Special Forces from around the world.

MaarKhoor

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GIGN – France

Starting off our list are the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) from France. The GIGN, like many European special-forces, trace their origins back to the hostage massacre at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The French had also experienced a prison mutiny the year before in which hostages had been taken and murdered. The result of these experiences contributed to the creation of a force which today stands at around 400 members. Specializing in anti-terrorist and hostage rescue, the GIGN have seen their share of action. Past operations have included rescuing 30 school children held hostage in Djibouti, capturing war criminals in Bosnia, battling Somali pirates and, of course, the dramatic assault and hostage rescue of passengers aboard Air France flight 8969 in Marseille in 1994.
Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (French)

Official GIGN insignia
Active 1973–present
Country
France
Branch
National Gendarmerie
Type Special operations
Role Counter-terrorism and hostage rescue
Size c. 420 operators
Garrison/HQ Satory, Yvelines France
Nickname(s) GIGN
Motto Sauver des vies au mépris de la sienne
("To save lives without regard to one's own")
Colors Navy blue
Engagements
    • 2015 Île-de-France attacks (2015)
    • Arrest of Bob Denard (1995)
    • Air France Flight 8969 hijacking(1994)
    • Ouvéa cave hostage recovery (1988)
    • Grand Mosque Seizure (1979)
    • Various anti-FLNC operations (1970s–2010s)
Decorations Croix de la Valeur Militaire
Commanders
Notable
commanders

    • Christian Prouteau
    • Paul Barril
    • Philippe Legorjus (fr)
    • Denis Favier (fr)
 

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Operations:
Since its creation, the group has taken part in over 1000 operations, liberated over 500 hostages, arrested over 1000 suspects, and killed 15 terrorists. Until the November 2015 Paris attacks the unit had seen two members killed in action, and seven in training, since its foundation. It has also seen two of its dogs killed in action, and one in training.[4]

Past actions include:
  • The liberation of 30 students from a school bus captured by the FLCS (Front de Libération de la Côte des Somalis, "Somali Coast Liberation Front") in Djibouti in 1976.
  • Planning the liberation of diplomats from the French embassy in San Salvador in 1979 (the hostage-takers surrendered before the assault was conducted).
  • GIGN commandos were instrumental in regaining control during the Grand Mosque Seizure in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in November and December 1979.
  • Arrest of a Corsican terrorist of the National Liberation Front of Corsica in Fesch Hostel in 1980.
  • Liberation of hostages of the Ouvéa cave hostage taking in Ouvea in the New Caledonia in May 1988.
  • Protection of the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville.
  • In December 1994, the liberation of 229 passengers and crew from Air France Flight 8969 in Marseille. On the plane, hijacked by four GIA terrorists who wished to destroy theEiffel Tower, three passengers had been executed during the negotiations with the Algerian government. The mission was widely publicized.
  • Arrest of Bob Denard in 1995 in Comoros.
  • Operations in Bosnia to arrest persons indicted for war crimes.
  • Seizing of 6 Somali pirates and recovery of part of the ransom after making sure Le Ponantluxury yacht hostages were freed in the coast of Puntland in Somalia on the Gulf of Aden. In conjunction with French Commandos Marines (Naval commandos) in April 2008.
  • Key involvement in elimination of terrorists involved in Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris and outlying regions in January 2015.
  • GIGN Forces were deployed to extract remaining hostages in the Bataclan Theater, November 13, 2015, during the terrorist attacks.[citation needed]
  • A group of 50 GIGN Counter Terrorists were deployed to handle an al-Qaeda hostage situation at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali on November 20, 2015, exactly one week after the attacks in Paris, France.
The GIGN was selected by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to teach the special forces of the other member states in hostage-rescue exercises aboard planes.
 

