Counter Terror Forces - The Special Air Service

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Counter Terror Forces - The Special Air Service

Post by Janey on Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:50 am

A quick series of articles to give you all a rundown of the counter-terror makeup around the world. This one focuses on the British SAS, that provides a major counter terror response for the British military at home and overseas.

NOTHING IN THESE ARTICLES WILL DIVULGE SENSITIVE INFORMATION NOT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN - If you see gaps, that is why.

The SAS is split into 4 distinct groups referred to as squadrons:

The paragraphs below from Wiki, which saves me reinventing the wheel:

22 SAS Regiment has four operational squadrons: A, B, D and G. Each squadron consists of approximately 60 men commanded by a major, divided into four troops and a small headquarters section. Troops usually consist of 16 men, and each patrol within a troop consists of four men, with each man possessing a particular skill: signals, demolition, medic or linguist in addition to basic skills learned during the course of his training. The four troops specialise in four different areas:
Boat troop — are specialists in maritime skills using scuba diving, kayaks and Rigid-hulled inflatable boats and often train with the Special Boat Service.

Air troop — are experts in free fall parachuting, High Altitude-Low Opening (HALO) and High Altitude-High Opening (HAHO) techniques.
Mobility troop — are specialists in using vehicles and are experts in desert warfare;they are also trained in an advanced level of motor mechanics to field-repair any vehicular breakdown.
Mountain troop — are specialists in Arctic combat and survival, using specialist equipment such as skis, snowshoes and mountain climbing techniques.
In 1980 R Squadron was formed which has since been renamed L Detachment; its members are all ex-regular SAS regiment soldiers who have a commitment to reserve service.

OK, thank you Wiki! You will notice above that the 4 squadrons are very much traditional military rather than counter terror roles. The counter terror duties are allocated to the SAS CRW wing, with squadron members working here on rotation. The CRW (counter revolutionary warfare group) are on constant standby to respond to a terror threat anywhere in the world. An arrangement with British Airways ensures that an airliner is on permanent standby. The CRW team are regarded as the best in the world (and yes, even US Delta Force operatives agree with this!) and are the most heavily trained military unit in the world. When not operational they are in constant training. Perhaps the most famous training takes place in the Killing House. A mockup house at SAS headquarters in Hereford, whereby hostage rescues are practised over and over. SAS soldiers play the hostages and are interspersed with dummies as terrorists. Various scenarios are enacted here. Believe it or not live bullets are used to neutralise the terrorists (dummies) who are often mingled mere inches away from the hostages (real soldiers). To date, no hostage soldier has been killed in these live fire exercises. However, if the storming of the enemy base is too slow, around the interdiction team go again until they get it right!

Most people are aware that the SAS are based in Hereford, England on the Welsh border. However, less widely known is that a permanent detachment is on standby in London for CRW duties, along with SAS reservists in Leeds, Scotland and Manchester!

The total strength of the SAS is officially confidential. In fact, the SAS does not officially exist! However, an approved ball park figure is around 2000 soldiers, with a couple of hundred on CRW duty rotation at any one time.

Officially the SAS does not intervene in non political terror events, although they have been used to put down a prison riot in Scotland where there were prisoner officers held at knifepoint. CRW groups are put on standby at various locations should there be intelligence of a terror event and at times of high alert.

If you want to see the CRW group in action, here is some amazing footage from operation nimrod, perhaps the most famous intervention can be seen here in all its glory, as the SAS storm the Iranian Embassy in London

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p4DmuGyehc&NR=1

The guy shouting that it is a bomb at 2.18 secs is actually incorrect, what you are hearing is a flashbang, a device aimed at disorentating hostile elements. For those interested in precision firing. Every shot that you hear from the SAS actually hit a "tango" - a terrorist target. Not a single SAS round failed to hit a target. The short bursts you hear are from Hocklers - the Heckler and Kock MP5. Not one hostage was lost or injured by SAS fire, although one hostage was killed by terrorist activity.

All but one terrorist was shot. The living terrorist was hidden and escorted by fleeing hostages who had taken a liking to him in a classic example of the Stockholm syndrome. He was quickly captured at the doors of the building by an SAS trooper.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the remarkable Special Air Service!





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Re: Counter Terror Forces - The Special Air Service

Post by cab123 on Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:22 am

great job Janey
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Re: Counter Terror Forces - The Special Air Service

Post by Lime Flavoured on Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:00 am

Janey wrote:Officially the SAS does not intervene in non political terror events, although they have been used to put down a prison riot in Scotland where there were prisoner officers held at knifepoint.

Interesting.

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Re: Counter Terror Forces - The Special Air Service

Post by Janey on Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:04 am

Lime Flavoured wrote:
Janey wrote:Officially the SAS does not intervene in non political terror events, although they have been used to put down a prison riot in Scotland where there were prisoner officers held at knifepoint.

Interesting.

not commonly known! I can also think of a long running siege that I personally attended that was a domestic siege where their advice was sought, but I will not go into further details

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Re: Counter Terror Forces - The Special Air Service

Post by Lime Flavoured on Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:30 am

Janey wrote:
Lime Flavoured wrote:
Janey wrote:Officially the SAS does not intervene in non political terror events, although they have been used to put down a prison riot in Scotland where there were prisoner officers held at knifepoint.

Interesting.

not commonly known! I can also think of a long running siege that I personally attended that was a domestic siege where their advice was sought, but I will not go into further details

There have been a couple of those type of sieges recently (the guy with the shotgun who got shot is the specific one I can think of), I wonder if they were consulted on those as well?

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Re: Counter Terror Forces - The Special Air Service

Post by Janey on Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:48 am

Lime Flavoured wrote:
Janey wrote:
Lime Flavoured wrote:
Janey wrote:Officially the SAS does not intervene in non political terror events, although they have been used to put down a prison riot in Scotland where there were prisoner officers held at knifepoint.

Interesting.

not commonly known! I can also think of a long running siege that I personally attended that was a domestic siege where their advice was sought, but I will not go into further details

There have been a couple of those type of sieges recently (the guy with the shotgun who got shot is the specific one I can think of), I wonder if they were consulted on those as well?

incidentally, when I say personally attended, I was there in another capacity. Just to make clear before anyone asks, I did serve in special forces duties, but not in the SAS. My background was more intelligence related.

As for the Moat incident, yes the MOD was involved, but to my knowledge SAS did not engage in search operations on the ground. If they had, they would probably have got the guy much quicker!

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Re: Counter Terror Forces - The Special Air Service

Post by Lime Flavoured on Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:51 am

I wasn't actually talking about the Moat incident actually, I was thinking of the one involving a guy in his house. His name was Mark something.

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Re: Counter Terror Forces - The Special Air Service

Post by Janey on Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:52 am

ah yes, I know the one you mean!

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