List of military special forces units
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This is a list of active military special forces units.
- 1 Definition
- 2 Albania
- 3 Afghanistan
- 4 Angola
- 5 Armenia
- 6 Azerbaijan
- 7 Australia
- 8 Austria
- 9 Bangladesh
- 10 Belarus
- 11 Belgium
- 12 Botswana
- 13 Brazil
- 14 Brunei
- 15 Bulgaria
- 16 Cambodia
- 17 Canada
- 18 Chile
- 19 China
- 20 Colombia
- 21 Congo Democratic Republic of
- 22 Croatia
- 23 Czech Republic
- 24 Denmark
- 25 Egypt
- 26 Estonia
- 27 Ethiopia
- 28 Finland
- 29 France
- 30 Gabon
- 31 Georgia
- 32 Germany
- 33 Greece
- 34 Guatemala
- 35 Hungary
- 36 India
- 37 Indonesia
- 38 Iran
- 39 Iraq
- 40 Ireland
- 41 Israel
- 42 Italy
- 43 Japan
- 44 Jordan
- 45 Kenya
- 46 Kuwait
- 47 Malaysia
- 48 Mexico
- 49 Morocco
- 50 Namibia
- 51 Netherlands
- 52 New Zealand
- 53 Nigeria
- 54 Norway
- 55 Pakistan
- 56 Philippines
- 57 Poland
- 58 Portugal
- 59 Romania
- 60 Russia
- 61 Republic of China
- 62 Republic of Korea
- 63 Serbia
- 64 Slovakia
- 65 Singapore
- 66 South Africa
- 67 Spain
- 68 Sweden
- 69 Switzerland
- 70 Turkey
- 71 Thailand
- 72 Ukraine
- 73 United Kingdom
- 74 United States
- 75 Venezuela
- 76 Vietnam
- 77 Zimbabwe
- 78 Non-combat special units
- 79 References
- 80 External links
The units are to trained to conduct special operations being referred to as either special forces or special operations forces.
The current NATO definition of special operations is:-
special operations military activities conducted by specially designated, organized, trained, and equipped forces, manned with selected personnel, using unconventional tactics, techniques, and modes of employment.
In 2001, NATO agreed definitions with Russia defining special operations and special operations forces:-
special operations military activities conducted by specially designated, organized, trained and equipped forces using operational techniques and modes of employment not standard to conventional forces. These activities are conducted across the full range of military operations independently or in coordination with operations of conventional forces to achieve political, military, psychological and economic objectives. Politico-military considerations may require clandestine, covert or discreet techniques and the acceptance of a degree of physical and political risk not associated with conventional operations.
special-operations forces strategic formations and units of the armed forces, whose role is to conduct sabotage, reconnaissance, subversive and other special operations on the territory of foreign countries. In wartime they may also be assigned tasks such as intelligence-gathering, the seizure or destruction of key installations, the conduct of psychological operations or the organization of insurgencies in the enemy's rear area. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have separate special-operations forces brigades, battalions and companies which are integrated with the intelligence assets of military districts, fronts, fleets, armies or corps.
The United States definition of special operations is:-
special operations operations requiring unique modes of employment, tactical techniques, equipment and training often conducted in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments and characterized by one or more of the following: time sensitive, clandestine, low visibility, conducted with and/or through indigenous forces, requiring regional expertise, and/or a high degree of risk.
The Canadian definition of special operations forces is:-
special operation forces organizations containing specially trained personnel that are organized, equipped and trained to conduct high-risk, high value, special operations to achieve military, political, economic, or international objectives by using special and unique operational methodologies in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive area to achieve desired tactical operational, and/or strategic effects in times of peace, conflict, or war.
These are distinct from special-purpose infantry units such as the Royal Marine Commandos.