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SSG – Pakistan

In 1956, the Pakistani Army created its own special forces known as the Special Services Group (SSG). This force was modelled on the British SAS and US special-forces and its size remains highly classified. Selection for this force is rigorous and only 1 in 4 recruits end up making it through the nine-month training, airborne school and extensive hand-to-hand combat and physical conditioning elements. The SSG is trained for a variety of environments including mountain, desert, jungle and underwater. During the early Cold War, SSG forces trained and served alongside US special-forces. It is alleged some of these forces served in Afghanistan, fighting alongside the mujahedeen against the Soviets in the 1980s. India alleges that SSG forces have attacked their soldiers on more than one occasion in volatile border regions shared by the two nations. More recently, the SSG has focused on local anti-terrorist operations, taking part in ending the 2009 attacks on the Lahore police academy and rescuing the hostages of another 2009 attack on the Pakistan Military Headquarters.
Special Services Group (SSG)

Special Services Group Insignia
Active 23 March 1956—Present
Country
Pakistan
Allegiance
Pakistan Army
Branch
Pakistan Army
Type Special Operations Forces
Role Special Operations
Size 10 Battalions
Garrison/HQ Tarbela, Pakistan
Nickname(s) SSG Commandos
Maroon Berets
Army SS Group
Black Storks[1]
Motto Mann Janbazam (men of heart)
Colours Identifications Maroon and Sky blue
Anniversaries Pakistan Day: March 23
Engagements Operation Gibraltar
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Soviet war in Afghanistan
Siachen war
Indo-Pakistani War of 1999
Operation Silence
War in North-West Pakistan
United Nations Military missions
War in Afghanistan
Operation Zarb-e-Azb
Commanders
Current Commander Major-General Abid Rafique,
General Officer Commanding
Noteable Commander Lt Gen Haroon Aslam
Operations:
Military operations


    • The SSG was first used in 1965 in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. In an operation codenamed Gibraltar, their aims were continued reconnaissance, sabotage of Indian military facilities and the eventual liberation of Kashmir from Indian control, though the operation was unsuccessful.[16]
    • The SSG lead Operation Clean Wash to eliminate a group of terrorists in Makkah in 1979.[17]
    • In the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 they were once again used, this time to assist regular infantry units and for non-conventional and rescue operations. In the face of the massive political and military onslaught in East Pakistan, the SSG faced Indian forces in the theatre, suffering heavy losses and could do little to turn the tide of war.[18] Pervez Musharraf commanded a company of commandos during the war.
    • SSG troops arrested Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the night of 25 March 1971 during Operation Searchlight. Upon his arrest, they sent a message to Dhaka Cantonmentheadquarters saying, "Big bird in the cage".]][citation needed]
    • The SSG was active in Afghanistan in the 1980s during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Also believed to have fought Soviet special forces in direct combat, SSG fought in local dresses, dressed up as Jihadi conducting covert and direct action missions.
    • Again, when the balance of power shifted, it lead some covert operations against the very Afghan government (Taliban) that Pakistan (along with USA, Saudi Arabia and UAE) had once aided, this time as part of the allied forces in operation Enduring Freedom. The SSG has aided the capture of many senior Al Qaeda leaders, most notably Abu Zubaida and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
    • The SSG has worked with the US CIA's Special Activities Division and has been active inside the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) targeting al-Qaeda operatives for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Predator strikes.[19] These strikes have led to what has been described as highly successful counter-terrorism operations.[20][21]
    • The SSG has also conducted operations on the Siachen Glacier against Indian positions at -30 temperatures on Ice covered Peaks.[citation needed]
    • In addition, some covert operations in United Nations military missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina[citation needed], Somalia[citation needed] and Sierra Leone[citation needed] have also been executed by SSG operators.[citation needed]
    • In Operation Black Thunderstorm, SSG troops abseiled from helicopters into Daggar, a town north-west of Islamabad, killing up to 50 militants.[citation needed]
    • SSG were airdropped during Swat operation where they successfully took over Taliban hideouts at night, suffering some casualties against Killing dozens of Taliban[citation needed].
    • SSG have been used in South Waziristan Operation as well in various missions to take key positions and Peaks in 2009[citation needed].
    • SSG were used extensively in various missions as clearance force in close quarter combat scenarios in Operation Zarb-e-Azb[citation needed]
Counter terrorism operations[edit]


