Special forces and special relationship my arrse

#1
I was reading an article today and the sheer scale of the vaunted American Special Forces Community made me launch a new thread...

Given that they have their tiers - the Americans and not them - even so the size dwarfs our ability - RM, Para, SRR, SBS, SAS et al. This is serious so no RAF Regt.

And now this
All of the armed services are struggling to reset after 12 years of war while trying to define spending priorities to meet a variety of uncertain and overlapping threats, but SOCOM is doing so while rapidly growing in size and influence.
As the only segment of the Defense Department that is actually growing in both size and capability — its 60,000-odd operators will expand to more than 70,000 in the coming years, and its fiscal 2014 budget request for $12.4 billion is an increase from previous years — the command faces some difficult choices in how it maintains its “specialness” in the coming years of strategic retrenchment.

70,000 blokes?

Whole article can be viewed here: US Spec Ops Leaders Look Beyond Land Wars | Defense News | defensenews.com

I am lost, exactly what do we really contribute to the special relationship? Should I have the feeling that the Septics laugh at UK attempts to maintain talk of the special relationship.

Should the UK just get back into it.s own box and let the big boys play alone.

The scale of the septic commitment is immense and we could not project a 10th o the capability. IMHO.

The SDR needs a public discussion. The Mil people have cornered the polis or coopted them on some nonsense that there is a special relationship. Nothing special in being Mr 10 percent.
 
#2
Its about scale, the US Special Ops community is ten times larger than ours because their military is ten times the size of ours. You can't magically wish for more money unlike what the Labour party may have tried over the last decade, we have to sort out domestic financies and make do. Has always been thus.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland, commander of Army Special Operations Command, said operators are using equipment that reflect a decade’s worth of slugging it out in the deserts and mountains of Iraq and Afghanistan — and that gear likely won’t be a good fit for other theaters.

“Our tools that we have developed for our style of land warfare largely are not relevant,” he said. “What we built to fight in the last two wars is not what we need for the future.”
Hmm. I'm going to disagree with you on that one general; protected mobility, CIED, civil-military efforts, joint operations and intra-state warfare are far more likely to be our future wars compared to inter-state.

But thats not sexy and doesn't need F-35 and Future Armoured platforms etc. Here we go again...
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#3
The US call various units 'Special Ops' that we don't so to your list you'd have to add various other bits we have in the UK, including the Coast Guard!
 
#5
Its about scale, the US Special Ops community is ten times larger than ours because their military is ten times the size of ours. You can't magically wish for more money unlike what the Labour party may have tried over the last decade, we have to sort out domestic financies and make do. Has always been thus.



Hmm. I'm going to disagree with you on that one general; protected mobility, CIED, civil-military efforts, joint operations and intra-state warfare are far more likely to be our future wars compared to inter-state.

But thats not sexy and doesn't need F-35 and Future Armoured platforms etc. Here we go again...
I can add nothing to this thread in terms of blokes who are hard. However, I have my doubts about the veracity in UK Govt talking about the Special Relationship all time.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Sorry K don't see where you're tying in the scale of US SF and the special relationship?

I've got to add having met some of the US Army A teams in Gereshk a long while back I found a lot of them were reservists and barely out of college. So in terms of sheer numbers and capability I'd wonder how that all stacks up (regulars,then within tiers and balanced against numbers who are reserves).

Then I wonder if its nation state laws that mean we can offer them 'services' they cannot or would rather not do themselves and vice versa. Who knows..
 
#8
Sorry K don't see where you're tying in the scale of US SF and the special relationship?

I've got to add having met some of the US Army A teams in Gereshk a long while back I found a lot of them were reservists and barely out of college. So in terms of sheer numbers and capability I'd wonder how that all stacks up (regulars,then within tiers and balanced against numbers who are reserves).

Then I wonder if its nation state laws that mean we can offer them 'services' they cannot or would rather not do themselves and vice versa. Who knows..
Thanks for the feedback

One on One. I have no notion who is better...

What I do object to is the constant talk of special relationship. In terms of size, we are a minnion to them. Heavens, their whole SF community will amount to almost the entire Brit Army in a few years time.

I note and accept your thoughts that some of Theirs are not as seasoned as our Them.