For other units, see:
- List of non-combat military special units
- List of defunct special forces units
- List of paratrooper forces
- List of marine forces
- List of special police units
- List of military diving units
- Special Forces Brigade(BRIFE) — reported 2007, located at Cabo Ledo region, northern Bengo Province.
- Special Actions Group(GAE)
- one spetsnaz regiment (Source IISS). A special forces presence was reported in the Russian-language internet at Nubarashen district, part of Yerevan, in 2012.
- Special Forces of Azerbaijan (XTQ) The Special Forces of Azerbaijan is a military unit of the Republic of Azerbaijan. It was established in 1999 under the Ministry of Defense. Typically 30 out of 500 candidates earn the "Maroon beret" certificate.
- 1st Commando Regiment
- 2nd Commando Regiment
Incorporates the role of Tactical Assault Group (East)
- Special Air Service Regiment (SASR)
Incorporates the role of Tactical Assault Group (West)
- 1st Special Operations Task Group
- 2nd Special Operations Task Group
- 3rd Special Operations Task Group (Reserve)
- 5th Separate Spetsnaz Brigade
- 22nd Spetsnaz Company (Western Operational Command)
- 33rd Guards Spetsnaz Detachment
- 527th Spetsnaz Company
- Commando unit
- Brazilian Special Operations Brigade
- 1st Special Forces Battalion (1º BFEsp) - (1º Batalhão de Forças Especiais)
- 1st Commando Battalion (1º BAC) - (1º Batalhão de Ações de Comandos)
- 1st Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense Company - (1ª Companhia de Defesa Química, Biológica, Radiológica e Nuclear)
- 3rd Special Forces Company (3ª Cia FEsp) - (3ª Companhia de Forças Especiais)
- Special Operation Support Battalion
- Special Operations Platoon (Pelopes): One for each unit - (Pelotão de Operações Especiais)
- Airborne Rescue Squadron (Para-SAR) - (Esquadrão Aeroterrestre de Salvamento)
- Dagger Platoon - (Pelotão Punhal)
- Special Operations Platoon (Pelopes): One for each infantry unit - (Pelotão de Operações Especiais)
- Marine Corps Special Operations Battalion (COMANF) - (Batalhão de Operações Especiais de Fuzileiros Navais)
- Combat Divers Group (GRUMEC) - (Grupamento de Mergulhadores de Combate)
- Bulgarian Land Forces
- Bulgarian Navy
- 63rd Naval Special Forces Reconnaissance Detachment "Black Sea Sharks"
- 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron (427 SOAS) - (French: 427e Escadron d'opérations spéciales d'aviation, 427 EOSA)
- Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) - (French: Régiment d'opérations spéciales du Canada, ROSC)
- Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) - (French: Force opérationnelle interarmées 2, FOI 2)
- Maritime Tactical Operations Group (MTOG) - (French: Groupe des opérations tactiques maritimes, GOTM)
- Special Operations Battalion
- Special Forces Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion
- Rapid Deployment Force(FUDRA)
- Anti-Narcotics Brigade
- Air Assault Aviation Division
- Urban Counter-Terrorism Special Forces Group(AFEUR)
- Special Forces Brigade
- Unified Action Groups for Personal Liberty(GAULA)
Congo Democratic Republic of
- 391st Commando battalion URR
A brief from the Royal Danish Defence College listed two Danish special operations units:
Two other Danish units have some claim to special forces status. The Danish Home Guard's Special Support and Reconnaissance Company is capable of behind-the-lines stay-behind reconnaissance, similar to the Cold War role of the British 21 and 23 SAS Regiments. The Royal Danish Navy also maintains a unique ski patrol unit that conducts dog patrols of Greenland throughout the year. This unit, the Sirius Patrol, maintains a combat capability.