    • In September 1986, Pan Am Flight 73 was hijacked by terrorists while it was refueling in Karachi. As negotiations stalled and the terrorists started to kill passengers, SSG stormed the plane. The SSG killed one hijacker and captured the rest.[citation needed]
    • In February 1994, Afghan hijackers took over a school bus with 74 children and 8 teachers. They drove to the Afghan mission in Islamabad where they released 57 students but kept 16 boys and the teachers. The negotiations led nowhere and it was decided to free the hostages by force. The Pakistani authorities had somehow managed to inform the children of the impending raid.[22] The SSG commandos used a secondary explosion as a distraction and entered the room at the Afghan embassy where the hostages were being held, killing the three hijackers.[citation needed] The operation lasted about 20 seconds.[23]
    • In May 1998, three members of the Baloch terrorists took over a PIA Fokker plane because they were angry at the government for conducting nuclear tests in Balochistan. As negotiations dragged, SSG commandos rushed the plane and apprehended all 3 hijackers. None of the passengers were harmed during the assault.[citation needed]
    • In July 2007, the SSG was the main assault force which re-took the Lal Masjid from extremists. The SSG suffered 11 killed and 33 wounded.[24] On September 13, 2007 a suicide bomber killed at least 20 personnel of the SSG and injured dozens others at the officers mess of the sensitive cantonment area of Tarbela-Ghazi.[25] The blast has reported to been a vendetta attack by the Islamic fundamentalists who were attacked in the Red Masjid siege in July.[26] According to reliable sources a civilian wearing a white cap with a long beard walked with his bicycle towards the SSG mess and blew himself up there.[27]
    • On 30 March 2009, SSG successfully participated in thwarting the 2009 Lahore police academy attacks.[28][29]
    • On 10 October 2009, militants attacked the Pakistan Military Headquarters, taking hostage 42 civil and military officials. SSG commandos rescued 39 hostages and killed 9 militants, capturing one. The militants have been linked to Ilyas Kashmiri being a leading Al Qaeda commander operating alongside Tehrik-e-Taliban. A total of six SSG commandos and three hostages were killed in the operation. As reported by ISPR (Inter Services Public Relations) [2]. The operation was undertaken by SSG's Counter Terrorism Force.[30] Three more SSG commandos, injured during the operation, died in the hospital on October 12.[31]
    • On 16 December 2014, SSG Commandos from the Zarrar Company were tasked with clearing an Army Public School which was raided by seven [32] Tahreek-e-Taliban (TTP) Terrorists in Peshawar. All Terrorists were eliminated and the school was cleared. Around 149 people, mostly Students aged between 12-16 were killed by the Terrorists. The school had a strength of about 1000, and due to SSG timely arrival, they were able to rescue about 840 people. Two SSG commandos were killed and 3 were injured.


Equipment:


The SSG is equipped with an array of modern weaponry which includes, Steyr AUG, M4 Carbine, M16 Carbine, RPA Heavy Sniper Rifle Range Master, AK-47, Anti Tank Grenade Launchers, Rocket Propelled Grenades, SIG 552 LR, HK G3, and Chinese Type-81/56 rifles,Colt and FN P90[38] and HK-MP5Submachine guns (many different variants). Light machine gun in use is Rheinmetall MG3 (locally produced along with HK G3s and MP5s). In sniper or Marksman role, the SSG CT (Counter-Terrorism) teams are equipped with Barrett M82, Finnish Tikka bolt-action rifles, Steyr SSG 69, POF Eye Corner shot gun and HK PSG1 and Dragunov SVDSemi-automatic rifles.Pistols include various Heckler & Koch & Glock models.

 

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Sayeret Matkal – Israel


This Israeli special-forces unit is focused on reconnaissance, anti-terrorism and hostage rescue outside of Israel. Sayeret Matkal was formed in 1957 to fill a void in Israel’s special-forces and is made up of candidates selected for their high physical and intellectual characteristics. Candidates undergo eighteen months of training which includes basic infantry school, parachute school, counter-terrorism training and reconnaissance related training. The force has taken part in many large scale operations since the 1960s. The most famous of these, Operation Entebbe/Thunderbolt, demonstrated the determination and reach of Sayeret Matkal to the world. The operation came to be after several Palestinian and pro-Palestinian terrorists had taken hostages onboard an airliner which was flown to Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Many hostages were released but over 100, mainly Israeli and Jewish hostages, were kept in the airport terminal building. A group of around 100 Israeli commandos, including an assault force of Sayeret Matkal assaulted the position, killing the terrorists and freeing almost all of the hostages.
Sayeret Matkal

Active 1957–present
Country
Israel

Branch
Infantry Corps (Israel)

