See also: Special forces (homonymy), SF
The Special Forces (SF, “special forces”), popularly known under the nickname of the “ green berets ” ( green berets ), are one of the Special forces of the US Army. Specialized in the nonconventional war, the actions commandos and the formation of allied troops, they have, since their creation at the beginning of the Années 1950, be committed in the majority of the conflicts implying the the United States.
Three main missions are entrusted to the green berets:
- not-conventional war ( Unconventional Warfare , UW): it is about a term used to call the Guérilla. Generally, the SF form, frame to see order maquis combined for this mission.
- actions commandos ( Direct Action , DA): these missions relate to attacks made by surprised and quickly on objectives with high strategic value (headquarters, ammunition dumps, air bases, etc).
- trainings of foreign troops ( Foreign Internal Defense , FID): another big role of the SF, although it is carried out more and more by the MEU (PLOWSHARE) ( Marine Expedionary Unit (Special Operations Able) ) of the US Marine Body.
The various armed forces of the the United States had founded during the Second world war a certain number of Special forces, in particular the units of the OS and the 1st Special Service Forces, known under the name of the Brigade of the Devil ( Devil' S Brigade ). But these units were dissolved after the end of the war.
The cold warThese activities were initially taken again at the beginning of the Cold war by the agency lately created, the CIA, but the failures of the “agency” in its operations during the Guerre of Korea, led the American soldiers to create their clean Special forces.
The January 15th 1951 is created the office off the Chief off Psychological Warfare , preceding by little that of the Psychological Warfare Center with Fort Bragg in May 1951. The name of Psychological was partly selected to dissimulate its true activities, because they include/understand at the same time the Psychological warfare and the activities of Special forces. It will be famous besides Special Warfare Center in 1956.
The first unit of the Special Forces is 10th SFG ( Special Forces Group ; the complete denomination is Special Forces Group (Airborne) or SFG (A)), created the June 19th 1952 and placed under the command of the colonel Aaron Bank, old of the 1st Special Service Forces . Number 10 was selected to mislead the Soviets on the number of existing SFG. The members of the unit are then veterans of the 1st Special Service Forces , of the OS, the Parachute Infantry (airborne troops) and of the guerillas of the Pacific. This unit then has two missions, the nonconventional Guerre (guerilla) and the Psychological warfare. The doctrines of the time of 10th SFG devote it only to one possible conflict open between the communist bloc and the capitalist block. Accordingly of a third world war, the Special Forces would have the role of infiltrating in the European territories invaded by the Red Army and of acting on its backs, in particular in connections with resistances which would be formed in the invaded countries.
The against-insurrectionary war
From the Fifties, the USA and the USSR try to place governments combined in a maximum of country. A great number of allied countries of the USA face Guérilla S Communists, which manage even to Cuba to seize the capacity. In Southeast Asia, other guerillas threaten the allied countries: Vietcong in Vietnam, Pathet Lao with the Laos. Special the Forces are among the first American troops committed in the fight against these guerillas, but quickly note the weakness of the tactics used. A doctrinal change takes place, in particular with the assistance of French experts of the against-guerilla, of which the methods were developed during the Guerre of Algeria and in particular the Bataille of Algiers. These doctrines do not relate to only the tactics implemented for éléminer the guerillas, but take into account the importance of the whole people in the participation in the insurrections. The doctrines developped at the point, called against-insurrection ( Counter-insurgency , shortened in CORNER), will be largely implemented during the Guerre of Vietnam.
The war in Southeast Asia
Under the presidencies of Dwight David Eisenhower then of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the Special Forces develop and, as expert a war nonconventional and in charge of the instruction of the allied armies, they will be the committed first (directly or indirectly) against the communist guerillas in the allied countries of the USA. With this intention, of new Special Forces Groups are created, at the sides of the 10th SFG which remains centered on Europe. In 1957 is created 1st SFG with Okinawa (Japan), from where the units from the Special Forces result which will be sent in Southeast Asia. This same year marks the arrival of a few tens of them with the Vietnam for the instruction of the army of the République of Vietnam (ARVN). However it is in Laos that they will take part directly in the first engagements. From 1959, the Special Forces and the CIA operate with the Laos as a civilian, relegated to the second plan by the French soldiers. The fold of France of Laos will make it possible the Special Forces to operate in uniform. Within the framework of the operation Hotfoot then White Star, they form the Laotian army and of the rural militia for the fight against the Pathet Lao, making it possible to demolish this one during the year 1962.