Sa'ka Forces Thunderbolt Forces
- Estonian Special Operations Force (ESTSOF)
- Agazi Commando Division
- 205th/206th Commando Brigade
- Anti-Terrorism Battalion
- ESOF(400 men detachment)
The conscript-training units Parachute Jaeger Company (Finnish: Laskuvarjojääkärikomppania) of Utti Jaeger Regiment, the Diver School (Finnish: Sukeltajakoulu) of the Coastal Brigade and the Special Border Jaeger Company (Finnish: Erikoisrajajääkärikomppania) of the Finnish Border Guard Border and Coast Guard School are called in common parlance special forces. While they are volunteer-only, they are not standing professional formations like the others mentioned, but units training conscripts to serve as reservists in special operations forces during a crisis.
- Armée de Terre (Army)
- Marine Nationale (Navy)
- Armée de l'Air (Air Force)
- Commandos Fusiliers Marins (COFUSMA)
- Presidential Guard Unit
- Special Operations Brigade
- 1st Special Operations Group
- Naval Group Special Operations
- Mountain-Reconnaissance Special Battalion
- Support-Maintenance Battalion
- Luftwaffensicherungsstaffel S (Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 33), Buchel Air Base
||This section includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (May 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- 1st Raider/Paratrooper Brigade (1η ΤΑΞΚΔ-ΑΛ)
- 13th Special Operations Command
- Underwater Demolition Command (DYK)
- 13th Special Operations Command
- Special operation force brigade "Kaibil"
- Fuerza Especial Naval
- HDF 34th Bercsényi László Special Forces Battalion
- HDF 25/88th Light Mixed Battalion
- HDF 5/24th 'Gergely Bornemissza' Reconnaissance Battalion
Main article: Special Forces of India
- Special forces Kopassus including the counter-terrorism unit known as: Detasemen Khusus 81 (Penanggulangan Teror) or "SatGultor"
- Frogman Kopaska, reconnaissance battalion Taifib and counter-terrorism unit Denjaka. Taifib are commandos from the Indonesian Marine Corps.
- Airfield defence troops Paskhas including the counter-terrorism unit Bravo Detachment 90
The Iraqi Counter Terrorism Bureau reports to the Prime Minister directly. The Iraqi CTB oversees the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Command, a formation that includes all Iraqi Special Operations Forces (two brigades, according to the IISS 2013). As of 30 June 2009, there had been legislation in progress for a year to make the Iraqi CTB a separate ministry.
- Sayeret Matkal (General Staff Reconnaissance Unit 269)
- Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13)
- 9th Parachute Assault Regiment "Col Moschin" (Tier 1)
- 185th Reconnaissance Target Acquisition Regiment "Folgore" (Tier 2)
- 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment (Tier 2)
- 3rd Special Operations Helicopter Regiment (Tier 2)
- Comando Subacquei ed Incursori (COMSUBIN) (Tier 1)
- GOI Gruppo Operativo Incursori (Operative Raiders Group)
- GOS Gruppo Operativo Subacquei (Operative Divers Group)
- Special Operations Regiment (Kenya)(SOR)
- 30th Special Forces Battalion (30SF)
- 40th Ranger Strike Force (40RSF)
- Kuwait 25th Commando Brigade
- One special forces unit [forming] (IISS Military Balance 2013)[verification needed]
- Nigerian Army Special Operations Command
- Nigerian Navy
- Special Boat Service
- Norwegian Special Operations Command (NORSOCOM)
- Special Service Group (SSG)
- Special Response Force (SRF) was created in April 2012 to strengthen the security of strategic nuclear assets.
