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US SOFs

#1
I thought it would be a good idea to list different US SOF's and what they do. US SOF's can be a complicated matter, and many brits I feel do not know how to distinguish one from the other. The same can be said for Americans with regards to UKSF.

In UKSF, there is SAS/SBS/SRR/SFSG, with various supporting elements. American equivalents for the above would be CAG (Delta)/DEVGRU/Intelligence Support Activity/US Army Rangers respectively. In the US, there is only one special forces, and that is the US Army Special Forces (Green Berets). US Army SF are a versatile unit, but their main job is training foreign guerillas and leading them into battle (ie Afghanistan in 2001) and training foreign nationals. For the army there is also the 160th SOAR, helicopter pilots who taxi US SOFs.

The US Navy has SEALs, a maritime SOF unit that specializes in direct action and special reconnaissence. As well as Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (basically EOD techs who are also trained to operate in hostile environments). There is also Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen, (SWCC), who operate boats that insert SEALS or other SOF's.

The USMC has MARSOC, which is a mixture of FID specialists and Force Recon like operators. Force Recon, never considered a part of US SOF, were absorbed by MARSOC. Their job is deep reconnaissence for Marine Expeditionary Units. The USMC also still has batallion Recon, that is not considered SOF.

The US Air Force has SOF as well. There are USAF Pararescue Jumpers, who specialize in Combat Search and Rescue, the rescuing of downed pilots. They are also trauma care specialists and combat medics. There are also USAF Combat Controllers, who are combat oriented ground air traffic controllers, and also specialize terminal attack control (like British FAC's). The USAF also has something called Combat Weather, who gather meteorological data in a hostile environment. (In my opinion, the only suspect US SOF, I really don't why we need weather commandos.)

That about covers it. It is often said that US SOCOM numbers more than 55,000. The vast majority of this, however, is support. There are only about 15,000 actual operators in total, however, and that includes the weather commandos, the 160th SOAR, and the SWCC.
 
#3
Do me a favor and read the post again. Now, can you tell me where I ever said or even implied we were better? How you can take a post that was meant to inform and turn it into the old xenophobic us vs them argument is beyond me.
 
#4
Yea, i can't see how you reached that conclusion either bobferal.

As for the US SOF, wow, they have so many, i hadn't heard of half of those units before. What ever happened to bullshit baffles brains?! (and no, that was just a reference to the complexity, not that we're better!)
 
#5
gimme-shelter said:
The USAF also has something called Combat Weather, who gather meteorological data in a hostile environment. (In my opinion, the only suspect US SOF, I really don't why we need weather commandos.)
"Whats the weather like?"

"It's hostile."

I assume they can do other stuff as well but ISTR that weather related derring-do featured quite heavily in WW2. Maybe this implies something about USAF thinking on the likely life expectancy of weather satellites?
 
#6
It is complex, and it has taken some good old fashioned trial and error (ie Grenada) to figure out the best way to use each unit. There is a lot of redundancy in these capabilities, but each unit still focuses on it's main role. The only unit that hasn't found their niche are the US Navy SEALs, who are for some reason looked down on by the rest of SOCOM. But other than that, the system seems to work pretty well.
 
#7
gimme-shelter said:
The USAF also has something called Combat Weather, who gather meteorological data in a hostile environment. (In my opinion, the only suspect US SOF, I really don't why we need weather commandos.)
That's what I do too, every morning. I monitor the Weather Channel, wherefrom I acquire meteorological data on the degree of hostility of the environment.
 
#8
n UKSF, there is SAS/SBS/SRR/SFSG, with various supporting elements. American equivalents for the above would be CAG (Delta)/DEVGRU/Intelligence Support Activity/US Army Rangers
I thought (now don't eat me, I'm just a poor civie no nothing), that the SFSG started out something like US Ranger's but expanded what they do, like the Aussie commandos?
 
#9
gimme-shelter said:
Do me a favor and read the post again. Now, can you tell me where I ever said or even implied we were better? How you can take a post that was meant to inform and turn it into the old xenophobic us vs them argument is beyond me.
Im not anything phobic just to show Ill bump yer post BUMP
 
#10
The only reason the septics have so many *speshul forces* is so that they can create more naff godawful feck off badges to adorn their Class A uniforms with. The Brits? We just do fighting. Short. Sharp. Nasty. And very brutal.
 
#11
duffdike said:
The only reason the septics have so many *speshul forces* is so that they can create more naff godawful feck off badges to adorn their Class A uniforms with. The Brits? We just do fighting. Short. Sharp. Nasty. And very brutal.
Really? The British Army doesn't have dozens of regiments/battalions which all seem to have their own individual character, personality, history, and exclusive badges to distinguish themselves from other regiments?
 
#12
ronnie12398 said:
Really? The British Army doesn't have dozens of regiments/battalions which all seem to have their own individual character, personality, history, and exclusive badges to distinguish themselves from other regiments?
Indeed but they are only "Special Forces" when describing themselves to some attractive and impressionable (okay, gullible) young bint in the pub!
 
