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The Special Forces of the Imperial Service are primarily intended for conducting covert combat operations at the rear of the enemy positions (either in uniform or civilian clothing) and, once in place, to commit acts of sabotage. The Special Forces are directly dependant on the General Staff, and their proper command retains only co-ordination and logistic functions. Main object of Special Forces is to engage and destroy enemy despite their arms/manpower superiority. In order to achieve this objective Special Forces outfitted with custom designed weapons systems. Among wide array of weapons system the most prominent place is reserved for knives. Alongside the Special Forces and Special Operations Forces, there are several other elite and specialized battle and front line units from all the major commands, especially paratroopers, saboteurs, police rapid reaction units and others. The tier organization mirrors the basic concept and design of Imperial Service ground forces: relatively few units, but most of them highly trained. Barrayaran Special Forces are framed within the Special Operations Bureau, Operations Command, General Staff.

Special Forces Edit

Special Forces are elite units of the Imperial Service. Soldiers of SpecFor units usually operate in small units in operations characterized by high risk and high level of technical operations: sabotage, raids in areas controlled by the enemy and against strategic targets, reconnaissance, search and hostages rescue in war areas, removing obstacles and land preparation for deployment of conventional forces. Within the "civilian" range, their use is valuable for the release of civilians in the hands of political fighters.
The Special Forces are divided into several Groups, each having a specific focus. The soldiers assigned to these groups receive intensive language and cultural training for countries within their area of responsibility. A SF Group consists of at least three Battalions, which in turn consist each of one command platoon and four operational companies.
When the troops enters in the Special Forces, the non-commissioned officers lose their ranks, starting from a position of "Soldier". This is to prevent a new commando sergeant can command a team with more experienced corporals and soldiers.

A-Teams Edit

A Special Forces company consists of six Operational Detachments-A (ODA). The number of Detachments-A can vary from company to company, with each ODA specializing in an infiltration skill or a particular mission-set. An ODA consists of 12 men, each of whom has a specific function on the team, however all members of an ODA conduct cross-training. The ODA is led by a Detachment Commander, usually a Captain, and an Assistant Detachment Commander, who is his second in command, usually a Warrant Officer. The team also includes the following enlisted men: one team sergeant, one Assistant Operations and Intelligence Sergeant, and two Weapons Sergeants, two Engineer Sergeant, Medical Sergeants and Communications Sergeants. This organization facilitates 6-man "split team" operations, redundancy, and mentoring between a senior specialist NCO and his junior assistant.

B-Teams Edit

The Operational Detachments-B (ODB), or "B-Team," is the headquarters element of a Special Forces company, and it is usually composed of 11–13 soldiers. While the A-team typically conducts direct operations, the purpose of the B-Team is to support the company's A-Teams both in garrison and in the field. When deployed, in line with their support role, B-Teams are usually found in more secure rear areas. However, under some circumstances a B-Team will deploy into a hostile area, usually to coordinate the activities of multiple A-Teams.
The ODB is led by a Major, who is the Company Commander. The Commander is assisted by his Company Executive Officer, usually a Captain. The Executive is himself assisted by a Company Technician, a Warrant Officer, who assists in the direction of the organization, training, counter-intelligence, and operations for the company and its detachments.
The Company Commander is assisted by the Company Sergeant. He has an Assistant Operations Sergeant. The company's support comes from a Medical Sergeant, and two Communications Sergeants. Note the distinct lack of a weapons or engineer NCO. This is because the B-Team generally does not engage in direct operations, but rather operates in support of the A-Teams

C-Teams Edit

The Operational Detachment-C (ODC), or "C-Team", is the headquarters element of a Special Forces Battalion. As such, it is a command and control unit with operations, training, signals and logistic support responsibilities to its three subordinate line companies. A Major commands the battalion and the C-Team and the battalion Command Sergeant is the senior NCO of the battalion and the C-Team. There are an additional 20–30 personnel who fill key positions in Operations, Logistics, Intelligence, Communications and Medical. A Special Forces battalion usually consists of four companies: "A", "B", "C", and Headquarters/Support.
The C-detachment (ODC) is responsible for a theater or a major subcomponent, and can raise brigade or larger guerrilla forces. Subordinate to it are the B-detachments, which can raise battalion and larger forces. Further subordinate, the ODAs typically raise company-sized units when on unconventional warfare missions. They can form 6-man "split A" detachments that are often used for strategic reconnaissance.

Special Forces units Edit

There are several Special Forces unit types, each focused on a particular field of activity, for a of 261,800-strong operational personnel.

