Two years ago, France started a campaign to attract new recruits for its Commandement des Opérations Spéciales. Their campaign soon finds a way out to YouTube where it got some interest. According to a report by the London Daily Mail two years ago, the official promotional video is titled, “A very special video”. The video itself is professionally filmed and assembled and features French commandos in the type of scenes you’d see in a Hollywood blockbuster.
This includes insertions by parachute, minisub, and scuba gear.
The French Commandement des Opérations Spéciales (COS) was founded in 1992 to control the special operations forces across the entire French military. This includes the 1st Régiment de Parachutistes d’Infanterie de Marine and the 13th Régiment de Dragons Parachutistes from the French army, the Force Maritime des Fusiliers Marins et Commandos from the French navy, and the Division des Opérations Spéciales from the French air force.
The famous Groupe d’intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale — known for a number of hostage rescues and counter-terrorism missions — can be called on by the COS for reinforcement, along with other units across all the French armed forces. Among all those featured gear, there is one especially notable piece of gear. That is the Transall C-160, a Franco-German twin-engine cargo plane that can hold up to 88 paratroopers and which has a top speed of 368 miles per hour and an operational range of 1,151 miles. France had 75 of these planes in their military service.
The video also featured helicopters like the AC532 Cougar, the AS332 Super Puma, and the AS330 Puma, Tigre gunships, and assault rifles like the HK416 and FAMAS. The engagement of the video has never been revealed, but we can assume that it got some interest among the French population. To see how it looks in France, please take a look at the entire trailer below.
Navy SEAL Close Quarters Combat back in 2003
Close quarters combat or just CQC is the term mostly used by special forces operators. In fact, CQC is a tactical concept that involves a physical confrontation between several combatants. It can take place between military units, police/corrections and criminals, and other similar scenarios. In the last 20 years, a lot of major events permanently changed the world. The warfare shifted from large-scale operations to the small precise raids carried by special forces.
In warfare, CQC usually consists of small specialized units or teams engaging the enemy with small arms at the very short range, up to 100 meters, from proximity hand-to-hand combat to close-quarter target negotiation with short-range firearms.
In the typical close quarters combat scenario, the offenders try a very fast, violent takeover of a vehicle or structure controlled by the defenders, who usually have no easy way to withdraw. Because enemies, hostages/civilians, and fellow operators can be closely intermingled, close quarters combat demands a rapid assault and a precise application of lethal force. The operators need great proficiency with their weapons, and the ability to make split-second decisions in order to minimize accidental casualties.
Much material relating to close quarters combat is written from the perspective of the authorities who must break into the stronghold where the opposing force has barricaded itself. Typical examples would be commando operations behind enemy lines and hostage rescues.
Since the global war on terror, many things changed including the close quarters combat tactics and techniques. Navy SEALs, Delta, Green Berets, and all other SOF units are mostly unitarised their tactics and techniques, but still, they are developing their own styles with a slight difference between each. I have found a rare video of Navy SEAL operators training the CQC. Since then, principles of assault are relatively same: detailed planning, surprise, methods of entry, speed, the violence of action.
Interview with legendary SAS Veteran John McAleese
John Thomas “Mac” McAleese, MM was a Scottish soldier who took part in several late 20th century conflicts with the British Army’s Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment, including the famous storming of the Iranian Embassy in London during a hostage-taking siege incident in May 1980. He entered service in 1969 and retired in 1992. He died on August 26, 2011.
His heritage in the world of special forces was huge, and especially during the nineties, he was one of the main instructors for various special forces units around the world. Here you can see his interview and lookup on some special forces tactics. More about John Mac can be found here.
Other parts and videos related to SAS, and the world’s special forces can be found here.