Type Special operations force
Role Special reconnaissance
Direct action (military), Raid (military)
Hostage rescue
Counter-terrorism
Size Classified (estimated 200)
Nickname(s) The Unit
Motto "Who dares wins"
Engagements War of Attrition
Yom Kippur War
1982 Lebanon War
First Intifada
Second Intifada
2006 Lebanon War
Commanders
Notable
commanders Ehud Barak
Yonatan Netanyahu
Nehemiah Tamari
Uzi Dayan
Moshe Yaalon

Alleged operations[edit]
  • 1968 – Operation Gift – sabotage of 14 Arab airliners in Beirut International Airport, Lebanon.[16]
  • 1969 – Operation Bulmus 6 – assault on fortified Green Island, Egypt (jointly with Shayetet 13).[17]
  • 1972 – Operation Isotope – foiling the hijacking of Sabena Flight 571 in Tel Aviv, Israel (hostages rescue).[5][18]
  • 1972 – Operation Crate 3 – kidnapping 5 Syrian intelligence officers.[5]
  • 1973 – Operation Spring of Youth – killing Black September terrorist leaders in Beirut, Lebanon (jointly with Shayetet 13).[5]
  • 1973 – Yom Kippur War – recapture of Mount Hermon from Syrian commandos (jointly with Golani Brigade); deep interdiction ambushes in Egypt and Syria.[10]
  • 1974 – Ma'alot massacre – school hostages rescue.[7]
  • 1975 – Savoy Operation – hotel hostages rescue.[7]
  • 1976 – Operation Thunderbolt (Operation Jonathan) – hostage rescue following Air France aircraft hijacking to Entebbe, Uganda.[7][19]
  • 1978 – Coastal Road Massacre – bus hostages rescue.[7][18]
  • 1980 – Misgav Am hostage crisis – Kibbutz nursery hostages rescue.[18]
  • 1982 – 1982 Lebanon War – deep reconnaissance ahead of Israeli forces (snipers managed to target Yasser Arafat although they were not allowed to fire)[20]
  • 1984 – Kav 300 affair – bus hostages rescue, see the Shabak's years of crisis.[21]
  • 1988 – Tunis Raid – assassination of Abu Jihad, in Tunis, Tunisia.[22]
  • 1989 – Kidnapping of Sheik Abdul-Karim Obeid, Lebanon (see Ron Arad).[18]
  • 1992 – Operation Bramble Bush – plan to assassinate Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.[23]
  • 1994 – Mustafa Dirani kidnapping, Lebanon (see Ron Arad).[18]
  • 1994 – Nachshon Wachsman – failed hostage rescue.[24]
  • 2006 – Second Lebanon War: Operation Sharp and Smooth – disrupt weapons smuggling (jointly with the Shaldag Unit); other operations to disrupt weapons smuggling (in one of them the force was discovered and Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Moreno was killed and two others were wounded in the ensuing gun battle).[25]
  • 2007 – Collecting soil samples in Syria prior to Operation Orchard, the bombing of an alleged Syrian nuclear reactor.
 

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EKO-Cobra – Austria

As a result of the attack on the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, Austria created the Einsatzkommando Cobra for anti-terrorist operations. The force is made up of 450 men who have served in the Austrian Federal Police Force. Training, like every special-force, involves several months of specialized courses focused on marksmanship, languages, hand-to-hand combat and tactical and assault training. Of course, only those who pass strict psychological and physical testing qualify for the full training. In order to be as diverse as possible, extra specialized training often follows this ‘general’ training and focuses on things like explosives, diving and sniping. While EKO-Cobra hasn’t had any sorts of operations like the Sayeret Matkal, they have ended a hostage taking in Graz-Karlau prison in 1996 and are the only counter-terrorist team to end a hijacking while the plane was in mid-flight. In this instance, in 1996, four Cobra members were on a flight when a hijacker demanded the plane be diverted. Needless to say, the hijacker picked the worst flight to make his move and was subdued by the Cobra members.
EKO Cobra

Patch of EKO Cobra
Active 1978–present
Country Austria
Branch Federal Ministry of the Interior
Type Special Forces
Role Domestic Law Enforcement andCounter-Terrorism
Size 450 operatives
Garrison/HQ Wiener Neustadt, Austria
Nickname(s) As Gendarmerieeinsatzkommando:GEK
As Einsatzkommando Cobra: EKO

Known Operations
The EKO Cobra was involved in a hostage rescue in the Graz-Karlau Prison in 1996 and numerous other operations. Although it has never participated in the same type of hostage rescue operations that the HRT, GIGN, GIS, NSG, ERU, GSG 9 and the SAS have had, the EKO Cobra is the only Counter-Terrorism unit to end a hijacking while the plane was still in the air.[1] On 17 October 1996, four Cobra officers were on board an Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-154 escorting deported prisoners to Lagos when a Nigerian man threatened the cockpit crew with a knife and demanded a diversion to Germany or South Africa. The team overpowered the man and handed him over to the authorities after landing. The officers received a decoration by Russian prime minister Putin.[citation needed]

135 EKO Cobra operatives were involved in the search for Alois Huber, who killed three police officers and one Red Cross EMT on September 17, 2013, in Lower Austria.
 

