The 707th Special Mission Battalion is part of the Korean Army’s Special Forces Unit. The unit was originally formed in April, 1958 after the Munich Olympic disaster and was rapidly expanded into a 200 strong force in anticipation of the 1988 Olympics. The 707th Special Mission Battalion is split into two companies, each organised around four 14-man operations teams.
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Support and demolitions teams also exist to sit along side the main teams. They are headquartered in Songham, southeast of Seoul. Counter-terrorism training for the 707th is specialist. Training for the 707th Special Mission Battalion requires that all operators must be members of before selection to the 707th is a full year long, including six months of basic infantry combat skills and another six months of special warfare training.
All members of the 707th are SCUBA and parachute qualified. It is reported that members frequently perform daily calisthenics in the snow and sub-zero temperatures and will swim in freezing lakes without any thermal protection. It is also reported that the 707th maintains a group of combat qualified female operators for use in situations where a woman would not be suspected of posing a risk, such as an airline hijacking where food and medicine might be allowed to be taken on board.
The 707th uses a wide variety of foreign and locally produced weapons. Pistols that they use include the Colt .45 and the Daewoo 9mm, Berretta M9 9mm. The HK MP-5 is now used as a submachine gun for assaults. Both the Daewoo K1 and K2 assault rifles are used, mostly modified for assaults with the addition of forward pistol grips and in some cases low-light and night vision devices. Modified M- 60E3’s and and K3 Beltfed are used for machine gun support. For rearguards a Tactical a Benelli Super-90 shotgun with pistol grips is used For light sniping the HK PSG-1 and M-24 7.62mm rifles have been used, heavier sniping needs are cause for the M-40 .50 and RAI .50 caliber weapon to be broken out.
The 707th Special Mission Battalion provided security for VIPs and for key facilities during the 1986 Asian Games and during the 1988 Olympics. At both events, terrorist attacks were considered to be a real danger. The 707th’s soldiers are assigned urban counterterrorist missions. They also constitute a quick-reaction unit for other kinds of emergencies and special-warfare requirements in wartime.
The 707th Special Mission Battalion also trains with foreign partners, such as U.S. Army’s Delta Force, British Special Air Service, Russian FSB, Alpha Group, French GIGN, FBI HRT, Hong Kong SDU, and Singapore Police Force STAR. The purpose is to experience and increase relationships and exchanges with international Special Forces communities