- Special Service Group Navy (SSGN)
- Special Service Wing (SSW)
- Wojska Specjalne
- Portuguese Marine Corps
- Sappers Divers Group
- Direcţia Generală de Informaţii a Apărării
- Romanian Land Forces:
- 2nd Special Purpose Brigade in Promezhitsa, Pskov Oblast
- 3rd Special Purpose Brigade in Tolyatti
- 10th Special Purpose Brigade in Mol'kino, Krasnoyarsk Territory
- 14th Special Purpose Brigade in Ussuriysk
- 16th Special Purpose Brigade in Tambov
- 22nd Special Purpose Guards Brigade in Stepnoi, Rostov Oblast
- 24th Special Purpose Brigade in Irkutsk
- Naval Special Operations Units
- 442nd Detached Naval Reconnaissance Spetsnaz Point (omrpSpN – Pacific Fleet)
- 420th Detached Naval Reconnaissance Spetsnaz Point (omrpSpN – Northern Fleet)
- 431st Detached Naval Reconnaissance Spetsnaz Point (omrpSpN – Black Sea Fleet)
- 561st Detached Naval Reconnaissance Spetsnaz Point (omrpSpN – Baltic Fleet)
Republic of China
- Aviation and Special Forces Command
- 862 Special Operation Group
- 871 Special Operation Group
- Parachute Team(God Dragon)
- 101st Reconnaissance Battalion (Sea Dragon Frogman)
- Special Service Company(Liangshan)
- Amphibious Reconnaissance and Patrol Unit
- 1st Reconnaissance Company
- 2nd Reconnaissance Company
- 3rd Reconnaissance Company
- Special Service Company(Black Clothes)
- Underwater Demolition Company
- Support Company
- Underwater Operations Unit
- Special Services Company(Night Hawk)
Republic of Korea
- Republic of Korea Army Special Warfare Command
- 1st Special Forces Brigade (Eagle)
- 3rd Special Forces Brigade (Flying Tiger)
- Oversea Deployment Group (Whole World) (Formerly 5th Special Mission Group 'Black Dragon')
- 7th Special Forces Brigade (Pegasus)
- 9th Special Forces Brigade (Ghost)
- 11th Special Forces Brigade (Golden Bat)
- 13th Special Forces Brigade (Black Panther)
- 707th Special Mission Battalion (White Tiger)
- Special Warfare Flotilla:
- 1st Battalion (main strike force divided into four specialized units)
- Special Warfare Squadron (SEAL)
- Underwater Demolition Team (UDT)
- Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team (EOD)
- Maritime Rescue/Counter Terrorism Unit (CT/VBSS)
- 3rd Battalion (Support)
- 5th Battalion (Support)
- 1st Battalion (main strike force divided into four specialized units)
- 5th Flotilla:
- 55th Salvage Squadron
- Ship Salvage Unit (SSU)
- 55th Salvage Squadron
- Combat Control Team (CCT)
- 6th Search and Rescue Group
- 233rd Rescue Battalion
- 235th Rescue Battalion
- Serbian Army
- Naval Diving Unit (Singapore)
- Singapore Armed Forces Commando Formation
- Special Operations Force (Singapore)
- Special Forces Brigade
- Defence Staff (Joint Operations Command)
- Special Operations Command (Army) (Mando de Operaciones Especiales (MOE))
- 2nd Special Operations Group "Granada"
- 3rd Special Operations Group "Valencia"
- 4th Special Operations Group "Tercio del Ampurdán"
- 19th Special Operations Group "Maderal Oleaga"
- Special Operations Command Headquarters Group
- Airborne Combat Parachute Engineers Squadron (Escuadrón de Zapadores Paracaidistas (EZAPAC))
Kommando Spezialkräfte KSK (Special Forces Command)
- Army Reconnaissance Detachment (ARD 10)
- Militärpolizei Spezialdetachement (Military Police Special Detachment)
- Grenadier Battalion 20
- Grenadier Battalion 30
- Grenadier Battalion 40 (Reserve)
- Fallschirmaufklärer Kompanie 17 (Parachute Reconnaissance Company 17)
- Combined Arms
- Special Warfare Command - (Thai: หน่วยบัญชาการสงครามพิเศษ)
- Ministry of Internal Affairs units
- Omega: Stationed in Kyiv the unit has been active in the 2014 War in Donbass. Designed to combat terrorism, often works along with Vega special forces unit.