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Delta Force – USA


The full name of this group is the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta. In addition to counter-terrorism operations, Delta Force can also take part in hostage rescue, raids, reconnaissance and less covert direct action operations. The group was formed in 1977 as a result of an increasing number of high-profile terrorist operations. Since then it has been composed largely of soldiers who have served in US special-forces like the Green Berets or Rangers. To be considered for training, potential candidates must be male, at least 21 years old, score highly on an aptitude test and be between the rank of corporal and master sergeant. A series of grueling physical and mental tests follow with the aim of weeding out the weakest. Allegedly, this testing means less than 1 in 10 make it through to the 6 month-long training course. Delta Force operations remain highly guarded secrets but you can bet they are in the vanguard of any US-led operation.
1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Airborne)

USASOC patch worn by Delta Force
Active November 19, 1977 – present
Country
United States of America
Branch
United States Army
Type Special operations force
Role Special operations
Size Classified[1]
see below
Part of
United States Special Operations Command
Joint Special Operations Command
United States Army Special Operations Command
Garrison/HQ Fort Bragg, North Carolina, U.S.
Nickname(s) Delta Force
Engagements
Operation Eagle Claw (Iran hostage crisis)
Invasion of Grenada
United States invasion of Panama
Persian Gulf War
Somali Civil War
Operation Gothic Serpent


    • Battle of Mogadishu
War in Afghanistan


    • Battle of Tora Bora
Iraq War


    • Operation Red Dawn
    • Objective Medford
    • Rescue of Roy Hallums
Military intervention against ISIL


    • Syrian Theater[2]
    • Iraqi Theater[3]
Commanders
Notable

commanders Charles Alvin Beckwith

Operations conducted by Delta Force
Operation Eagle Claw
Central American operations
Invasion of Grenada
Aeropostal Flight 252
Operation Round Bottle
Operation Heavy Shadow
Panama
Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm
Operation Gothic Serpent
Operation Uphold Democracy
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Rescue of American hostage Roy Hallums
2012 Benghazi Attack
Capture of Abu Anas al-Liby
Release of American POW Bowe Bergdahl
Capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala
2014 northern Syria raid
May 2015 Raid on Deir Ezzor
October 2015 ISIL prison raid

 

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JTF2 – Canada


Created in 1993 and expanded to several hundred members following the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, Canada’s Joint Task Force 2 is an elite counter-terrorism and special operations unit. Composed of military personnel from the Canadian Forces, JTF2 undertakes a range of operations. They have been known to escort VIPs and provide site security at events like the 2010 Winter Olympics. More covertly, they have operated in many world hotspots, whether it be rescuing hostages in Iraq or hunting down Serbian snipers in Bosnia. The force’s time in Afghanistan is largely guarded but it is known they were involved before most ground forces arrived and worked beside other special forces, like the US Navy SEALs. Their operations were so secret that even the Canadian Prime Minister was unaware the force was involved in Afghanistan during the early days.
Joint Task Force 2

Active 1 April 1993 – present
Country
Canada
Type Special Operations Force
Role Special Operations
Counter-terrorism
Size Classified[1]
Part of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
Garrison/HQ Ottawa
Motto Latin: Facta Non Verba (Deeds, Not Words)
Engagements
Operation Assurance – Rwanda
Bosnian War
Kosovo War
2004 Haiti rebellion
Operation Mobile
War in Afghanistan


    • Operation Anaconda
    • Task Force K-Bar
    • JSOC Task Force 11
    • JSOC Task Force 121
    • 2005–2006 Christian Peacemaker hostage crisis
    • Military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Decorations
United States Presidential Unit Citation
Commanders
Current
commander BGen Denis Thompson[2]
Notable
commanders Col Barry MacLeod
LCol Ray Romses[3]
BGen Mike Day[2]
Insignia
Headdress Tan beret