This experiment of Laos makes it possible the Special Forces to be familiarized with the tasks (instruction of the army allied, recognition, special operations) which they will mêneront with the Vietnam. In sptembre 1962 is made up the US Army Special Forces, Vietnam, Provisional , group of the Special Forces detached in Vietnam and based in Saigon, then with Nha Trang starting from 1963. It will become 5th SFG in October 1964. It will form in particular the maquis anticommunists CIDG ( Civilian Irregular Defense Groups , decides “sid-gee”) among the ethnos groups not-Vietnameses, militia RF and PF ( Regional Forces and Popular Forces ) of self-defense of the strategic villages, and starting from 1966 the Mobile Strike Force known as “ Mike Force ”. In their actions, the Special Forces are effective but need the support of the conventional forces, in particular the 1st Cavalry Division which conducts in 1965 the campaign of Pleiku to protect the camps from the Special Forces of the attacks of the Vietcong. At their sides many others are formed Special forces, like SEAL and the units Ranger recognition and LRRP ( Long Arranges Recognition Patrols or “Lurps”). The elements of the MACV-SOG of the CIA largment will largment be recruited in this viver. One of last the operation of the green berets in Vietnam is the Raid of Its Tay.
In XXIe Century
The green Berets played a crucial role in the war of Afghanistan, by supporting the anti-talibanes Afghan troops as of October 2001.
They took part largely in the Opération release of Iraq with déployement in quasi complete of the 5th and 10th SFG.
The Green Berets are gathered in five SFG, each one being specialized in a theater of operations.
To that two groups of reservists are added belonging to the National guard. In the past, other groups, now decontaminated, also existed (6th decontaminated in 1971,8th decontaminated in 1972,11th and 12th SFG decontaminated in 1992).
A SFG counts in theory 1 400 men, divided into 4 company S from support (command, logistics, transmissions, information) and 3 Battalion S of combat gathering each one 1 company of command and 3 companies of combat; those include/understand 1 cell of command and 6 ODA of 12 men. The ODA ( operational detachment alpha ), commonly called “Have-Teams” (“teams has”), are the basic pawn of the Special Forces . The operational detachments B and C indicate the elements of command of company and battalion. The units on the ground can operate in contact with agents of the CIA, specialists in various specific fields, and in air supports.
Within the American special forces (gathered within USSOCOM), the green Berets are regarded as more “intellectual” of the soldiers of elite: these “technicians of the war”, rapids, precis and general-purpose, all are specialized in several disciplines such as the explosives, the transmissions, mechanical and electronic engineering or the medical field. They also speak several languages, and the majority are holders of a university license or follow an continuing education permanently. Forts of their experiment, the average age of these soldiers oscillates between 32 and 35 years.
The drive of the green Berets is regarded as one of hardest within the American army, even if the methods used in the Années 1970 evolved/moved today. General-purpose, the green Beret must be ready to intervene in the airs, under the sea or on the ground in hostile environment. It must be able to use its environment to only survive, if it would be separated from its unit.
Their currency is a Latin phrase: Of oppresso liber .
The green beretIn 1954, approximately one year after the creation of the Special forces, a commission of officers and warrant officers met in Fort Bragg in North Carolina and chose the green beret like hairstyle for the members of the new unit.
Inspired by that of the British Commandos of the Royal Navy, the green beret was carried for the 1st time as a public in June 1956. In December of the same year, 77th SFG gave the order to all its personnel to carry the beret.
The adoption by the Special forces of a distinctive Emblème put them in conflict with the military Hiérarchie which required that the beret be removed. In spite of a vigorous campaign to keep the beret, prohibition was raised only the month of October 1961 after the president John F. Kennedy, fervent supporter of the Special forces, visited Fort Bragg and reviewed the 5th and 7th SFG.
At the request of Kennedy, the soldiers carried the green beret at the time of the ceremony. Estimating that the green beret would be an important distinctive sign, that Ci gave the order to restore this emblem of the Special forces.
Green berets in the popular cultureThe two more famous representatives of the body of the green Berets to the Cinéma are John Wayne, in the film the green Berets , and Rambo . Although its effectiveness is exaggerated, the techniques of survival and Guerilla which it employs appear among basic knowledge of the green Beret
- the official page of Special the Forces Command
- Site on all the SFG
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