Elite special forces are some of the best-trained and most formidable units a country can boast.
They go where other troops fear to tread, scoping out potential threats, taking out strategic targets, and conducting daring rescue missions.
The following list looks at 5 of the top special-forces currently deployed in the world. Although there are many that should be on this list, unfortunately it can only have 5. Some of the big names are all here and a few may surprise you.
However, don’t let popularity in the media fool you. Just because you haven’t heard of them or recognize them from movies or video games, doesn’t mean the forces listed below are not elite and deserving of a place on this list. In any event, we guarantee you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of any of these groups.
Top 5 Elite Special Forces
Unit: SAS – Britain (created 1941) Elite Special Forces List
1. SAS – Britain
What’s this, a group rated higher than the SEALs? Indeed. The British Special Air Service was created in 1941 as a force which could operate behind German and Italian lines and support resistance movements against the occupation forces.
Understandably, the force is made up of British military personnel with the most coming from the airborne forces.
Their insignia bears the phrase “Who dares wins.” Asked about the importance of the SAS’s role in the fighting that followed the Iraq War, US Gen. Stanley McChrystal said: “Essential. Could not have done it without them.
Top 5 Elite Special Forces
Unit: Navy Seal (created 1962) Elite Special Forces List
2. Navy SEALs – US
The SEALs are an American special-forces group created in 1962 which have achieved near mythical status. This in part is thanks to Operation Neptune Spear – the mission in which SEALs flew into Abbottabad, Pakistan in May, 2011 and killed Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda.
The SEALs are elite and the physical and mental strength required to make it in this force is ridiculously high. Training takes over a year and most applicants can’t even get past the physical qualification test which involves a lot of swimming, push-ups, sit-ups and running, all accomplished in a very strict time limit.
Get past that and you enter general training. Pass that and you move on to SEAL qualification training which then opens the door to specialized training. All of this ensures that SEAL members are physically and mentally as tough as nails and capable of undertaking the most difficult operations in the world, wherever that may be.
3. Shayetet 13 – Israel
4. Alpha Group – Russia
Russia’s Alpha Group is one of the best-known special forces units in the world. This elite antiterrorism unit was created by the KGB in 1974 and remains in service under its modern-day counterpart, the FSB.
Within the Russian special-forces, Alpha Group is as bad as they come.
This force came to fame during the invasion of Afghanistan during which members of Alpha stormed the Presidential Palace in Kabul, killing everyone in the building. In 1985, a group was dispatched to Beirut to try and rescue four Soviet diplomats. When the diplomats were killed, Alpha Group allegedly hunted down relatives of the hostage takers and returned them to their families in much smaller pieces to send a message to would-be terrorists.
It apparently worked for over 20 years. Domestically, Alpha has been involved in most of the major anti-terrorist/hostage operations in Russia such as the Moscow theatre siege of 2002 and the Beslan school siege in 2004. Both events demonstrated the rather heavy handed nature of the Russian special-forces as hundreds of hostages were killed during operations.