Training jumps of soldiers of the 1st group of special forces “Green Berets”
The US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) is the highest command body for all special forces that belong to the US Army. This command body carries out direct operational planning and directs the conduct of combat operations by army special forces troops. It is the troops of the special units of the Ground Forces of the American army that are by far the most numerous. The estimated number of special forces under the command of the US Army Special Operations Command is estimated at 33,800, of which 1,250 are civilian specialists.
75th Ranger Regiment, or simply “Rangers”
The 75th Ranger Regiment is a unique unit of special forces, consisting of specially trained and well-trained soldiers. In fact, it is a special purpose paratrooper reconnaissance regiment of the US Army. These are specialized light infantry with a limited number of heavy weapons and armored vehicles. The soldiers of the regiment are prepared for landing by all available means: parachute, helicopter, sea. The regiment’s motto is: “Rangers go ahead.”
The regiment includes three airborne battalions and one separate battalion (detachment) for special purposes. The staffing of each airborne battalion, consisting of three airborne companies and one headquarters company, is 660 people. The total number of the regiment’s personnel is estimated at about 3,500 people. One of the airborne battalions of the 75th Ranger Regiment is always on high alert and can be sent on missions anywhere in the world within 18 hours.
It is believed that the first mobile field reconnaissance units of the Ground Forces for operations behind enemy lines (“rangers”) appeared in the United States at the end of the 17th century. At the same time, a century later, a whole army intelligence corps took part in the US War of Independence. At the same time, the formation of units and subunits for deep reconnaissance in the American army took place only during the Second World War. Since then, the rangers have taken part in all major wars and local conflicts that the United States waged around the world. For example, during the Vietnam War in 1969, the name “Rangers” passed to the 75th Airborne Regiment, which, as part of 13 separate companies, participated in raids on enemy rear lines and was involved in reconnaissance. Finally, all the individual parts of the “Rangers” were brought together as part of the 75th Airborne Regiment in February 1986.
Ranger squad in Afghanistan, 2012
Today, the Rangers are the most trained light infantry in the American army. In addition to reconnaissance, sabotage and sabotage behind enemy lines and reconnaissance in the interests of the advancing units of the Ground Forces, the regiment’s subunits can be used for direct combat operations: capturing and holding airfields, capturing or destroying strategically important enemy targets, as well as capturing or eliminating high-ranking officials from the number of the military-political leadership of the enemy. Each ranger undergoes a long-term training process, which includes individual training (physical and tactical) and the practice of command actions as part of a battalion in any conditions, environment and climate: from urban development to the snow of the Arctic or impassable jungle. Additionally, each division of the 75th regiment has a team dedicated to clearing buildings, which is specially prepared for such tasks.
The US Army Special Forces is widely known as the Green Berets. It is a select, well-trained unit of the US Army Ground Forces. The history of the Green Berets dates back to 1952. The first soldiers of the special forces were members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), created during the Second World War. In many ways, the organization and training of fighters in those years was based on the experience of the British Special Military Service (SAS). A serious increase in the number of “berets” took place already in 1961 against the background of the aggravation of the situation around Cuba. Then President John Fitzgerald Kennedy increased the number of these units from 1,000 to 2,500 people with the formation of the concept of training special forces for guerrilla and anti-guerrilla warfare.
In many ways, it was Kennedy who put a lot of effort into the formation of modern American special forces. It is no coincidence that the US Special Forces Training Center bears his name today. It was this American president who helped ensure that the Green Berets became the elite of the army in every sense. In addition to the high level of physical and combat training, great attention was paid to reconnaissance, the study of tactics, foreign languages and cultural characteristics of the countries in which special forces were trained in the training of fighters. It is no coincidence that it was in the units of the “green berets” that the first psychological warfare units in the American army appeared, understanding and using the traditions and cultural and psychological characteristics of various peoples of the world to achieve their goals.
