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Old 12-30-2004, 20:56   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
Posts: 905
"FID" Series (Part 4, continued)

The Partner Nation’s (PN) Special Forces units are divided by the operational environment they operate in. The army, as the largest component of this country’s military, has the bulk of the special operations personnel. They are all selected by the same process and trained by the same school – the one we were to base ourselves out of. The selection process was not very selective but our standards. A candidate had to have a clean service record upon applying for consideration. Combat arms soldiers were preferred. A board would convene and go through the list of applicants. Political connections, military or otherwise, were oftentimes helpful and in this regard, officers had the advantage. Once selected for consideration, the soldier was to attend a selection course which lasted roughly 14 days. During those 14 days, the soldier performed a physical fitness test consisting of a 3 kilometer run, maximum push-ups and sit-ups in two minutes, respectively, and pull-ups. The selection also included a 20 kilometer rucksack march with about 45 pounds of equipment, a 100-meter pool swim and a battery of psychological exams. Upon completion of the selection process, the best candidates were chosen for training.

Their Special Forces school, our base of operations, consisted of a Vietnam-style firebase with concentric circles of mines, wires, defensive positions and watch towers. In some respects it also looked like the base camp in the 1968 John Wayne classic, “The Green Berets”. The qualification course was five months in length and included all of the specialties found in their detachments. Two weeks were dedicated on weapons, communications, combat medicine, intelligence, and demolitions. This training was executed during a specialization period of two weeks where each specialty group was separated from the others and conducted their training concurrently. After the two week period, the training detachments were re-assembled and executed an isolation exercise followed by a mission. The tail-end of the course was marked by a one-week survival, evasion, resistance and escape course. After this, the candidates were full-fledged Special Forces commandos for their army. Most of these men would then be assigned to one of several Special Forces battalions. These formations comprised what is considered as the “rural” Special Forces. As these new commandos entered their units, older and more experienced commandos were hand-picked to fill the ranks of the hostage rescue unit based out of the capital. The hostage-rescue unit is the best equipped and funded and is known as the “urban” Special Forces unit.

- Retired Special Forces Officer -
Special Forces Association Lifetime Member
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