Operations:
Bosnia
JTF2 forces were inserted into Bosnia, operating in two-to-four-man[9] teams hunting for Serbian snipers who were targeting UN forces at the sniper alley.[7] They were scheduled to free approximately 55 hostages in Operation Freedom 55, but the mission was cancelled as the Bosnian Serbs released all the prisoners voluntarily.[7]

Afghanistan: 2001–2012[edit]
Approximately 40 JTF2 assaulters were sent to southern Afghanistan in early December 2001, although the Canadian public was not informed of the deployment, following the American declaration of a War on Terror. However, in Sean M. Maloney's book Enduring the Freedom, it was reported that JTF2 was secretly deployed without Prime MinisterJean Chrétien's permission in early October 2001.[10][11]

Several months later, The Globe and Mail published an image on its front page showing operators in distinctive forest-green Canadian Forces combat uniforms delivering captured prisoners to the Americans. This prompted an outcry in Parliament as MPs were never informed these operations were underway. Vice Admiral Greg Maddison was called before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to address claims that Minister of Defence Art Eggleton had purposely misled the public and the government, even failing to inform the Prime Minister that JTF2 had been operating in Afghanistan.[10]

In 2004, an estimated 40 members of JTF2 serving with Task Force K-Bar were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation by the U.S. government for service in Afghanistan. While serving with Task Force K-Bar, Vice Admiral Robert Harward, a US Navy SEAL, stated that the JTF2 team under his command was his first choice for any direct action.[12] Very little is known on JTF2 operations in Afghanistan, but during a conference the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier, stated that JTF2 is in "high demand" and that they are considered to be "world class". He went on to say that the unit is providing direct support to the Afghan government and is targeting the Taliban leadership in southern Afghanistan. He stated that "trying to help neutralize those leaders is a key part of their role and that's what they will continue to do."[13]

Haiti[edit]
In 1996, JTF2 deployed to Haiti to advise the security forces of President René Préval on methods to repel the revolutionary army, train local SWAT teams and raid weapons smugglers in Port-au-Prince.[7]

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,[14] JTF2 was also in Haiti at the time that Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted from power in 2004. They protected the Canadian embassy and secured the airport.

Iraq 2006[edit]
On 23 March 2006, The Pentagon and the British Foreign Office both commented on the instrumental role JTF2 played in rescuing the British and Canadian Christian Peacemaker Team that were being held hostage in Iraq. Involvement of JTF2 was not confirmed by Canadian officials.[15]

Other actions[edit]
There has been much speculation in the Canadian media on possible JTF2 operational deployments. As of 2001, the unit had 297 members, but by the end of the year, with theWar on Terror becoming a reality, the federal government announced their intentions to increase it to 600 members within four years.

Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden also confirmed that JTF2 would take a role in securing the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Paralympics.[16]

JTF2 has also acted as bodyguards to Canadians travelling abroad, notably accompanying Lieutenant-General Maurice Baril and Raymond Chrétien to Zaire in November 1996.[7] When photographs provided to the media were revealed to show the faces of JTF2 forces, they were redacted and reissued with the faces removed.[7] In 1998, they accompanied General Romeo Dallaire to Tanzania where he was due to testify against a Rwandan Hutu official accused of complicity in the 1994 genocide.[7][17] They similarly accompanied war crimes prosecutor Louise Arbour into Kosovo.[7] In early November 2000, Conservative Defence Critic David Price stated that JTF2 had been deployed to Kosovo, however, this was denied by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and Defence Minister Art Eggleton.[18]

The unit was believed to be operating with the Special Air Service and Special Boat Service in Operation Mobile, the Canadian operation in the 2011 Libyan civil war.[19] As of2014 the unit is believed to be in Iraq as training personnel, under the Canadian Operation Impact which is part of Operation Inherent Resolve.[20][21][22] The Canadian Government has not denied or confirmed JTF2's involvement.[23]

Unit accountability
On 21 December 2006, a Federal Court judge rejected a request to proceed with a court martial against an unnamed JTF2 officer, accused of assaulting and mistreating a subordinate, because court martial requests require that the accused be named. The judge suggested that they explore other avenues to proceed with the court martial.[24]

