Special Forces Units

Special operations are forces that fight unconventional battles that ordinary line infantry is incapable of. It requires a special type of warrior, a professional soldier who is intelligent, dedicated, and motivated. Special operators in these teams usually undergo a grueling selection phase followed by intense training. Missions range from patrolling and sabotage behind enemy lines to training foreign forces in soldiering and tactics. In the U.S., there are six primary SOF activities listed.
  1. DA-Direct Action
  2. SR-Strategic Reconnaisance
  3. UW-Unconventional Warfare
  4. FID-Foreign Internal Defense
  5. CA-Civil Affairs
  6. PSYOPS-Psychological Operations

In addition to their obvious military value, Special Forces can provide a psychological one as well. The fear of having such units operating behind their lines can cause many commanders to tie up large numbers of forces in a counter-guerilla type operation instead of fighting at the front and adding their strength to the regular forces. For example, In John Plaster's book SOG, about the US Special Observations Group in Vietnam, the author estimated that as 30,000 people may have been employyed in counter-guerrilla operations along the Ho Chi Minh trail. These people were attempted (and many times succeeded) to track and neutralize small US teams providing critical intelligance data to the US effort there.

U.S. Teams
U.S. Air Force U.S. Army U.S. Navy U.S. Marine Corps
U.S.A.F. SOWs Special Forces SEALs Recon
U.S.A.F. Combat Control Rangers Special Boat Units MEU/SOC
U.S.A.F. Para Rescue 160th S.O.A.R. EOD FAST Companies
Special Operations Weather Teams PsyOps Radio Recon

Israeli Special Forces
Army Units Naval Units Air Force Units
Overview Overview Overview
Sayeret Mat'Kal Shayetet 13 Shaldag
Sayeret Golani Unit 5707
Sayeret Tzanhanim Unit 669

United Kingdom Special Forces
Army Units Naval Units Aviation Units
Special Air Service Special Boat Service 47 Squadron (RAF)
Parachute Regiment Royal Marines Commandos

French Special Forces
Army Units Naval Units Aviation Units
French Foreign Legion 2EME REP (Regiment Etranger Parachutist) Commandoes Marine Combat Search & Rescue Aircraft
Naguers De Combat (Combat Service Action Unit)
11Eme Choc (Inteligence Regiment)

Denmark's Special Forces
Jaegerkorpset Froemandskorpset Patruljekompagniet

Norwegian Special Forces
Army Units Naval Units
Fallskjermjaegerne (Rangers) Marinejaegerne

Swedish Special Forces
Lappland Ranger Regiment (inf) Norrland Dragoon Regiment (cav) Liv Husar Regiment (Rangers)
Airborne Units (cav) Kustjagare (Coastal Artillery) SAFR (Swedish Air Force Rangers)

Netherland's Special Forces
7NL SBS 108th S.O.C.

Colombian Special Forces
Lanceros Fuerzas Especiales

German Special Forces
Army Units Naval Units
Fernspah Kampfschimmerkompanie

Brazilian Special Forces
1º Batalhão de Forças Especiais GRUMEC-Grupo de Mergulhadores de Combate COMANFI- Comandos Anfibios
RECONTER- Comandos de Reconhecimento Terrestre Grupos de Operações Especiais PARASAR (Air Force)

Portuguese Special Forces
Army Units Marine Units
Airborne Brigade DAE (Detachment for Special Actions)

Greek Special Forces
MYK Katadromes