While we all respect the army, navy and air forces, when it comes to being in the field of danger, there is a force which takes it one step ahead. They eliminate potential threats and do things which are feared by the bravest of souls. These are the Special Forces. There are various bravehearts who risk their lives in service and are known to be the sharpest of the lot.
Ranking or comparing these Special Forces around the world is an extremely difficult task, but there have been a few that have always stood out in the interesting, challenging and extremely dangerous field. Take a look at 11 of the most feared Special Forces from around the world.
1. MARCOS, India
MARCOS is the short name for ‘Marine Commandos’. Trained in HALO and HAHO, equipped with the best assault rifles, sniper rifles and real time war equipment, Indian MARCOS are one of the deadliest Special Forces in the world. They are primarily trained along the pattern of the US Navy SEALs, with further training with the British SAS and compulsory training at CIJW (Guerrilla warfare) in Vairangte. One of the best parts about their training regime is the high motivation that is found in the members and their emotional training in addition to their physical training. Operating under extreme secrecy, MARCOS has carried out numerous notable tasks like the Kargil War, Operation Leech, Operation Swan, Exercise Balanc Iroquois 03-1/Vajrstormehar and many more. Nicknamed the “Dadhiwalee fauj” (bearded Army), MARCOS are the only Special Force after US Navy SEALs that can fight in water bodies with full-fledged weaponry.
2. Special Services Group (SSG), Pakistan
Imagine marching 36 miles in twelve hours and running five miles in full gear in just fifty minutes. These are some of the tasks that Pakistan’s Special Forces undergo in their trailing regime. The group came to light when they marched into a building and rescued more than thirty five people who were taken hostage from the army headquarters.
Their involvement in the historic Indo-Pakistan wars and the Soviet Afghan War is well talked about. During the infamous Pan Am Flight 73 hijack, SSG showed courage in rescuing passengers and minimalizing the damage. Another notable operation which saw SSG commandos was when they rescued hostage children from a hijacked Afghan school bus in just 20 seconds. Yes, it took seconds for the SSG to finish three terrorists.
3. National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN), France
From rescuing school children in Djibouti to capturing war criminals in Bosnia, this deadly task force has done it all. The force, which saw its origin following the 1972 Munich Olympics hostage massacre, is one of the deadliest groups in the world. They have the slickest training regime known and are prepared to take down the Somali pirates with ease. Following their motto “To save lives without regard for one’s own,” GIGN is known to hunt down any threat to the nation and its people. This 200-strong unit keeps a low profile and it’s even against French law to publish pictures of their faces.
One of the most courageous acts in GIGN’s history was the seizure of Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979. Extremist insurgents took over Masjid al-Haram in Mecca to overthrow the House Of Saud. GIGN joined Saudi forces, but due to the prohibition on non-Muslims entering the holy city, a team of three GIGN commandos briefly converted to Islam and helped plan the recapture of the mosque.
4. Special Forces, USA
Also known as the Green Berets because of their characteristic service headgear as requested by President Kennedy in the 60s, their official motto is De oppresso liber (To Liberate the Oppressed), while their insignia bears an arrowhead with a saber and three lightning bolts.
The unit is full of rough and ready soldiers but it’s their snipers who are regarded as the deadliest assassins. This group within the Green Berets trains for seven weeks with the best in the USA. They head operations related to the coalition support, humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping and counter drug operations.
5. Sayeret Matkal, Israel
This is an Israeli Special Force and is trained to bring down terrorism. The members of this force are renowned for their high physical as well as intellectual characteristics. In the selection camp called Gibbush, would-be recruits endure hardcore training exercises under constant monitoring by doctors and psychologists. They have played a vital role in reducing the tension for Israel in the Palestine terror attacks. One of the famous incidents highlighting the Sayeret Matkal’s work is that of rescuing Israeli taxi driver Eliyahu Gurel in 2003 after he was kidnapped transporting four Palestinians to Jerusalem in his cab. The unit located and rescued him from a 10-meter-deep pit in an abandoned factory in a suburb of Ramallah.
6. Joint Force Task 2 (JTF2), Canada
With a comparatively smaller history of just 23 years, this task force has expanded to several hundreds in a relatively short time. They have been a part of various world hotspots, from rescuing hostages in Iraq to hunting down Serbian snipers in Bosnia. The forces were also present in Afghanistan; however their activities there are highly guarded. JTF 2 bills itself as “a scalpel, not a hammer”, making them a faceless, shadowy counter-terrorism force. This world-class elite troop discloses almost nothing about their ultra-secretive operations.
7. British Special Air Service (SAS)
Their insignia bears the famous phrase ‘Who dares wins.’ Talking about their role in fighting what followed the Iraq war, US General Stanley McChrystal said, ‘Essential. Could not have done it without them.’