Special forces around the world have one thing in common; they maintain peace and order in their respective countries. These forces are well trained and equipped to combat any crimes. Armed forces go through vigorous training before they embark on a mission. However, in every military force, there are specially trained units that go beyond the limits to combat the worst and deadliest crimes. These units are known to be elite and most powerful. Countries invest billions of money in training and equipping these units and they are relied on to provide a high level of security to maintain political and economic stability in a country. To be enlisted to these units, one must meet specific entry requirements. Below are the top 10 elite forces in the world.
Special Air Service (SAS), United Kingdom
The special air service force of the United Kingdom dates back to the Second World War period. SAS is the specially trained army force of the British Army. This special unit is tasked with combating terrorism, conducting high-risk rescue missions, and other super special operations. Special Air Service was established initially in the year 1941 by David Stirling. He gave the name L Detachment to the special air force to confuse their enemy. The special unit was dissolved shortly after the war ended. This special force embarked on their first mission to Egypt and Libya, but they lost the battle, and the Germans captured the majority of its fighters. Nevertheless, they went for their second mission to Libya and won the fight without losing a single solder. Initially, their operations majorly focused on North Africa.
In 1943, the special unit leader was arrested in Libya by Germans, and the leadership of SAS was taken over by Paddy Mayne. Mayne became the commander of the first SAS. After the Second World War, the regiment was dissolved, but the British government realized the importance of this special unit, and on January 1, 1947, the 21st SAS regiment was established. Joining this special unit is a hard nut to crack. Less than 10% of those who enlist to join the special force make it. The selection process is vigorous to ensure only the best are picked. The selection process lasts for five months and is conducted during winter and summer. Some of the arduous selections procedures include; a tiring trek to the Brecon Beacons which is one of the highest mountains in south Wales with heavy loaded rifles. They are later sent to the jungle for more training on weapons and combat lessons. Emerging candidates will further proceed to study in school and sit for exams. The winning candidates will be interrogated and finally become a fully-fledged SAS member.
Navy Seals, United States of America
This is another special and elite military force in history. SEAL is an abbreviation for the sea, air, and land. Undeterred by anything, this special force unit takes on the most dreaded and high-risk war missions ever. Their skilful and unpredictable tactics have seen them earn the nickname “quiet professionals.” The Navy seal was established in the early 1940s to curb the need for Special Forces to fight in World War 2.
However, the modern-day SEALS was established in 1962 and were sent for their first mission in Vietnam. While in Vietnam, they trained Vietnamese soldiers on matters of maritime commandos. U.S navy seals are well known for conducting antiterrorism missions worldwide. They are famously known to have single-handedly ambushed and captured the world’s most wanted terrorist leader; Osama Bin Laden. They also rescued Richard Phillips who was a captain on Maersk Ship.
Shayetet 13, Israel
Shayetet 13, commonly known as S-13, is the Navy SEAL version of Israel. It is one of the most secretive military units in Israel. This special unit in Israel’s Army was established in 1949. Surprisingly, Shayetet is as old as Israel itself. This highly trained force, just like other special units in the world, undertake the most dangerous wars. Their primary mission in these fights is to put the enemy under siege by destroying their maritime infrastructures and collecting intelligent information from them. Just like the navy seal, Shayetet is also known as “silent men.” They can practically tiptoe underwater and attack their enemy unannounced and return to their base without raising the public’s eyebrows.
Their tactful skills enable Shayetet 13 fighters to remain underwater for as long as they can. In 1973, Shayetet raged havoc in Lebanon and destroyed many Egyptian ships by sinking them. To be part of this special unit calls for great discipline and determination. Their recruitment process is vigorous and quite challenging. To be feted on this, candidates must go under a series of training including; combat diving, Guerrilla warfare, parachuting, naval warfare, and special vessels operations. The training period lasts for twenty months, and the selection process is done twice in a year.
Alpha Group, Russia
This is also another world’s top-notch army unit. It is one of the terrifying special units that give insurgents, terrorists, and kidnappers sleepless nights. Alpha Group was established on July 29, 1974, following the deadly attack in Munich. They embarked on their first mission to Afghanistan in 1979 where they captured and assassinated then-President, Hafizullah Amin. They took part in many other high-risk war operations including Lebanon’s 1985 hostage crisis which gave earned them the worldwide fame. They were also part of the swift unit that rescued kidnapped passengers on Aeroflot flight 6833 in the United States in 1983.