Imperial Rangers Edit

The Imperial Rangers are an elite infantry force in the Imperial Service. They are a key fighting force, engaging in guerilla warfare, founded by General Count Pjotr Vorkosigan. Since the First Cetagandan War, Imperial Rangers have been surrounded by a reputation for ferocity and ruthlessness.
Currently, the Imperial Rangers consist of five identical Rangers Regiments and of four Special Forces Groups, in turn consisting of three Battalions each (currently), for a total of 12 SF Battalions. The Ranger Regiments are composed of one Special Troops Battalion and three, organizationally identical, rapidly-deployable light infantry special operations battalions each. It is a small elite fighting force and membership is carefully selected from a politically-oriented point of view.

  • Imperial Rangers Brigade
  • 5 Rangers Regiments
    • 1 Special Troops Battalion (x 5)
    • 3 x Special Operations Battalions (x 5)
  • 4 SF Group
    • 3 SF Battalions (x 4)

Commando Corps Edit

The Commando Corps is a type of special-forces units of the Imperial Service. The Commandos carry out special operations in support of crisis-response and defence tasks. They operational doctrine uses small units with special equipment which carry out special operations inside enemy territory destroying the enemy rear lines. The single commando soldiers are able to operate completely independently. The Commando Corps currently deploys 100 operational Battalions.

Blue Berets Edit

The Blue Berets are a special operations force tasked with six primary missions: unconventional warfare, foreign internal defence, special reconnaissance, and direct action. The first two emphasize language, cultural, and training skills in working with foreign troops. Other duties include combat search and rescue, security assistance, peacekeeping, counter-proliferation, psychological operations, manhunts, and counter-drug operations. The majority of the operations assigned to Delta are classified and may never be known to the public. However, details of some operations have become public knowledge.
As a special operations unit, Blue Berets are not necessarily under the command authority of the ground commanders in those theatres. They are the largest Special Forces Group, and nowadays deploy 196 Battalions.

Internal Troops Special Forces Edit

Within the Internal Troops Command there are several Special Forces Battalion, focused on urban fighting and public security operations. These Battalions are considered as Special Forces Battalions but differently trained and ordanized; furthermore, they do not belong ot the Special Forces Command.

Special Operations Forces Edit

The Special Operations Forces are highly specialized units, and constitute the middle ground between conventional highly trained units (Paratroopers, Mountain units, Assault tank units) and Special Forces, which often interoperate. The SpecOpFor are used in support of both conventional units and of the Special Forces for operations such as reconnaissance, sabotage, etc.

Mountain Paratroopers Edit

The Mountain Parachutist Regiment "Avalanche" is a Ranger type infantry regiment of the Imperial Service, specializing in mountain combat and in the airborne assault role. It belongs to the Special Forces Command. Its over-4,500 members are all qualified as Rangers after a long and intense training course. Their prerogative is being "paratroopers in mountains", combining the best operational abilities of the two specialities: mountain troops and paratroopers. The results of the combination are a strong capability to reconnaissance at long range, high mobility in Arctic/mountain conditions, excellent exploring and target acquisition capacity, as well as of direct actions in depth.

Reconnaissance Paratroopers Edit

The Parachutist Reconnaissance Regiment "Bayonet" is one of the Barrayaran paratrooper regiments. The 26th Regiment is part of Special Operations Forces, that is highly specialized units, which constitute the middle ground between conventional highly trained Army units and Special Forces.

Other elite units Edit

Beyond the Special Forces strictly considered, there a number of elite unit. Most of them belong to Imperial Service, but there are also police units, mainly SWAT units. Within these units, there are minor units which are tasked to replace Special Operation Forces, if necessary.

  • Immediate Reaction Group: is an elite fighting force in the Ground Forces, consisting of three Para-commando battalions plus several support units (one artillery battery, one anti-aircraft artillery battery, one logistics company, one engineer company, one medical company and one reconnaissance unit).
  • Emperor’s Own Lancers
  • 11th Paratroop Assault Battalion
  • Airborne Artillery Unit

Special Operation Support Forces Edit

The Special Operations Support Forces are regular sub-units of the armed forces especially prepared and used in the theatre of operations in the absence of the Special Operations Forces, or, under some circumstances, to support the Special Operations Forces. These units are the best ones among their specialities, and are, often, paratroopers or assault landing units.

Hand-to-hand combat style Edit

The "Pink Sword", or Special Forces hand-to-hand combat style, is a martial art system developed by General Nikolai Kamenev in 2880s. The system is taught at special forces units. The main purpose of the system is to teach the students a close, fast, and deadly combat, protecting them and causing harm to the opponent as fast as possible. The system is also concentrated in fighting multiple enemies, and training in several weapons - such as various sticks or knives, bayonets, mounted knives, rifles, shovels, double pistol wielding, etc. It is also concentrated on giving the fighter the ability to survive in extreme conditions, and to be able to leave and come stealthily to a fight.

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