Currently, the American army includes 5 active groups of “green berets” (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th), two more groups (19th and 20th) are deployed as part of the National Guard troops. Organizationally, the groups are light paratrooper regiments of four battalions. The motto of the Green Berets: Liberation of the Oppressed. Spetsnaz groups are prepared for operations in various regions of the planet. At the same time, some of them are deployed outside the United States, for example, one of the battalions of the 1st Airborne Regiment of the US Army Special Forces is stationed on the island of Okinawa, and one of the battalions of the 10th Parachute Regiment is located in Germany in the city of Boeblingen. Battalions from the 3rd, 5th and 7th regiments were regularly involved in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Disembarkation of fighters of the 7th group of “green berets” on board the submarine
Green Berets are trained to take part in operations in peacetime, during local conflicts of varying degrees of intensity and during full-scale war. The soldiers of these special forces can take a direct part in hostilities, participate in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking, conduct special reconnaissance, clear the area and participate in humanitarian operations. At the same time, a feature of the units is preparation for waging an unconventional war (support for a foreign rebel movement or resistance movement in the occupied territories), the fight against rebel movements and partisans.
The Green Berets have left a big mark on popular culture. The first film of the same name was released during the Vietnam War, the main role in the film was played by the star of American Westerns – John Wayne. But the most famous “green beret” from the world of cinema can be called John Rambo performed by Sylvester Stallone, whose hero did not find himself in a world without war and battles. Also “green beret” was Colonel Kurtz, whom Captain Willard had to find in the jungle of Cambodia in the cult film by Francis Ford Coppola “Apocalypse Now”.
The first operational unit of special forces, Delta, is sometimes also called the first operational detachment or the first separate operational special forces regiment. A more common name, especially one that has penetrated popular culture, is an abbreviated version: “Delta” squad. It is under this name that the unit often flashes in Hollywood films, one of which was the action movie “Delta Squad” with the modern meme hero Chuck Norris in the title role. Another famous film, in which the soldiers of the special forces “Delta” are present, is the picture “The Fall of the Black Hawk.”
The plot of the film “Detachment Delta” is based on the release of hostages by members of the special forces. In reality, “Delta”, of course, can be involved in solving such a problem, but in fact, in the United States, this is usually done by the special forces of the FBI and the American police. The tasks of the special forces themselves are not limited to the rescue of civilians. The main profile of the “Delta” squad: the fight against terrorism, counter-guerrilla warfare, the fight against uprisings, conducting secret operations around the world. The unit can also participate in hostilities, organizing direct action operations: raids, ambushes, sabotage. Also, unit fighters can be involved in actions against highly valued targets: people or resources needed by the enemy command to successfully solve their tasks.
A soldier of the “Delta” detachment behind the front line in Iraq in 1991
The Delta Unit is elite and is usually recruited from among the military personnel with experience in other special units of the Ground Forces, as well as the 75th Ranger Regiment. The total number of the subdivision is estimated by specialists at 800-1000 people, while the exact composition of the subdivision is not disclosed. Approximately 300 of them are believed to be trained in combat operations and hostage rescue, while the rest are highly trained support personnel, the best of the best in their fields.
Auxiliary units of the army special forces
In addition to the above units, the 160th separate army special forces aviation regiment and a number of support units are also part of the American army special forces. The 160th regiment also has a battalion of special forces air gunners and a training battalion of air controllers. In addition, a separate 528th Special Forces Logistics Brigade is allocated, as well as a special military center and the John F. Kennedy School of the US Army. This center is engaged in the preparation and training of personnel for special forces.
Three interesting units can be distinguished in the composition of the special forces of the US Army. The first of these is the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne). The soldiers of this brigade are able to speak at least one of 20 foreign languages. Their main task is to provide assistance to the US military command and work with civilian authorities and the population in areas of operations in peacetime, during emergencies, as well as in war conditions. Their important task is to work with the civilian population and ensure its loyalty, including through the identification and subsequent solution of critical problems for the civilian population (during an emergency or military action).
Servicemen of the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade
Also, the US Army Special Forces includes the 4th and 8th psychological operations groups, each consisting of several battalions. The 4th group was formed in 1967 at the height of the Vietnam War.
Both psychological operations units provide information support to ongoing military operations, providing support to civil and military authorities. The division produces and distributes information materials aimed at delivering information to a foreign audience in a light favorable to the United States. In addition to various types of propaganda, the unit is engaged in providing combat units with specialists with knowledge of foreign languages, customs and mores of the local population, as well as preparing analytical, reference and information materials of an intelligence nature.