However, politics has to leave the Army and Telegraph headlines...
 
#9
In terms of real Tier 1 SF, the UK and US capabilities aren't massively different.
I have no idea and no wish to know. Hope you understand. However, thank you... still it needs taking out of politics, out of main stream press and comment.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
the americans are very worried about alien invasion though. and mexicans.
 
#12
So why start a thread about Yank/Brit SF then?
With all due respect to Krom, I thought he'd started a thread about the misuse of the term "special relationship". Then because it could be perceived as "a little dry", sexed it up by mentioning SF.

I have to say that I agree with him about the political misuse of the phrase, although I have no perspective on the size of Yank SF.
 
#13
AIUI the actual Tier 1 USSF - Delta, Seal Team 6, I expect a few other bits, is only about 1,500-2,000 'operators', if that. The rest of SOCOM is composed of Tier 2 (about equivalent to our Paras/RM) - Rangers, Army SF, etc and an awful lot of support arms, etc., especially AFSOC and Army Aviation.
 
#14
I would say not every one of those 70,000 is a snake eater. it includes the normal signals, command, vehicle mechanics, Admin wear the same Electric Butterknife insignia minus the SF Qual tab
 
#16
AIUI the actual Tier 1 USSF - Delta, Seal Team 6, I expect a few other bits, is only about 1,500-2,000 'operators', if that. The rest of SOCOM is composed of Tier 2 (about equivalent to our Paras/RM) - Rangers, Army SF, etc and an awful lot of support arms, etc., especially AFSOC and Army Aviation.
I concur- In my experience most people classes as USSF are little more than well trained infantrymen. Nothing wrong with that but 'Spashul' is in these days!
 
#17
I concur- In my experience most people classes as USSF are little more than well trained infantrymen. Nothing wrong with that but 'Spashul' is in these days!
That's a serious overstatement I think. Most (US Army) SF medics are much more highly trained than a regular combat medic could ever be, the same for the weapons, engineer & communications sergeants [all '18' series in US Army nomenclature]. While they aren't SAS/Delta/SEAL level they're a definite step above a well-trained infantryman in say the 82nd ABN.
 
#18
Sorry K don't see where you're tying in the scale of US SF and the special relationship?

I've got to add having met some of the US Army A teams in Gereshk a long while back I found a lot of them were reservists and barely out of college. So in terms of sheer numbers and capability I'd wonder how that all stacks up (regulars,then within tiers and balanced against numbers who are reserves).
They're technically Army National Guard [ARNG] rather than Army Reservists [two different entities as I painfully learned]. A lot of the SF ARNG guys always seem to be cops in the real world and a fair number of them SWAT team members, those tend to have pretty good skills from what I could tell.
 
#19
That's a serious overstatement I think. Most (US Army) SF medics are much more highly trained than a regular combat medic could ever be, the same for the weapons, engineer & communications sergeants [all '18' series in US Army nomenclature]. While they aren't SAS/Delta/SEAL level they're a definite step above a well-trained infantryman in say the 82nd ABN.
The 18D medics go though the whole gammut of SF selection and subsequent training to then go on and do an almost 12 month long course split between the "SF university" and a particular hospital or two, in Florida ordinarily, where they do paramedic placements. If they fail the course they go back for re-assessment for a different role in SF. If they pass they then have to catch up with their counterparts who have been doing a multitude of things in the previous 12 months. I have met some 18D's and would put most of them up against any emergency room Doctor for capability and competence.
 
#20
AIUI the actual Tier 1 USSF - Delta, Seal Team 6, I expect a few other bits, is only about 1,500-2,000 'operators', if that. The rest of SOCOM is composed of Tier 2 (about equivalent to our Paras/RM) - Rangers, Army SF, etc and an awful lot of support arms, etc., especially AFSOC and Army Aviation.
I have met several Rangers who have met and trained with the para's and they compare themselves to Brit Para's. I have also met SEAL's and Greenberets who I would put on a par with a very well trained recce, COP or pathfinder platoon. There are just too many of them to be too speshul. Then you get the Delta's and ST6's. I spent a week at an event bumping into the former badgeman of Delta who is a good acquaintance of my colleague and I know the last training officer of ST6 as my pistol coach. Delta and ST6 are a different breed.
 

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