#13
petergriffen said:
n UKSF, there is SAS/SBS/SRR/SFSG, with various supporting elements. American equivalents for the above would be CAG (Delta)/DEVGRU/Intelligence Support Activity/US Army Rangers
I thought (now don't eat me, I'm just a poor civie no nothing), that the SFSG started out something like US Ranger's but expanded what they do, like the Aussie commandos?
And I thought (not eating) that it was just a cynical ploy by Jacko to prevent one of the Para battalions getting the chop. It's amazing what you learn on Arrse.
 
#14
WRT the "Weather Commandos" I was under the impression they would be rarely deployed as a team. But rather augmented in to other groups teams.

The idea being that they can send back weather data accurately to the places that need it. They are all trained meteroligists (spelling) before they become SOF types.

Someone has mentioned Weather Satts but we still have a lot of ground weather stations providing information, (you must have seen them in the streets etc, white boxes with various solar panels, wind speed detectors and rain water collectors) how much info do we get out of a satt shot? We only have so many weather sats as a planet, what if they aren't in position?

Don't the USAF have SOCOM flyers too ie Spectre, some air lift and transport too?
 
#15
gimme-shelter said:
It is complex, and it has taken some good old fashioned trial and error (ie Grenada) to figure out the best way to use each unit. There is a lot of redundancy in these capabilities, but each unit still focuses on it's main role. The only unit that hasn't found their niche are the US Navy SEALs, who are for some reason looked down on by the rest of SOCOM. But other than that, the system seems to work pretty well.
Trial & error eg Grenada? You jest. It is a courtesy to inform Her Majesty's Government before invading parts of the Commonwealth. :)
 
#16
duffdike said:
Trial & error eg Grenada? You jest. It is a courtesy to inform Her Majesty's Government before invading parts of the Commonwealth. :)
And were we not, by treaty, actually responsible for the defence of Grenada at the time? As we still are for many of the smallest Commonwealth states?
 
#17
petergriffin, you might be right about the SFSG being more akin to Aussie 4RAR commandos or Canadian CSOR. I was under the impression they acted as a security force for the SAS in a similar way that other units do for our CAG, particularly the US Army Rangers. (ie Somalia).

chocolate_frog, I'm not sure if the weather commando's are integrated into other SOF or conventional units or if they operate independantly. They probably don't work alone often. You're correct about them all being trained meteorologists before undergoing SOF type small unit tactics training. I do know that USAF Tactical Air Control Parties (TACP) generally work with conventional army units (and SOF units for a select few), but they're not SOF. So it wouldn't surprise me if the weather commando's worked in a similar way. However, TACP's also undergo small unit tactics training as well. Why they are not organizationally a part of SOCOM I do not know.

I left out SOCOM's air force assets. I believe all AC-130 spectre crews (pilots, aerial gunners etc.) are SOF as well.
 
#18
Idrach said:
And I thought (not eating) that it was just a cynical ploy by Jacko to prevent one of the Para battalions getting the chop. It's amazing what you learn on Arrse.
They were basically chosen because they are much better than craphats.
 
#19
Had a yank family friend based over here for a bit, kept in contact too. He was one of the USAF PJs (Pararescue) - one of the squad/batallion/team that have tattooed green feet (or should that be 'foots', considering it's one foot per man) onto their arrses since Vietnam.

Basically he said that the CSAR role is so rare now with all these snazzy fast jets and anti-missile systems that 90% of their work is stuff like recovering downed satellites in shitty places (floating around on the surface of the pacific for example) or recovering predator/reaper drones that have a nasty landing in Afghan/Pakistan/Arizona.

Joined in '88 and did one 'live' (i.e. wartime) CSAR in his whole career, which was in the 1st Gulf war. Pilot was captured before they arrived but they picked up some data/kit from the plane and buggered off before the Iraqis could ruin the party. He gave most credit to Army SF after an exercise near Bragg but said he thought they were Delta by the way they dressed/carried themselves. Said they were scruffy nutters with a cowboy attitude but were great soldiers in combat but obviously Delta & DEVGRU "don't exist"!
 
#20
Had a yank family friend based over here for a bit, kept in contact too. He was one of the USAF PJs (Pararescue) - one of the squad/batallion/team that have tattooed green feet (or should that be 'foots', considering it's one foot per man) onto their arrses since Vietnam.

Basically he said that the CSAR role is so rare now with all these snazzy fast jets and anti-missile systems that 90% of their work is stuff like recovering downed satellites in shitty places (floating around on the surface of the pacific for example) or recovering predator/reaper drones that have a nasty landing in Afghan/Pakistan/Arizona.

Joined in '88 and did one 'live' (i.e. wartime) CSAR in his whole career, which was in the 1st Gulf war. Pilot was captured before they arrived but they picked up some data/kit from the plane and buggered off before the Iraqis could ruin the party. He gave most credit to Army SF after an exercise near Bragg but said he thought they were Delta by the way they dressed/carried themselves. Said they were scruffy nutters with a cowboy attitude but were great soldiers in combat but obviously Delta & DEVGRU "don't exist"!
They do! Delta was in a film I once saw. ;)
 

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