The World’s Toughest and Most Elite Special Forces

Written by on October 25, 2012 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page

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For years, warfare, unrest and terrorism have raged across the globe. Worldwide, military nations have developed special force groups that are prepared for unconventional and high-risk operations. Deployed for secret, clandestine acts of subterfuge as well as highly-publicised missions, members of these elite special forces are often hand-picked from other branches of military and trained in highly specialised and advanced methods of warfare.

Spetsnaz

Russia’s elite special force, the Spetsnaz have a reputation for producing some of the most ruthless and dedicated soldiers that have ever served on a battlefield. Members of the Spetsnaz are entrusted with a variety of national security missions such as counter-terrorism, reconnaissance and armed response. They have even acted as bodyguards for high-ranking Russian politicians. Their training is hellish, and some candidates have even died during the unconventional and improvisational drills and techniques that instructors inflict upon on new recruits.

US Navy Seals

Trained for operations in the sea, air and land, the US Navy SEALs are one of the most specialised and highly trained elite special forces in the world. Conditioned for unconventional warfare, the SEALs are deployed for secret missions and operations behind enemy lines. The outfit are renowned for their ‘Hell Week’ training. Half of all recruits drop out during this period as they must endure simulated combat zones, little to no sleep and exercises that border on torture, all in treacherous conditions. Perhaps the most gruelling exercise is cold water conditioning, where candidates must submerge themselves in freezing water for long periods of time. They receive brief breaks to check if they are developing early signs of hypothermia, before they have to return to the water.

Special Air Service

The British Special Air Service (SAS) have been tasked with some of the most secretive ‘special operations’ in military history. Established as an elite unit during the Second World War to make rapid assaults on enemy locations, in modern peace-time they are primarily deployed as a counter-terrorism unit. However, they have recently been active during operations in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan. Hand-picking the best of the UK’s armed forces, the infamous training (widely considered to be one of the toughest in the world) is capped off by a gruelling 36 hour resistance to interrogation session. From a typical selection of 200 candidates, only 20 or so successfully complete the training regime.

Shayetet 13

Israel produces some of the world’s most highly-regarded and dedicated soldiers, and the members of Shayetet 13 are no exception. One of several special forces that make up Israel Defence Forces, Shayetet 13 are an elite naval commando unit who specialise in counter-terrorism and maritime excursions such as boarding, surveillance and hostage rescue. They have been active in all of Israel’s wartime activities, and they are perhaps best known for Operation Spring of Youth.

This was Israel’s retaliation to the Olympic Munich massacre in 1972. Members of Shayetet 13 killed three members of the Palestinian terrorist group Black September in Beirut. During the rigorous, 20 month training program, candidates are prepared in advanced diving and maritime military operations like underwater demolition, boarding enemy vessels (including submarines) and parachuting into open waters.

This is a guest post.  For windproof and waterproof gloves used by the military, check out Sealskinz range of extreme cold weather gloves, socks and hats. 

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