The term, 'Special Operation Units' is used to refer to highly specialized and extensively trained military operation units who are known to perform highly volatile military operations. These forces are specially trained to participate in unconventional warfare tactics, reconnaissance as well as counter the highly dangerous terrorist activities. Around the world, in various countries, these 'Special Operation Units' are also termed as 'Special Forces' or 'Special Operation Forces'.
Specialty of special operation units Special Operation Units typically comprise of small teams of highly trained military personnel. These units are unique because unlike other military platoons, they operate on the principles of self sufficiency, speed, stealth and are extremely dependent on team work. These elements are what make these special operation units highly desirable for volatile and dangerous missions. The units are usually trained in using exclusive armament and special equipment to aid in their equally special operations.
Special Operation Units are called upon by the government to handle specialist situations like terrorism activities and other such dangerous activities both on the international and domestic front. On some occasions, such units are also termed as 'force multipliers' when they are used to train indigenous military forces in the specialist technique of guerrilla warfare. Historic account Special Operation Units have played a significant role in the shaping of nations and their respective militaries, the world over, since time immemorial. History has abundant accounts of the heroic tales of Special Forces across the world, who have played an important part in changing the destinies of nations.
The special operation units are known for their sabotage and surprise 'hit-and-run' warfare techniques. They do not indulge in traditional face-front combat. Such units act as a single entity during the operation, which is the secret of their success. History has tales of ancient Chinese and Japanese Ninjas. These were special troops skilled in Martial arts, who indulged in espionage and specialist guerrilla warfare. Special operation units in the world wars Many such special operation units were part of World War I and World War II as well.
The Italian "Reparti d'assalto" was famous for their shock attack techniques in World War I. In World War II, Winston Churchill also formed various specialist British operation units like Long-range Desert Unit, Special Naval and Air Service, various Raiding Forces etc. Special operation units in the 21st century In the early 21st Century, Special Forces were using by both sides in the effort to win sub-military operations. Examples can be cited from the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, War in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka etc. The most recent accounts of the special operation units can be cited from the recent war on Iraq, launched by the US to counter terrorism.
The specialist force called the "Navy SEALs" were an important part of this operation. Using their shock and awe techniques, they defeated the Iraqi forces.
This Article is written by James Kara Murat from USNavySEALstore.com, the contributor of US Special Forces Store. A longer version of this article is located at Special Operations Units of the World and related resources can be found at US Navy SEALs Store.