- Scorpion: Specializes in the defense of Ukraine's nuclear facilities
- Falcon: Stationed in Kyiv and designed to battle organized crime
- Griffin: Tasked with protecting courts, ensure the safety of judges
- Jaguar: Regiment tasked with stopping hooliganism, cease riots, suppressing riots in prisons.
- Titan: Ensuring the safety of foreign deputies, investigating fraud and counter-fitting rings.
- Vega: Combat terrorism, works closely with the Omega unit.
- Ministry of Defense Units
- Ukrainian Ground Forces units
- Ukrainian Navy units
- Security Service of Ukraine
- Special Air Service (S.A.S.)
- Special Reconnaissance Regiment
- 18 Signal Regiment (Royal Corps of Signals)
- Special Forces Support Group
- Royal Air Force/British Army
- Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing
- Regimental Reconnaissance Company (RRC)
- Delta Force (1st SFOD-D)
- Intelligence Support Activity (ISA)
- Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU/"SEAL Team Six")
- Aviation Tactics Evaluation Group (AVTEG)
- 24th Special Tactics Squadron (24th STS)
- 66th Air Operations Squadron (66 AOS)
- 427th Special Operations Squadron (427th SOS)
- United States Army Special Forces Command (Airborne)
- 75th Ranger Regiment
- United States Army Special Operations Aviation Command (ARSOAC)
- Naval Special Warfare Group 1: SEAL Teams 1, 3, 5, 7
- Naval Special Warfare Group 2: SEAL Teams 2, 4, 8, 10
- Naval Special Warfare Group 3: SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1
- Naval Special Warfare Group 4: Special Boat Teams 12, 20, 22
- Naval Special Warfare Group 10
- Naval Special Warfare Group 11: SEAL Teams 17, 18 (Reserves)
- Naval Special Warfare Center
- United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
- 1st Special Operations Wing
- 24th Special Operations Wing
- 27th Special Operations Wing
- 193d Special Operations Wing (ANG)
- 919th Special Operations Wing (AFRC)
- 352nd Special Operations Group
- 353rd Special Operations Group
- United States Air Force Special Operations Training Center
- United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance
- Marine Raider Regiment
- Marine Special Operations Support Group
- 107th Special Operations Battalion
- 509th Special Operations Battalion
- Special Operations Air Group 10
- Special Operations Air Group 15
- Special Operations Air Group 17
Under the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army (Bộ Tổng Tham mưu Quân đội Nhân dân Việt Nam)
- Commando (Binh chủng Đặc công), including:
- Special reconnaissance (Trinh sát Đặc nhiệm): the reconnaissance force is not a separate branch, every armed branch has a reconnaissance team.
Non-combat special units
While the Submarine Parachute Assistance Group is a relatively overt unit, references to the JSOC units below are rare. Possibly the only authoritative source is Ambinder, Marc, and D. B. Grady The Command: Deep Inside the President's Secret Army, John Wiley & Sons, 2012.
- Australia: Special Operations Engineer Regiment (SOER) CBRNE unit
- Canada: Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit (CJIRU) - (French: Unité interarmées d'intervention du Canada, UIIC) CBRNE unit
- United Kingdom: Submarine Parachute Assistance Group (Royal Navy, Naval Service)
- United States: Joint Special Operations Command
- United States: United States Army Special Operations Aviation Command
- Systems Integration Management Office (SIMO)
- Miscellaneous Notes
- ^ The Japanese Special Forces Group is the current name of the former Japanese Special Operations Group, following a name change.
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization (13 December 2013). "Allied Joint Doctrine for Special Operations". NATO Standard Allied Joint Publication. Brussels: NATO Standardization Agency. AJP-3.5 (Edition A, Version 1): 1-1.
