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Special operations

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Special operations

Special operations (S.O.) are military operations that are "special" or unconventional and carried out by dedicated special forces units using unconventional methods and resources. Special operations may be performed independently of or in conjunction with conventional military operations. The primary goal is to achieve a political or military objective where a conventional force requirement does not exist or might adversely affect the overall strategic outcome. Special operations are usually conducted in a low-profile manner that aims to achieve the advantages of speed, surprise, and violence of action against an unsuspecting target. Special ops are typically carried out with limited numbers of highly trained personnel that are adaptable, self-reliant and able to operate in all environments, and able to use unconventional combat skills and equipment. Special operations are usually implemented through specific, tailored intelligence.[1]

Contents

  • Use and efficiency 1
    • United States 1.1
  • Special operations forces 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Use and efficiency

United States

The decade 2003–2012 saw U.S. national security strategy rely on special operations to an unprecedented degree. Identifying, hunting, and killing terrorists became a central task in the [2]

Special operations forces

Special operations forces (SOF) is a term primarily used in the West. It is an "all encompassing" term that defines a nation’s specialized units. The term "special forces" is age old and used by countries around the world to describe their specialized unit(s). Examples of special operations include: special reconnaissance/military intelligence, unconventional warfare, psyops and counter-terrorism actions. Special operations are sometimes associated with unconventional warfare, counter-insurgency (operations against insurgents), operations against guerrillas or irregular forces, low-intensity operations, and foreign internal defense. Special operations may be carried out by conventional forces but are often carried out by special operations forces (SOF), which are military units that are highly trained and use special equipment, weapons, and tactics. They are sometimes referred to as "elite" forces, commandos, and special operators.

U.S. Army Rangers, Vietnam.

In the United States military, SOF includes Army Special Forces ("Green Berets"), Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, Navy SWCC, Air Force Pararescue, Marine Special Operations (MARSOC), select specially trained Military Intelligence/Counterintelligence units, Civil Affairs (active duty), Military Information Support Operations (MISO) (formerly Psychological Operations (PSYOP)) personnel, and Special Operations Aviation units under the umbrella of the United States Army Special Operations Command. While not formally designated as Special Operations Forces, there are several units whose missions and training are identical to SOF but operate in support of conventional combatant commanders, to include: US Army Long Range Reconnaissance Companies/Detachments (LRSC/LRSD), US Army Pathfinder Companies (PFDR), Military Police Special Reaction Teams (equivalent to civilian police SWAT teams), Marine Force Recon, Explosive Ordnance Disposal units (EOD), and various sniper teams. Two women, out of 19 successful applicants, became the first to pass U.S. Army Ranger School training in August 2015, and the Army is seriously considering letting these and other women who qualify to complete Ranger training, which could enable them to serve in the 75th Ranger Regiment. The U.S. Navy is considering letting qualified women join the Navy SEAL training program. Due to the difficulty of their training, high amount of danger in their jobs, and high risk of capture during war time, US military rescue swimmers and some divers are also considered part of the special operations community, with several women having qualified for those jobs as well.

Other special operations forces include the British Special Boat Service and Special Air Service, and Norwegian Marinejegerkommandoen and FSK, MARCOS and Para (Indian Special Forces)

See also

References

  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20131020230203/http://www.shadowspear.com/special-operations-research.html ShadowSpear: About Special Operations
  2. ^ a b c d Robinson, Linda (November–December 2012). "The Future of Special Operations: Beyond Kill and Capture". Foreign Affairs 91 (6): 110–122. 

External links

  • List of US Special Operations Forces
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