707th Special Mission Battalion

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707th Special Mission Battalion
2012.4.13 대테러팀 종합FTX (7368111994).jpg
Operators from the 707th Battalion
Active17 April 1981 – present
Country South Korea
Allegiance Government of South Korea
Branch Republic of Korea Army
TypeSpecial operations force
RoleDomestic counter-terrorism and law enforcement
Unconventional warfare
Direct action
Military raids
VIP and key installation security
Size~ 200 men and women[1]
Part ofROKA Special Warfare Command
Garrison/HQIcheon, South Korea
Nickname(s)White Tiger[2]

The 707th Special Mission Battalion (Hangul : 제707특수임무대대, Hanja : 第707特殊任務大隊) is an elite counter-terrorism unit in the Republic of Korea Army Special Warfare Command.


The unit was formed after the Munich massacre, which forced the South Korean government to create a counter-terrorist unit in time for the 1988 Olympics that would be held on South Korean soil.[3] The unit has about 200 men and women organized in two assault companies, one support company, and one all-female company that could be used as bodyguards or for low-visibility operations.[4][5]

The 707th Battalion has also been called on by the South Korean government to prioritize potential counter-terrorist operations against any possible threats on South Korean soil.[6] The unit is South Korea's primary counter-terrorist and quick reaction force. The unit's soldiers – once distinguished by their black berets (before the standardization of the black beret for all active soldiers) – are tasked with conducting urban counter terrorist missions, and constitute the Army's quick-reaction force for emergencies.[7] The battalion's nickname is 'White Tiger.'[2]

The unit also has a small number of female special forces operatives. They are used in counter-terrorism operations where the presence of a woman is not seen as a threat to a terrorist.[3]


The recruitment process usually involves conscripts from different branches of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces who apply and try out to become members of the elite force. Others are handpicked by their superiors across the different branches of the military and try out like their applicant counterparts. The selection process is very rigorous. First applicants will undergo a background check and then undergo a 10-day procedure in which 90% are eliminated.

All members of the 707th Battalion are SCUBA and parachute qualified. It is reported that members frequently perform daily calisthenics in the snow and sub-zero temperatures and will swim in freezing lakes without any thermal protection.[8]

Every year, the soldiers of 707th Special Mission Battalion train with foreign partners, including Australian SAS, British SAS, Canadian JTF-2, French GIGN, German GSG-9, Hong Kong SDU, New Zealand SAS, Russian FSB and Alpha Group, Singaporean STAR and Delta Force, Green Berets and FBI HRT from the United States. The purpose of joint training is to gain experience and increase relationships and exchanges with international special forces communities in order to get to a whole new level.[9][10]

The 707th Battalion also owns and operates a multi-complex counter-terrorism training site for the Republic of Korea Army Special Warfare Command and hosts multi-national counter-terrorist training.[11]

1982 Korean Air Force transport crash[edit]

On 5 February 1982, the unit suffered a devastating blow, when a Fairchild C-123J carrying 47 of its members, along with 6 Korean Air Force personnel, were killed in a crash while on approach to Jeju International Airport, Jeju, South Korea.[12][13][14] It was the deadliest peacetime accident the Korean armed forces experienced since the Korean War, with the exception of another Air Force C-123 that crashed into Mt. Choenggye on 1 June 1982, killing 53, including 49 paratroopers and 4 air force personnel.[15]

Weaponry and equipment[edit]


  1. ^ Illustrated Directory of Special Forces, p. 70, at Google Books
  2. ^ a b Republic of Korea. Retrieved on November 1, 2007.
  3. ^ a b Special Operations and Counterterrorist Forces. Archived 2005-12-04 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on November 1, 2007.
  4. ^ Bonds, Ray; Miller, David (13 February 2003). "Illustrated Directory of Special Forces". Voyageur Press – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Special Forces Detachment Korea: South Korean Counter-Terrorism and the all-female CT company (Part 14) - SOFREP". 5 May 2017.
  6. ^ Korean Forces Strengthen Counter-Terrorism Posture After al-Qaida Warning. Archived 2008-10-07 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on November 1, 2007.
  7. ^ 707th. Retrieved on May 25, 2011.
  8. ^ 707th South Korea. Retrieved on May 25, 2011.
  9. ^ 707th Special Missions Battalion. Retrieved on November 1, 2007.
  10. ^ Reports Discuss Korea's 707th Special Mission Unit. Archived 2004-10-22 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on November 1, 2007.
  11. ^ Republic of Korea. Retrieved on May 25, 2011.
  12. ^ "53 special troops killed in operation". jejusori.net. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  13. ^ "53 South Korean soldiers killed in transport crash". Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Around the world military air crash kills 53 in South Korea". nytimes.com. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Accident description". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 22 January 2018.

External links[edit]