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization (17 November 2015). "NATO Glossary of Terms and Definitions (English and French)" (PDF). AAP-06 (Edition 2015). Brussels: NATO Standardization Agency: 2-S-8. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization (8 June 2001). "NATO-Russia Glossary of Contemporary Political and Military Terms". NATO. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
- "NATO-Russia Glossary of Contemporary Political and Military Terms" (PDF). NATO. 8 June 2001. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) (16 July 2014). "Special Operations" (PDF). Joint Publication. Washington, DC: Department of Defense. 3–05: GL-11. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- Horn, Colonel Bernd (2014). No Ordinary Men: Special Operations Forces Missions in Afghanistan (foreword by General T.J. Lawson). Toronto, Ontario: Dundurn. ISBN 9781459724105.
- Spencer, Emily (2010). Solving the people puzzle : cultural intelligence and special operations forces. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 46. ISBN 9781554887507.
- Afghan National Army update, May 2011. The Long War Journal (2011-05-09). Retrieved on 2011-12-27.
- NPR: New Afghan Commandos Take to the Frontlines
- Afghan special forces expand to handle night raids, delicate missions, but training takes time. The Washington Post. Retrieved on 2012-01-01.
- Army Special Forces Celebrate Years, 3 May 2008.
- IISS Military Balance 2013, p.215. See also http://desantura.ru/am/
- "Международные связи - NCCA". Retrieved 25 December 2014.
- Thomson, Mark; Davies, Andrew (2008). "ADF capability review: Australian Army". Australian Strategic Policy Institute. p. 3. Retrieved 19 August 2008.
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- "Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Combat Controllers". 2 Commando Regiment. Australian Defence Force. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
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- Composante Terre Unités Special Forces Group. Mil.be. Retrieved on 8 September 2011.
-  Archived 16 June 2007 at Archive.is
- IISS Military Balance 2013, p.495
- "Por dentro da Tropa de Elite Pelotão Punhal" [Inside the Dagger Platoon Elite Squad]. E-Militar (in Portuguese). 2016-03-21. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
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- "Defesa Aérea & Naval " Notícias Aéreas e Navais " GRUMEC – as Forças Especiais da Marinha do Brasil". Defesa Aérea & Naval. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- Brunei Special Forces Regiment Joint Exercise with 1st Commando Regiment Australia
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- "Maritime Tactical Operations Group Information Briefing" (PDF). Naval Association of Canada. Royal Canadian Navy. March 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Ready for the storm (in French)". Royal Canadian Navy. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- IISS Military Balance 2013, 291
- PLA Special Operations Forces. SinoDefence.com (30 August 2008). Retrieved on 8 September 2011.
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- Special operations - myths and facts, p.7
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- Ei mitään mammanpoikia. Iltalehti. 2013-10-10. Retrieved 2015-06-09. (Finnish). The reference uses the term erikoisjoukko of the conscript combat divers.
- Kutsunnat 2015. Special leaflet of te Ruotuväki magazine of the Finnish Defence Forces. Part of the issue number 13/2015. 2015-07-16. P. 9. (Finnish).
- Conscript 2015, p. 53. Finnish Defence Forces. ISBN 978-951-25-2598-0. Retrieved 2015-06-09. The reference calls the three mentioned conscript outfits "special operations forces".
- Suomessa. NLGB11. Finnish Defence Forces. 2012-08-30. Retrieved 2015-06-09. (Finnish). The reference claims that all other units in Finland are only specially-trained forces, not special forces.
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- Greek Raiders, Special Weapons Magazine, October 2013
- Special Operation Forces Of Hungary: Is A Transformation Necessary? p. 47 Retrieved on 2015-03-16.
- Special Operation Forces Of Hungary: Is A Transformation Necessary? p. 57 Retrieved on 2015-03-16.
- Special Operation Forces Of Hungary: Is A Transformation Necessary? p. 66 Retrieved on 2015-03-16.
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- D.J. Elliot, Iraqi Counter Terrorism Bureau, Montrose Toast, 30 June 2009
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