Special forces or special operations forces are military units trained to perform unconventional missions. Special force requires higher standard of requirements and training. Special force emerged in the early 20th century with a significant growth in the field during the Second World War.
Special force perform all these function, airborne operations, counter-insurgency, “counter-terrorism”, covert ops, direct action, hostage rescue, high-value targets/manhunting, intelligence operations, mobility operations, and unconventional warfare depending on the country. In history, special forces played the important role in wars.
Here are the list of elite and deserving top 10 most powerful special forces around the world. There are many special forces, but we have listed only top 10 around the world, but they all are big names.
10. MARCOS, India
MARCOS is the special operations unit of the Indian Navy. It was previously known as Marine Commando Force (MCF). This special force is created for conducting special operations such as Amphibious warfare, Counter-terrorism, Direct action, Special reconnaissance,Unconventional warfare, Hostage rescue, Personnel recovery, Combat search and rescue, Asymmetric warfare, Foreign internal defence, Counterproliferation, Amphibious reconnaissance. They are highly trained and equipped for the conduct of special operations in a maritime environment.
9. SSG, Pakistan
The Pakistani Army created its own special forces named as the Special Services Group (SSG) in 1956. It is a special operations force of the Pakistan Army. It is quite similar to the U.S. Special Forces and the British Army’s SAS. The SSG considered one of the world’s best special forces because candidates have to through the nine-month training, airborne school and extensive hand-to-hand combat and physical conditioning elements. They are created to conduct operations like Asymmetric Warfare, Special Operations, Counter-Proliferation, Unconventional Warfare, Foreign Internal Defense, Special Reconnaissance, Direct Action, Hostage Rescue, Counter-Terrorist and Personnel Recovery. During the early Cold War, SSG forces trained and served alongside US special-forces.
8. Sayeret Matkal, Israel
In 1957, the special forces unit of the Israel Defense Forces(IDF), Sayeret Matal was created. This force foucused on field intelligence-gathering unit, conducting deep reconnaissance behind enemy lines to obtain strategic intelligence and also tasked with counter-terrorism and hostage rescue beyond Israel’s borders. Candidates undergo eighteen months of training which includes basic infantry school, parachute school, counter-terrorism training and reconnaissance related training. The unit is modeled after the British Army’s Special Air Service. The force has taken part in many large scale operations since the 1960s.
7. EKO-Cobra, Austria
Austria’s primary counter-terrorism special operations tactical unit, EKO Cobra was created due to the attack on the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. They are not part of the Austrian Federal Police but is directly under the control of the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior. The force consist of 450 men who have served in the Austrian Federal Police Force. They are specially trained for marksmanship, languages, hand-to-hand combat and assault.
6. Delta Force, USA
One of the most secretive forces in the USA, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta also known as Delta Force was formed in 1977 as a result of an increasing number of high-profile terrorist operations. SFOD-D is founded by a former SAS operative as their was need of special force like the SAS in US. Delta force perform following tasks such as counter-terrorism operations, hostage rescue, raids, reconnaissance and less covert direct action operations.
5. JTF2, Canada
Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) is an elite special operations force of the Canadian Forces created in 1993. JTF2 primarily tasked with counter-terrorism operations. They have been known to escort VIPs and provide site security at events like the 2010 Winter Olympics. JTF2 serves alongside the Canadian Special Operations Regiment, the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit and 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadronas part of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command.
4. Alpha Group, Russia
Alpha Group is an elite, stand-alone sub-unit of Russia’s special forces. The force created 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. It is a dedicatedcounter-terrorism task force of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which primarily prevents and responds to violent acts in public transportation and buildings. 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.
3. Shayetet 13, Israel
Shayetet 13 is a unit of the Israeli Navy, created in 1948. It is one of the primary special operations units of the Israel Defense Forces. They are trained for sea-to-land incursions, counter-terrorism, sabotage, maritime intelligencegathering, maritime hostage rescue, and boarding. They have to got under training for 20 months long and pushes candidates under the most stressful psychological and physical testing before specialized training even begins. The unit has taken part in almost all of Israel’s major wars, as well as other actions. The unit is one of the most secretive in the Israeli military. The details of many missions and identities of active operatives are kept highly classified. The unit is respected as among the best of the world’s special forces. Shayetet 13 members have recently been involved in a number of high profile operations involving boarding ships and seizing weaponry bound for Gaza. It is one of the most powerful special forces around the world.
2. Navy SEALs, USA
The United States Navy’s Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as the Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy’s principalspecial operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command and United States Special Operations Command. Created in 1962, The Navy SEALS has performed the 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. One of the SEALs’ primary functions is to conduct small-unit maritime military operations which originate from, and return to a river, ocean, swamp, delta, or coastline. SEALs can negotiate shallow water areas such as the Persian Gulfcoastline, where large ships and submarines are limited due to depth. All SEALs are male members of the United States Navy. SEALs are also prepared to operate in a variety of climates, such as desert, arctic, and jungle. . It is one of the most powerful special forces around the world.
1. SAS, Britain
SAS is the most powerful special forces around the world. The special forces unit of the British Army, Special Air Service (SAS) was founded in 1941 as a regiment, and later reconstituted as a corps in 1950. This special forces unit undertakes a number of roles including covert reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, direct action, hostage rescue and human intelligence gathering. 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.
The Special Air Service traces its origins to 1941 and the Second World War, and was reformed as part of the Territorial Armyin 1947, named the 21st Special Air Service Regiment (Artists Rifles). The SAS is also trained by MI5 and MI6 security and intelligence services to undertake counter-espionage operations.