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U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)

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Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) is officially described as a "joint headquarters designed to study special operations requirements and techniques; ensure interoperability and equipment standardization; plan and conduct joint special operations exercises and training; and develop joint special operations tactics" but this description is economical with the truth. Joint Special Operations Command serves as a standing Joint Special Operations Task Force responsible for unique special missions: execution, planning, training, tactics, and equipment development.

Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) was established in 1980 and is located at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina and at nearby Fort Bragg, NC. JSOC is a joint headquarters designed to study special operations requirements and techniques; ensure interoperability and equipment standardization; plan and conduct joint special operations exercises and training; and develop joint special operations tactics.

Althoug…

U.S. Joint Communication Unit (JCU)

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In the investigation that followed the failed attempt to rescue US hostages from Iran a number of deficiencies were identified. One of the main factors contributing to the confusion at Desert One was the lack of compatibility between communications systems, and the fact that each service involved had different standard operating procedures.

To alleviate some of the confusion and standardize communication procedures when conducting joint special operations, the Joint Chiefs of staff ordered the formation of a new joint-service communication unit. The new unit was designated the Joint Communication Unit (JCU), and was activated in 1980 at Ft. Bragg, NC, and assigned to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). The unit's initial cadre of personnel was drawn from special operations communications personnel assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff's (JCS) Joint Communication Support Element (JCSE).

The JCU is tasked with ensuring standardization of communications procedures and e…

U.S. Navy Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU)

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The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), or DEVGRU, is a U.S. Navy component of Joint Special Operations Command. It is often referred to as SEAL Team Six, the name of its predecessor which was officially disbanded in 1987. DEVGRU is administratively supported by Naval Special Warfare Command and operationally commanded by the Joint Special Operations Command. Most information concerning DEVGRU is classified and details of its activities are not usually commented on by either the White House or the Department of Defense. In 2010 it was reported DEVGRU's designation was changed by the Defense Department. Despite the official name changes, "SEAL Team Six" remains the unit's widely recognized moniker. It is sometimes referred to in the U.S. media as a Special Mission Unit DEVGRU and its Army counterpart, Delta Force, are the United States military's primary counter-terrorism units. Although DEVGRU was created as a maritime counter-terroris…

French GIGN

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GIGN (Groupe d'intervention de la Gendarmerie nationale; English: National Gendarmerie Intervention Group) is the elite police tactical unit of the French National Gendarmerie. Its missions include counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, surveillance of national threats, protection of government officials, and targeting organized crime.

GIGN was established in 1974 following the Munich massacre. Created initially as a relatively small tactical unit specialized in sensitive hostage situations, it has since grown into a larger and more diversified force of nearly 400 members, with expanded responsibilities. GIGN shares jurisdiction of French territory with the National Police special-response units.

GIGN is headquartered in Versailles-Satory near Paris. Although most of its operations take place in France, the unit, as a component of the French Armed Forces, can operate anywhere in the world. Many of its missions are secret, and members are not allowed to be publicly photographed. Since it…

South African Special Forces (RECCE)

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With the paratroops moving toward a more conventional airborne-forces role, the SADF felt a distinct need for an SAS or Fernspaher type of unit. This need was met by the establishment of a small specialist unit in Durban (1 October 1972) called 1 Reconnaissance Commando. Since then, a number of additional Recce Commandos have been established, in-including a CF element and 4 Recce, based at Langebaan in the Cape and trained for amphibious operations. All have amply proved their worth on operations, and the 'Recces' have earned the admiring respect even of the tough 'parabats' and the bush war experts of 32 Bn.

One of the tasks of the Recce Commandos is that of gathering intelligence on activity in enemy rear areas. The execution of special operations in the enemy rear also falls within their ambit. In general, they could be described as specialists in strategic intelligence, although the war against PLAN insurgents has seen them carry out tactical intelligence-gatheri…

Australia's Special Air Service Regiment (SASR)

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The history of Australia's "Special Forces" can be traced as far back as the 1940s when Australian soldiers were part in AIB or Allied Intelligence Bureau. However it wasn't until July 25th, 1957, when the Army turned to Major W.Gook, that a proper "Special Forces" unit was formed. Major Gook was put in charge of a new unit: the 1st Special Air Service Company (Royal Australian Regiment). The total strength of the Company was only180 men at first. On August 20th, 1964, the SAS finally became a full Regiment consisting of three "Sabre" Squadrons, a Training Squadron, and a Headquarters. The SASR was modeled after the British SAS.

The SAS had previously worn a red beret (indicating them as a Parachute Company) with the Infantry Corps Cap Badge. In 1966, the SAS was given permission to change over to the beige beret. However since most of the SASR was deployed to Borneo at the time, all they could get were the British SAS berets with the cloth Winge…

1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta

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The 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D) — commonly known as Delta in the U.S. Army, Delta Force by civilians, and Combat Applications Group by the Department of Defense — is a Special Operations Force (SOF) and an integral element of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

Delta Force's primary tasks are counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency and national intervention operations, although it is an extremely versatile group capable of assuming many missions, including, but not limited to, rescuing hostages, raids, and eliminating covert enemy forces. Delta Force conducts missions similar to those attributed to the British Special Air Service (SAS), on which it was originally modeled.

Background

The unit was started by Colonel Charles Beckwith in 1977. Throughout its creation, the unit had the benefit of experience from the British SAS, with which Colonel Beckwith served and trained while on loan through an officer exchange program with the British from …