HISTORY OF THE U.S. Rescue & SOG
The United States Rescue and Special Operations Group was established in January 1994, and is headquartered in Kansas City Missouri. Its members are stationed across CONUS. The group was activated when it became apparent that there was an increasing void in civilian law enforcement and foreign military hostage rescue capabilities. An organization of military special operations personnel was needed that was not controlled by government bureaucracies, and could provide an unconventional training platform for any needing agencies. Not only would the special group be called upon to train personnel in hostage rescue, but also they would be tasked to support special security operations in both the U.S. and abroad.
The command staff was formed with noncommissioned officers from units of the Special Operation Command (SOCOM) and special Marine Corps personnel. Each individual chosen for duty had to undertake and complete a selection program based on the selection process of the British Special Air Service. Group members are kept on a 24 - hour deployment alert status for special security operations 300 days a year. As well as training in his or her field of expertise to keep all cadre up to speed at all times.
As the void in hostage recovery operations started to close by 1999, more time and assets became available that could be directed toward other areas of operational interest. Because U.S. RSOG personnel must perform their duties all over the globe, all personnel receive an advanced level of survival training, close quarters combatives training and dignitary protection training.
While the members of the command staff were serving on active duty in the military it became very apparent to them that military training standards in certain fields was incredibly insufficient. Those specific skills encompassed very important abilities that an operator in the field should be well versed in if he/she became unattached from the U.S. military’s tactical support elements. Certain members of the U.S. RSOG cadre had been chosen originally for their specialized skills in close quarter combatives and wilderness survival. Those individuals pushed for a S.E.R.E training program for military personnel and other special units.
The training doctrine was based on two very important aspects of instruction. The first was that the training be "hands-on" and realistic past the standards of the normal training community. If students are taught how to construct traps then they should have to actually trap game and process it into sustenance. Another example would be, when training in combat hand gunning the student would be placed in scenarios that would allow him to engage targets in a 360 degree shooting arena, while under fire from simulated munitions.
The second point of doctrine is that all instructors should train in the field on a continual basis with very little logistical support and in all climates and terrain’s before instructing students. In other words the instructor would have to have real world experience so that they could relate that level of expertise to their students. To date the S.E.R.E program as been tremendously successful and the U.S. RSOG cadre are now being task with one year long evaluating assignments of specialized equipment for manufacturers and international agencies.