Special forces, or special operations forces are military units extremely trained to perform unconventional, typically insecure missions for a nation’s political, economic or military purposes. The origin of Special Forces dates back to the early twentieth century, with fighting models set up by German Brandenburgers during the World War II.
Ranking the Best Special Forces from all over the world is a tough job. It’s just like trying to rank the best athlete from the world among the numerous different sports which require different skills and abilities. Throughout the world, every country train special forces within their military. And all these special forces train their men to be the best of the best, to take the impossible task and make it possible. Here is a list of top 15 Best SPECIAL FORCES from around the world. All these renowned Special Forces are always surrounded by an air of mystery as they cannot be exposed to the general public.
Presenting the world’s best special forces, the most elite special forces list.
15. Maroon Berets – Turkey
Maroon Berets OR Special Forces Command is a special operations unit of the Turkish Armed Forces. It’s one of world’s best special forces, because it has won the Nato Special Forces Competition four times in row. Maroon Berets, basically made up of volunteers from any branch of Turkish Armed Forces officers after graduating a roughly 4-year training period.
14. GIS – Italy
The GIS (Gruppo di Intervento Speciale) is an elite special operations counter-terrorism tactical response unit inside the Italian Carabinieri military police. It was created by Italian State Police in 1978 to combat the growing terrorism threat. The unit is globally known for its sharp marksmanship. Currently the GIS, with one hundred or so soldiers, is tasked with anti-terrorism operations, security services and providing training.
13. EKO Cobra – Austria
EKO Cobra (Einsatzkommando Cobra) is Austria’s primary counter-terrorism special operations tactical unit. It was formed in 1978, primarily as a response to the attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. This special tactical unit is involved mainly in counter-terrorism. The unit retains a low profile, despite their high-speed involvement in the war on terror. They were involved in a hostage rescue in the Graz-Karlau Prison in 1996 and numerous other operations. The EKO Cobra is the only Counter-Terrorism unit to end a hijacking while the plane was still in the air. They are considered by many as one of the best trained counter-terrorist units in the world.
12. JW GROM – Poland
The JW GROM (Jednostka Wojskowa GROM) is Poland’s elite counter-terrorism unit. The unit was officially activated on July 13, 1990 in response to terrorist threats. GROM, which stands for “thunder” is one of the five special operation forces units of the Polish Armed Forces. They are trained to respond to a variety of threats and unconventional warfare roles, including anti-terrorist actions and projection of power behind enemy lines.
11. MARCOS – India
The MARCOS (Marine Commando Force) is an elite special operations unit of the Indian Navy. It was created for conducting special operations such as Amphibious warfare, Counter-terrorism, Direct action, Special reconnaissance, Unconventional warfare, hostage rescue, Personnel recovery, Asymmetric warfare, Counterproliferation. The MARCOS is specially organised, trained and equipped for the conduct of special operations in a maritime environment.
10. GSG 9 – Germany
GSG 9 is a German counter-terrorism and special operations unit of the German Federal Police. It was officially established in 1973 after the mismanagement of the German Police to successfully free 11 Israeli athletes who were kidnapped in Munich during the Summer Olympic Games. GSG 9 is deployed in cases of hostage taking, kidnapping, terrorism and extortion. It also be used to secure locations, neutralize targets, track down fugitives and sometimes conduct sniper operations. The unit is very active in developing and testing methods and tactics for these missions. From 1972 to 2003 they reportedly completed over 1,500 missions, discharging their weapons on only five occasions.
9. Delta Force – United States
1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D), popularly known as Delta Force, was officially approved in 1997 after numerous, well-publicized terrorist incidents in USA. It’s the best and one of the most secretive forces in the US. Modeled after the British 22 Special Air Service Regiment, or SAS. The founder/co-founder of SFOD-D was a former SAS operative who thought the US needed an elite force like the SAS. Delta Force’s primary tasks are counter-terrorism, direct action, and national intervention operations, although it is an extremely versatile group capable of conducting many types of clandestine missions, including, but not limited to, hostage rescues and raids.
8. SSG – Pakistan
The Special Services Group (SSG ) in Pakistan is better known in the country as the Black Storks because of the commandos’ unique headgear. It is a special operations force of the Pakistan Army. The unit was created in 1956, it is quite similar to the U.S. Army’s Special Forces and the British Army’s SAS. Training reportedly includes a 36-mile march in 12 hours and a 5-mile run in 50 minutes in full gear.
