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Special Forces Berlin
by James Stejskal



SF Equipment

One of the many things that separated Special Forces troops from conventional troops was the specialized uniforms, weapons and equipment they used in their missions. Some of this equipment would later be adopted for use by conventional forces but it was usually the SF units that tested them out and employed them first.

Many of the unique pieces of equipment that the Special Forces community uses for its operations and training is later adopted for use by the conventional Army. So there is a lot of commonality found in the equipment used by SF and conventional Army units. Learn more about Army equipment.

All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). The Special Force community uses ATVs for patrolling remote areas, conducting infiltration and exfiltration, and as a utility vehicle on COPs and FOBs. In March 2015 Polaris Industries was awarded a contract by USSOCOM for 2,000 ATVs.

Non-Standard Vehicles. Army SF has used a variety of non-standard vehicles for greater mobility and in order to blend in with the local populace. These trucks can be modified with armor plating and other add-ons to adapt them to the SF mission. 4. 

Jungle Boots. These specialized boots were designed for the jungle fighting in Vietnam. They had steel soles built into the boot to protect the Soldier from spikes found in foot traps and also had drain holes just above the soles for water to drain out after slogging across streams and through swamps. 1.  

Winter Boots. Specialized SF teams that are geared for Winter Warfare missions (as in those of 10th Special Forces) will be issued winter boots for very cold weather environments. Read more in "Cold Weather Boots".

Meals Ready to Eat (MRE). An army travels on its stomach. The U.S. Army field ration is the Meal Ready to Eat or MRE.

Motion Sensors. The U.S. Army has used a wide range of motion detection sensors - most of them are ground sensors detecting vibration. U.S. Special Forces have unique requirements and the SF units used some advanced motion sensors for their missions. 2.

PEO Soldier. Some equipment programs are SOF centric and are managed by various offices at USSOCOM and USASOC while other equipment programs are run by PEO Soldier. 3.  

V-42 Knife. The First Special Service Force (FSSF) was a joint Canadian-American elite fighting unit formed up in World War II. This specialized unit adopted its own knife - the V-42. Learn more in "V-42: The Original Special Forces Knife", Soldier of Fortune Magazine, August 27, 2016.

AN/GRC-109. A detailed history of the AN/GRC-109 Radio Set.


1. For more information on the Jungel Boot see Throwback Thursday: Jungle Boots by The Loadout Room dated April 10, 2014.

2. See "SOCOM asks for tripwire motion sensors", C4ISR & Networks, February 13, 2015.

3. Visit the Program Executive Officer Soldier website at www.peosoldier.army.mil and view a 264 slide presentation on the programs and equipment managed by PEO Soldier at www.peosoldier.army.mil/portfolio/.

4. For more on SF using non-standard vehicles read "There Is Nothing Special About the Special Forces Newest Truck", Jalopnik.com, March 31, 2015.




Books about Special Forces

Books about Special Forces


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