The five main special forces of the American army
There are five main Special Forces in the American army operating under the U.S. Special Operations Command USSOCOM. They include the Seal Team Six, The1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, and the Intelligence Support Activity. The Seal Team Six is one of the most specialized units in the United States military.
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This unit is among the 8 units of the Navy SEALs and it is also known as the ‘rainbow’ (Combs, 2003). The unit was responsible for the operation that led to the death of Osama Bin Laden. This is the only unit in the United States military that performs off-the-grid assignments commonly known as black operations. The unit is normally under the Joint Special Operations Command and under the command of the president (Combs, 2003).
Primary roles of the units
Seal Team Six’s primary missions include, counter terrorism, close protection, and special reconnaissance (Combs, 2003). The unit is mainly involved in operations in Afghanistan. Its commandos are proficient in pre-emptive CT operations (Combs, 2003). The unit also provides security for the elite and political VIPs. In addition, it provides Intelligence Services and Surveillance for the elite and political leaders using highly specialized techniques. The 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment also known as Delta is the second best special unit in the US military.
This unit is not as famous as the SEALs but in direct action missions it stands out as the best. It was formed in the early 70s and ever since, the unit has been very instrumental in fighting global terror networks (Combs, 2003). The unit’s composition is very secretive and highly guarded since its existence is held as a top government secret. The 160th special operations aviation regiment is a group of elite pilots who are highly trained to fly commandos to their destinations.
This unit consists of highly trained pilots and air crew commonly known as the Nightstalkers (Combs, 2003). The unit was formed in the 80s and it has been very instrumental in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East. The 24th special tactics squadron provides support to the delta and the seals in air operations. The unit consists of highly specialized airmen and combat control technicians as well as Pararescue jumpers (Combs, 2003).
Lastly, the US army has a special unit that provides intelligence support to the other combat units mentioned above. In every operation, intelligence is very important for the success of the mission. The unit has highly secretive signals and human intelligence capabilities and it also has its own shooters in case of an emergency (Combs, 2003).
Challenges faced by the Special Forces units
Nonetheless, these groups are faced with three major challenges in terms of tactical training and organizational structures. One of the major training challenges is the lack of adequate resources for training. This includes human resources since young people are not willing to join the military. In addition, the units are facing great challenges when it comes to training for real combat environments.
Most of these units are trained locally although their operations are carried out in foreign countries. Lack of adequate training to expose the trainees to the real environment is a major challenge. Another challenge is their organizational structure. As discussed above, different units are specialized in different areas of war hence the need to work together in a particular mission. This can create hitches in the chain of command during an operation.
Lastly, the Special Forces are faced with major tactical challenges in the recent fight against terrorism. Contemporary terrorists are using different tactics to perpetrate their attacks. Currently, terrorist have changed their organizational structure to avoid being traced. In addition, they have enhanced radicalization of Non-Muslims and Non-Arabs hence making it very difficult for the military to target them.
Combs, C. C. (2003). Terrorism in the 21st century (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Web.