JTF2 has acknowledged the death of one member. Master Corporal Anthony Klumpenhouwer, 25, died on April 18, 2007, after falling off a communications tower in Kandahar, Afghanistan.[25] In 2010, the investigation into Klumpenhouwer's death was completed, and revealed that he had been knocked unconscious by a surge of electricity of unknown origin.[26]

Equipment
Weapons




    • Colt Canada C7, C8, C8SFW series of rifles
    • FN Herstal P90 personal defence weapon[27][28][29][30]
    • Heckler & Koch MP5A3 submachine guns
    • SIG Sauer P226 pistols[7]
    • Benelli M3 semi-automatic shotguns
 

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Alpha Group – Russia


What about the Spetsnaz? Well, to keep it simple, any list which gives ‘Spetsnaz’ as a distinct force is just plain wrong as that term is a general name for all Soviet/Russian special-forces. Within the Russian special-forces, Alpha Group is as bad as they come. This force started out in the mid-1970s and came to fame during the invasion of Afghanistan during which members of Alpha stormed the Presidential Palace in Kabul, killing everyone in the building. In 1985, a group was dispatched to Beirut to try and rescue four Soviet diplomats. When the diplomats were killed, Alpha Group allegedly hunted down relatives of the hostage takers and returned them to their families in much smaller pieces to send a message to would-be terrorists. It apparently worked for over 20 years. Domestically, Alpha has been involved in most of the major anti-terrorist/hostage operations in Russia such as the Moscow theatre siege of 2002 and the Beslan school siege in 2004. Both events demonstrated the rather heavy handed nature of the Russian special-forces as hundreds of hostages were killed during operations.
 

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Spetsgruppa "A"

"Alpha Group"

Alpha group emblem
Active 28 July 1974 - present
Country
Soviet Union (1974–1991)
Russia (1991–present)

Allegiance Moscow Kremlin
Branch Spetsnaz of the KGB (1974–1991)
Russia:
GUO (1991–1993)
MVD (1993–1995)
FSB (1995–present)
Type Special forces
Role Special operations, counter-terrorism,hostage rescue, assassination
Size Classified (estimated 500 in 1991,[1]250–300 in Russia in 2004[2])
Part of Federal Security Service
Garrison/HQ Moscow (main force)
Khabarovsk, Krasnodar,Yekaterinburg, Grozny (in Russia)
Nickname(s) Alpha Group, Alpha (Alfa)
Engagements Operation Storm-333
Aeroflot Flight 6833 hostage crisis
January Events
Soviet coup d'état attempt
Russia:
Russian constitutional crisis
Budyonnovsk hostage crisis
Kizlyar-Pervomayskoye hostage crisis
First Chechen War
Second Chechen War
Moscow theatre hostage crisis
Beslan school hostage crisis
Insurgency in the North Caucasus
Commanders
Current
commander
Col. Valery Kanakin
Notable
commanders
Gen. Viktor Karpukhin
Gen. Gennady Zaitsev

Navy SEALs – USA


You knew these guys were going to have to show up sometime. The SEALs are an American special-forces group created in 1962 which have achieved near mythical status. This in part is thanks to Operation Neptune Spear – the mission in which SEALs flew into Abbottabad, Pakistan in May, 2011 and killed Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda. The SEALs are elite and the physical and mental strength required to make it in this force is ridiculously high. Training takes over a year and most applicants can’t even get past the physical qualification test which involves a lot of swimming, push-ups, sit-ups and running, all accomplished in a very strict time limit. Get past that and you enter general training. Pass that and you move on to SEAL qualification training which then opens the door to specialized training. All of this ensures that SEAL members are physically and mentally as tough as nails and capable of undertaking the most difficult operations in the world, wherever that may be.
 

