Special Forces Group (Japan)

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Japanese Special Forces Group
SOG flag.jpg
Official Japanese Special Operations Group Flag
Active March 27, 2004 - Present
Country Japan Japan
Branch Flag of JSDF.svg Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces
Type Special Forces
Role Direct Action
Unconventional Warfare
Domestic and International Counter-Terrorism
Size ~ 300 operators
Part of JGSDF Central Readiness Force.svg Central Readiness Force
Garrison/HQ Narashino Garrison, Funasbashi, Chiba
Nickname SOG/Special Operations Group (Old Name)
TSG (In Japanese)
Special Forces Group/SFG (New Name)
Engagements Iraqi occupation
Commanders
Current
commander
Takanori Hirata (Colonel)
Insignia
Identification
symbol
SFG Pin Badge

The Japanese Special Forces Group (特殊作戦群 Tokushu Sakusen Gun?) is the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force's counter-terrorist unit established by the former Japanese Defense Agency to counter terrorist activities and deter guerrilla-style attacks on Japanese soil[1] and to conduct military operations, like the 1st Airborne Brigade, against guerrillas or enemy commandos.[2][3] The unit is based in Narashino, Chiba garrison[3] in Funabashi, Chiba with the 1st Airborne Brigade. The unit was formerly known as the Special Operations Group.[3]

The SFG has been referred to as Japan's Delta Force,[4] due to their specialized role in the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force. Delta Force personnel had been responsible for assisting the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force in raising the SFG's foundations prior to its establishment.[5]

The civilian counterpart of the SFG is the Japanese National Police Agency's Special Assault Team.

History[edit]

In 1998, the Japanese Defense Agency had proposed the formation of a unit in the JGSDF that would handle tasks such as Counter-terrorism with a selected group of JGSDF soldiers from the 1st Airborne Brigade sent to the United States to be trained by Delta Force operators.[5] At the same time, two platoons were created from the brigade as a means of creating the unit's foundations. These consist of the G Platoon (Formation Unit) and the S Platoon (Research Unit).[5]

The establishment of unit's framework had been completed in 2003, after 3 years of training and organization.[5] The unit's structure is based on Delta Force and the Green Berets.[4]

On March 27, 2004, the Japanese Defense Agency had activated the unit as the Special Operations Group with the mandate under the JGSDF as its Counter-terrorist unit.[5]

In 2005, the SFG had deployed four of its operators to serve as bodyguards for the Japanese commander of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force's contingent in Iraq under the Japanese Iraq Reconstruction and Support Group.[4]

On March 28, 2007, the SOG merged with the 1st Airborne Brigade, the 1st Helicopter Brigade and the 101st NBC Protection Unit to create the Central Readiness Force.[6][7]

The unit changed its name on March 26, 2008 from SOG to SFG or the Special Forces Group.[8]

Formation[edit]

  • Commander (Led by a Colonel)
  • Executive Officers (Led by a Lieutenant Colonel)
  • Headquarters
    • 1st Department (General Affairs)
    • 2nd Department (Intelligence)
    • 3rd Department (Planning)
    • 4th Department (Supply)
  • Headquarters Administration Unit (Led by 3 Majors)
  • 1st SFG Company[1]
  • 2nd SFG Company[7]
  • 3rd SFG Company[8]
  • Training Unit

Training[edit]

Potential recruits to the SFG are drawn from Ranger-qualified personnel from the 1st Airborne Brigade. As such, all SFG soldiers are airborne qualified.[5]

For specialized training, the 1st Platoon have their freefall training under the 1st Airborne Brigade with the 2nd Platoon under the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces.[5]

The SFG has a training facility inside the JGSDF Narashino, Chiba camp to conduct training on various techniques, especially on CQB tactics.

Weapons[edit]

Assault rifles[edit]

Submachine guns[edit]

Pistols[edit]

Sniper rifles[edit]

Others[edit]

Equipment[edit]

The SFG has access to equipment used by the JGSDF, such as the Komatsu LAVs and Toyota Koukidoushas for transport and reconnaissance use. They also work in conjunction with the 1st Helicopter Brigade to provide mobility support, though they can be also deployed via C-130 Hercules aircraft.[13]

Unit features[edit]

As part of regulating and protecting the identities of the various soldiers serving in the SFG, their faces are hidden in balaclavas and cannot be revealed except with authorization from their commanding officers.[3][14] It is said that personnel cannot enter certain areas of their Narashino camp, such as the SFG barracks, unless they have the proper identification with them.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Japan Sets Up Its 1st Special Ground Operations Unit". Asia Africa Intelligence Wire. 2004-03-29. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  2. ^ "What is the CRF (Central Readiness Force)?". Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  3. ^ a b c d "特殊作戦群" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2011-08-26. 
  4. ^ a b c "Japan launches counter-terrorism force". The China Post. 2007-04-07. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Archived December 1, 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Archived June 22, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "일본 자위대 신속대응전력 대폭 증강" (in Korean). Defense Media Agency. Retrieved 2011-08-26. 
  8. ^ "特殊作戦群 Special Forces Group (SFGp)" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  9. ^ 全文掲載:飯柴大尉の声明文. Retrieved on January 12, 2009. (Japanese)
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "陸上自衛隊唯一の特殊部隊 特殊作戦群の解説" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  11. ^ a b c "自衛隊の採用する銃" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  12. ^ http://www.epco.mod.go.jp/kokok/27-350/announcement20120919204553.pdf
  13. ^ Japan Primer. University of Texas. 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-04-14. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  14. ^ Nao Shimoyachi (2004-03-30). "GSDF inaugurates undercover antiterrorist squad". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
Miscellaneous notes
  1. ^ Companies of the Japanese Special Forces Group are under the command of a Major.
  2. ^ Company HQ and the platoons under it are also found within the 2nd and 3rd SOG companies.
  3. ^ Commanded by a Lieutenant.

External links[edit]