Delta Force, United States of America
Delta Force is also another elite special force unit and America’s second-best combat force. Established by Colonel Charles Beckwith, Delta Force was established in 1977, and its primary role is counterterrorism. Colonel Charles Alvin Beckwith had served in the British’s special unit SAS during the Vietnam War. He went back to America and proposed the idea of having a special military unit, but his idea was shelved. Years later, America saw a series of the terrorist threat and finally gave in to Charles’s idea and established the special unit under the name 1st Special Forces Detachment- Delta.
Their first mission to Iran to rescue Americans who were held on hostage failed terribly, and eight soldiers were killed. This made Colonel Charles retire from the military. However, Delta force embarked on the successful missions, including the operations in Panama and Granada. They also had a hand in the unmasking and killing of Pablo Escobar, the famous Colombian drug lord. The special unit selection process is vigorous and challenging. It is reported that the process has a 90% failure rate. Surprisingly, even the seasoned soldiers interested in joining the unit do not make it because the exercise is vigorous and prolonged periods of serious training.
Special Air Service Regiment, Australia
The Special Service Regiment is an Australian based special unit that was established on July 25, 1957, as the first special air service company. However, just like the other special units in the world, SASR has its roots date back to the world war two periods. In the year 1964, the special unit was renamed the special air service regiment after its expansion.
The group is well known for their three-word motto; “who dares wins.” Their first mission was to Borneo in 1965. Special Air Service Regiment missions include; domestic and international peacekeeping and counterterrorism. They have been involved in the wars that took place in Vietnam, Afghanistan, rag, Rwanda, Somalia, Cambodia, and Timor.
New Zealand Special Air Service
This is another special and elite force unit in the world. It is the smallest elite unit but super strong army force. This New Zealand’s special unit was established in the year 1955 and has taken part in major domestic and international peacekeeping missions. They were part of the deployment that went to fight in Afghanistan. In 1962 they went on a mission to Thailand. They also went on a mission to Borneo in 1965.
This small but super-intelligent force unit has backed honors. One of their members by the name Willie Apiata was feted for his hard work during the 2004 firefight. He was honored with the Victorian Cross. However, the unit has also seen its share of controversies. They are accused of war crimes during the fight in Afghanistan.
Joint Task Force 2, Canada
Joint Task Force 2 is Canada’s elite force unit. Established in 1993, the special unit is composed of volunteers drawn from the Canadian Armed Forces. Their primary mission is to combat terrorism and safeguard the lives of Canadian citizens both at home and in overseas countries. The recruits that join JTF2 are from the Army, Navy, and Air forces. They undergo super intense and challenging recruitment process that sees only a handful of candidates pull through.
The Canadian government is so secretive about the numbers and the tactics this special group use in attacking their enemy. The JTF2 has participated in various war missions including the mission to Afghanistan in 2002, Iraq in 2006 to rescue hostages, Haiti in 2004 and Vancouver in 2010 to provide security during the Olympic Games.
Marine Commando Force (MARCOS), India
This is also another well organized and highly trained special force unit affiliated to the Indian Navy. This elite force unit was established in the year 1987 and named the Indian Marine Special Force. The name was changed in 1991 to Marine Commando Force abbreviated as MCF. Even though the unit is specialized in maritime war activities, they also take part in other war missions and in some cases they joint efforts with other special force units in the world on peacekeeping missions.
Their primary roles include; sabotaging enemies’ maritime infrastructure, anti-terrorism missions, rescue operations on hostages and maritime warfare. Just like all the elite forces’ recruitment processes, MARCOS recruitment is quite intense and vigorous. Young men in their early 20s are selected and are trained by other world’s top-notch troops in the world, including the Special Forces from America and Britain.
Sayeret Matkal, Israel
This is also another world’s dangerous and elite special force unit and the second-best group in Israel. This is the special unit of the Israel Defense Forces. This special unit was established following subsequent disbandment of a special force unit that was known as unit 101. This group became the first unit to conduct hostage rescue missions and counter-terrorism in the world. However, the group failed terribly in 1974 in what saw the world’s deadliest massacre; the Ma’alot massacre.
Nevertheless, the special unit grew and learned from their past mistakes. They have taken part in many high-risk war missions and have successfully conjured the majority of them. They include; Lebanon war, Operation Raviv, Operation Thunderbolt, and many more. The recruitment process is intense and challenging, and like all other special units, the only handful of candidates make it through. The selection process is a top-secret like the unit itself. The training period lasts for twenty months, and 120-kilometer beret march is a must for the qualifying candidates.