MaarKhoor

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United States Navy SEALs


The U.S. Navy's Special Warfare insignia, also known as a "SEAL Trident".
Active January 1, 1962 – present
Country
United States of America
Branch
United States Navy
Type Special operations force
Role
Primary tasks:

  • Direct action
  • Special reconnaissance
  • Counter-terrorism
  • Foreign internal defense
  • Maritime operations
Other roles:

  • Counter-drug operations
  • Hostage rescuing
  • Personnel recovery
  • Hydrographic reconnaissance
  • Underwater demolitions
  • Naval warfare
  • Boat infantry
  • Scuba
Size ~2,500 Active duty[1]
Part of
U.S. Special Operations Command
U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command
Garrison/HQ Naval Amphibious Base Coronado
Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
Nickname(s) Frogmen, The Teams, The Men with Green Faces[2]
Motto "The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday"
"It Pays to be a Winner"
Engagements
  • Vietnam War
  • Multinational Force in Lebanon
  • Operation Urgent Fury
  • Achille Lauro hijacking
  • Operation Earnest Will
  • Operation Prime Chance
  • Operation Just Cause
  • Operation Nifty Package
  • Operation Desert Storm
  • Operation Restore Hope
  • Operation Gothic Serpent
  • Battle of Mogadishu
  • Operation Uphold Democracy
  • Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Operation Red Wings
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • War in North-West Pakistan
  • Angur Ada raid
  • Maersk Alabama hijacking
  • Operation Neptune Spear
  • 2014 hostage rescue operations in Yemen
SAS – Britain


What’s this, a group rated higher than the SEALs? Indeed. The British Special Air Service was created in 1941 as a force which could operate behind German and Italian lines and support resistance movements against the occupation forces. Understandably, the force is made up of British military personnel with the most coming from the airborne forces. Physical requirements are harsh and require a lot of marching with full packa. This culminates in a 40 mile march with a full pack that must be finished in 20 hours. Candidates must also be able to swim two miles in an hour and a half and run four miles in 30 minutes. After this, you get dropped in the jungle to learn survival and navigational skills, after which you endure survival practice. The final test is a 36-hour interrogation session meant to break the candidate’s will. The handful who make it through this get transferred to an operation force for further training. Not convinced this is ‘better’ than the SEALs? It may help you to know that the SAS is also trained by MI5 and MI6 security and intelligence services to undertake counter-espionage operations. It’s like having a SEAL and James Bond all rolled into one.

 

MaarKhoor

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Special Air Service

Special Air Service badge
Active 1941–1945; 1947–present[1][2][3]
Country
United Kingdom
Branch
British Army
Type Special forces
Role Special operations
Counter-terrorism
Reconnaissance
Hostage rescue
Size 21 SAS Regiment
22 SAS Regiment
23 SAS Regiment[nb 1]
Part of 22 SAS: UKSF
21 & 23 SAS:1 ISR Brigade
Garrison/HQ Regimental: Hereford
21: London[4]
22: Credenhill[4]
23: Birmingham[4]
Nickname(s) The Regiment[7]
Motto Who Dares Wins[8]
Colours Pompadour blue[8]
March Quick: Marche des Parachutistes Belges[8]
Slow: Lili Marlene[8]
Engagements World War II
Malayan Emergency
Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
Dhofar Rebellion
Aden Emergency
Northern Irish Troubles
Falklands War
Gulf War
NATO intervention in Bosnia
Kosovo War
Operation Barras
War In Afghanistan
Iraq War
Operation Ellamy
Operation Shader
Operation Freedom's Sentinel
Commanders
Colonel-Commandant
Field Marshal The Lord Guthrie[9]
Notable
commanders
Colonel David Stirling
Lieutenant-Colonel Paddy Mayne
Brigadier Mike Calvert
Major-General Anthony Deane-Drummond
General Peter de la Billière
General Michael Rose
Lieutenant-General Cedric Delves

 

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Special Forces Command - Turkey

The Special Forces Command (Turkish: Özel Kuvvetler Komutanlığı), nicknamed Maroon Berets (Turkish: Bordo Bereliler) because of their distinctive service headgear, are a highly trained elite special operations unit of the Turkish Armed Forcesmade up of volunteer Turkish Army officers after graduating a roughly 4-year training period. The Special Forces Command is not aligned to any of the three Turkish branches of TAF, receiving its orders directly from the General Staff of the Republic of Turkey.[2][3] Its forerunner was the Special Warfare Department (Turkish: Özel Harp Dairesi)

Although the Special Forces Command is considered a division-level formation, this includes non-combatant units and administrative duties personnel as well.

Special Forces Command

Logo of the Special Forces Command
Founded 1992[1]
Country
Turkey
Branch Turkish Armed Forces
Type Special Forces
Garrison/HQ Gölbaşı
Nickname(s) Maroon Berets
Bordo Bereliler
Motto Death is honorable. Fear and failure are not.
Colors Maroon
March İstiklâl Marşı

 

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