guerilla warfare. Each A Team is set up to organize and run a 500 man battalion.
--That mission is rather different from units who are effectively commandos or super-commandos. It doesn't mean that SF can't perform the missions that Delta Force, or the Brandenburgers, or SAS perform, but such missions aren't their main function. Remember when the Afghanistan War began? Think about those bearded guys riding the horses while leading Afghanis.....they were SF men doing their job. And doing it pretty effectively, too.
--Anyway, you have several levels of SpecOps units, and though most can cross-mission if need be, due to the people involved and their training, most have a particular mission assigned.
--Units like the US Army 75th Ranger Regiment and the Royal Marine Commandos are, well, commandos.....elite light infantry trained for surprise assaults. SAS and Delta Force are elite SpecOps units trained to do all sorts of Sneaky Pete stuff; they're sort of military SWAT teams under the direct control of the national command authority.
--But don't forget that the term Sneaky Pete originated with Special Forces, who did a lot of sneaky ops. Such as running the Mobile Guerilla Force in Cambodia, and the Project Delta recons into Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam, under MACV, and running the highly effective Montagnard counter-guerilla operations in the Vietnamese Central Highlands of II Corps, and the ops with the Nungs of the northern mountains of (as it was then) South Vietnam's I Corps area.
--Then you have guys like the Long Range Surveillance Units (LRSU) whose specialty is deep penetration observation and reconnaisance.
--Oddly enough, both they and the current Rangers evolved out of the Vietnam Long Range Reconnaisance Patrol provisional units, due to the latter's successes in recon, raids and ambushes.
--My old unit, LRRP/1st Bde/101st Airborne, for instance, was organized in September 1965 and disbanded in January 1968; during that period, operating in 6 man teams up to 60-70 klicks from our nearest ground support, we had 5 men KIA--and a confirmed body count of more than 500 armed enemy KIA. We wrote several of the chapters of the book on deep penetration ops.
--First the Lurps became Long Range Patrol units, then they became Ranger Companies, then after the war, the 75th was organized as a TO&E unit. Note how they morphed into commandos from a unit whose primary mission was recon.
--Which is the why of LRSU.....the Army needed to regain the capability it lost when Lurps became commandos.
--But in all cases, despite the different missions, each unit was Special Operations
--Some units get a lot of hype--can you say SEALS and SAS? I knew you could!--but that doesn't mean they are the best. The SF guys who pulled off the Son Tay Raid were every bit as good as any of today's SEALS, though they didn't have as many fancy toys to play with back then. That's not to say that SEALS or SAS types aren't good, either. But claiming they are the ultima sans peur is ridiculous.
--Anyone who has ever been in combat knows that war is like football.....on any given day any given unit can win or lose. Guys in SpecOps units are good or they'd not have gotten in.....but precious few are supermen, guaranteed to win anytime they go into combat, even if they think they will win.
--Luck plays a big part. So does command intelligence. Being superman doesn't do you much good if your CO sends you into a frontal assault against an entrenched position defended by machine guns firing kryptonite bullets--just as the enemy takes position for a practice live fire.
--The SEALS, for instance, lost 4 KIA and 8 WIA (out of 48 men) in a rather disastrous attack on Patilla Field airport during the 1989 invasion of Panama. And they lost to Panamanian National Guardsmen who weren't nearly as well-trained or well-equipped AND who were outnumbered by the SEALS.
--Why? Because of the luck factor. And because of the stupid plan a certain Commodore ordered.
--If you want to say one unit is better than another, go for it. But that's like saying one football team is better than another--yet until you play the entire season, and have matched each team with each other, you have no idea who's the best.
--In this case, most of the teams haven't even scrimmaged with each other, much less played a professional season. Quite a few still haven't played their first game.
--Heck, most of the pro teams weren't even put on the schedule for the thread's season!
--Still, if I had to pick the most highly trained unit, period--and the implication is that the thread means the best-trained, past or present--I'd pick the Vietnam era US Army Special Forces, for their proven track record. Of course, that's purely my opinion, based on knowing them and seeing them in action and seeing the results of their ops.
--As an example of being well-trained, take the Son Tay Raid, where 56 SF volunteers attacked the POW camp at Son Tay, 23 miles west of Hanoi and several hundred miles from their launch point. They didn't rescue any prisoners, because the intel failed to inform them the POWs had been moved. But in a 27 minute raid, at a cost of one WIA, they killed between 150 and 200 NVA and took complete control of the area. If POWs HAD been there, rescued they would have been. And remember.....their primary mission was guerilla/counter-guerilla warfare--not commando ops. Compare that to the SEAL op in Panama.
--If the thread maker means the present, I don't think anyone can effectively answer it. There are a lot of well-trained units around the world. We're back to apples and oranges; which is a matter of personal taste.
--One last comment and I'll end this dissertation. In his 17 April 2007 post, SearchAndDestroy comments that the SEALs "rescued" Jessica Lynch, captured Saddam Hussein and killed Saddam's sons. Shows how little he knows about the matters.
--The "rescue" wasn't much of a rescue, even though it was hyped to the gills--the only opponents were some Iraqi doctors and nurses who had been trying hard to return Pvt Lynch to US custody from the hospital she was in.
--The US forces involved in the Lynch "rescue" were mainly from the 75th Ranger Regiment, while the forces involved in capturing Saddam Hussein were from the Army's 1st Brigade/4th Infantry Division. And the unit involved in killing Saddam's sons was the Army's 101st Airborne Division.
--The dam SEALs have a better press corps than those of the US Marine Corps, Douglas MacArthur and Field Marshal Montgomery combined!

Edited by Galahadlrrp - 08-Apr-2009 at 09:03
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Apr-2009 at 09:03
What about the Irish army rangers? Confused
 
Just because we only 60 special force soldiers doesn't mean we wouldn't show the rest of you's how to do it...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Husaria Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 00:30
No mention of GROM? they may not be the best but i would say they're up there.

Edited by Husaria - 30-May-2009 at 03:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sun Tzu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 03:46
what is GROM??

oh and who are the Brandenburgers??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WolfHound85 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 04:35
Originally posted by Husaria Husaria wrote:

No mention of GROM? they may not be the best but i would say they're up there.


GROM has gained some fame since the Iraq war. But overall the SAS is probably the best and started it all. Most elite forces are modeled after SAS. The Navy SEALS are great however they have a 20% pass rate where as the SAS has a 2% pass rate. The most comprable special forces of the US to the SAS would be Delta Force.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zaitsev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 06:05
Why are the Australian SAS missing from that list?
Straw Man - a weak or sham argument
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 13:31

The "secret" to creating world class special forces is well known and well copied so arguments as to who is "better" cannot be proven. The receipe was developed by the British (SAS) and then copied by everyone.

The basic receipe seems to be....
Mix professional NCOS with an well thought out training program that is very tough physically and academically.  Let the unit develop its own skills and talents. Add quality officers. Maintain the unit over the years so that skills are constantly improved and passed to the next generation. Add alot of money for training, equipment and deployments.  
 
The result is the same, or nearly the same Seals, SAS, Sarayet, DSK, etc etc. 
 
 


Edited by Cryptic - 30-May-2009 at 13:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WolfHound85 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 20:43
Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:

Why are the Australian SAS missing from that list?

The Australian SAS is a great force however they are not original and are copied from the British SAS therefore I think Britain gets credit for the best special forces. However Australian SAS have played vital roles in assisting commonwealth states in conflicts from WW2-Present day. Not to mention non-commonwealth conflicts like the Vietnam War and the Global War on Terror.
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