Wednesday, October 26, 2011

For Elite U.S. Troops, War's End Will Only Mean More Fighting

The sky-high demand for special-operations troops like the Rangers won't be changing anytime soon.

The strain on the highly-trained forces will only increase as the Obama administration expands its shadow war against high-ranking militants in countries like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, all of which have been the scene of targeted raids by elite troops in recent months. Senior Pentagon officials have also made clear that Special Operations troops will be used to conduct counter-terror raids in Afghanistan even as overall U.S. troop levels there begin to decline.

Elite forces like the Navy SEALs and the Army's Delta Force don't deploy for as long as conventional Army and Marine units, which usually spend six to 15 months in the war zones per tour of duty. But they deploy far, far more often. Many conventional troops have done four or five deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. By contrast, Special Operations troops have done 10, 12, and even 14 tours.

German naval commandos are called Kampfschwimmer or "combat swimmers". These German navy counterparts to the US Navy SEALs are Germany's oldest Special Operations Forces. The Kampfschwimmer roots go back to World War II.

Today's Kampfschwimmer formations are heavily involved in international operations against terrorism, including missions in the mountains of Afghanistan.

This e-book is written by a German Navy lieutenant who serves as a Kampfschwimmer team leader -- the equivalent of a US Navy SEAL platoon leader.

"German Navy SEALs" is a profile of the Kampfschwimmer units. The e-book covers the history of the Kampfschwimmer beginning with the World War II era; describes their organization, command structure, capabilities and training; discusses their cooperation with US Navy SEALS and other Special Operations Forces; and their role in German and NATO operational planning.