Pakistan’s elite special forces unit, army’s Special Services Group (SSG) has been listed as the best special forces group, ahead of units such as the US Navy SEALs and the British Special Air Service group.
The list, by Business Insider Australia ranked Pakistani commandos as the best of the nine top elite forces from around the world.
Called the ‘Black Storks’, due to the unique headgear worn, soldiers in the unit have to complete a 36-mile march in just 12 hours and a five-mile run in 20 minutes in full gear.
For operational reference, it mentioned the 2009 operation that the SSG conducted to rescue the 39 people held hostage by suspected Taliban militants who had attacked the army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi.
The SSG have been deployed in a number of operations in Pakistan from prison takeovers, to fighting terrorists in North Waziristan.
Other forces making the list
Coming in second on the list were Spain’s Naval Special Warfare Force, and was called as one of Europe’s best respected special forces.
Next in line was Russia’s Naval Special Warfare Force ‘Alpha Group’, serving as the nation’s elite anti-terrorism unit.
France’s fabled 200-strong National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN), trained especially to respond to hostage situations, came in on four.
Israel’s Sayeret Matkal made it to the fifth spot. Its primary purpose is intelligence-gathering and operating deep behind enemy lines. Along with Mossad, it is suspected to have aided in carrying out a hit in Dubai using falsified passports.
The British Special Air Service (SAS), who have the famous motto ‘Who dares wins’, were listed on number six.
The UK equivalent of the Navy SEALs, Special Boat Service, came in on number seven. The unit specialises in intense training and interrogation.
The US Navy SEALS, a special unit of which carried out Operation Neptune Spear to kill Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in 2011 were listed on eight.
To join the SEALS, one has to prove they are the toughest warriors around and they are asked to prove this by completing a minimum of 42 push-ups in two minutes, 50 sit-ups in two minutes, and run 1.5 miles in 11 minutes before they even start training.
The last one on the list are the US Marines. It is an odd listing since they are not considered an elite unit.
They have a reputation of being pretty tough in their own right.
Marines undergo weeks of rigorous training exercises especially designed to overcome those who cannot hit their exacting standards.