The SSG considered one of the world’s best special forces because of their courage and bravery. As a Russian president once said that if he had Pakistan’s army and Russian weapons he could conquer all the world because they are very brave. The SSG has trained for these specific missions: Asymmetric Warfare, Special Operations, Counter-Proliferation, Unconventional Warfare, Foreign Internal Defense, Special Reconnaissance, Direct Action, Hostage Rescue, Counter-Terrorist and Personnel Recovery. Recently, SSG has been active in anti-terrorist operations in Pakistan’s restive western borders with Afghanistan and fighting Islamic extremists in Pakistani cities.
7. Unidad de Operaciones Especiales – Spain
Spain’s Unidad de Operaciones Especiales is another one of the best special forces units in the world. Known since 2009, UOE — or the Naval Special Warfare Force, has long been one of the most-respected special forces in Europe. The UOE, tasked with Special Operations in maritime, coastal and inland environments, was established as the volunteer Amphibious Climbing Company unit in 1952, it has since become an elite fighting force.
6. Alpha Group – Russia
Alpha Group is one of the best special forces units in the world. This elite anti-terrorism unit was created by the Soviet KGB in 1974. Although little is known about the exact nature of its primary directives, but, it remains in service under its modern-day counterpart, the FSB.
Russian special forces — the Alpha Group, in particular is available for extended police duties, for paramilitary operations, and for covert operations, both domestically and internationally.
5. GIGN – France
Few of the world’s best special forces can compete with GIGN (France’s National Gendarmerie Intervention Group). One of the most extraordinary elite unit, is a group of 200 strong and trained specifically to respond to hostage situations.
The GIGN is a special operations unit of the French Armed Forces. The unit is trained to perform counter-terrorist and hostage rescue missions in France or anywhere else in the world. It was formed after the Munich massacre in the 1971 Olympic Games. Its basic goal was to prepare for possible future responses to the extremely violent attacks. In 1973, the GIGN became a permanent force of men trained and equipped to respond to these kind of threats. It is renowned for its swift responses and proficient combat capability in hostage rescue and anti-terrorism operations. GIGN currently deployed for large-scale intervention, search and protection missions.
4. Sayeret Matkal – Israel
Israel’s Sayeret Matkal is another of the world’s best special forces. Its primary purpose is intelligence gathering, and it often operates deep behind enemy lines. It is also tasked with counter-terrorism and hostage rescue beyond Israel’s borders. The world’s most elite unit modeled after the British Army’s SAS, taking the unit’s motto “Who Dares, Wins”. In addition, Only the strongest get selected. Sayeret Matkal is equivalent of US Delta Force and to the Special Air Service of United Kingdom.
3. SAS – United Kingdom
The British Special Air Service, known as the SAS, is one of the world’s best special forces. SAS is the infantry counterpart to the SBS. They are most well trained, most elite special forces in the world.
Special Air Service is one of the best Special Forces in UK. SAS was set up in 1941 during the Second World War and has served as a model for Special Forces around the world. It was reformed as part of the Territorial Army in 1947, and named the 21st Battalion, SAS Regiment. The Regular Army 22 SAS gained worldwide fame and recognition after successfully attacking the Iranian Embassy in London and rescuing hostages during the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege. It currently comprises one regular regiment and two territorial regiments. It,s primary tasks are counter-terrorism in peacetime and special operations in wartime.
2. Special Boat Service – UK
UK’s Special Boat Service is almost equivalent of the US Navy SEALs. SBS is one of the best Special Forces in world. The SBS can trace its roots to World War II. It is the maritime special forces unit of the UK Special Forces. The selection process of SBS is as tough as imagine. It involves a grueling endurance test, jungle training in the rain forests of Belize. In addition, the combat survival training, which involves intense interrogation of candidates. And you get only two attempts to pass.
1. United States Navy SEALs
The US Navy SEALs is arguably the best special force. Created in 1962, the SEALs are trained to operate in all environments (Sea, Air, and Land). They go through years of training and, especially after 9/11, endure an incredible operation tempo. In addition, many foreign militaries base their special ops on the SEALs.
The Navy SEALs, also known as the United States Navy’s (Sea, Air and Land) Teams can trace their roots to World War II. SEALs are male members of the United States Navy, and are one of the United State’s most elite special operation force. The CIA’s highly secretive Special Activities Division (SAD) and more specifically its elite Special Operations Group (SOG) recruits operators from the SEAL Teams. Joint Navy SEALs and CIA operations go back to the famed MACV-SOG during the Vietnam War. This cooperation still exists today and is seen in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most recent joint Navy SEALs and CIA operation in the finding and killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
Above’s the world ranking of top best special forces right now. They are world’s top elite special operation forces. Also, some of the most well trained special forces on earth.