Special Boat Squadron (Sri Lanka)
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|Special Boat Squadron|
|Active||1993 - Present|
|Branch||Sri Lanka Navy|
|Type||Naval Special Forces|
|Part of||Special operations, Sri Lanka Navy|
|Engagements||Sri Lankan Civil War|
|Rear Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne|
The Special Boat Squadron (SBS) (In Sinhalese: "Vishesha Yathra Balaghanaya") is the Sri Lanka Navy's elite special forces unit. It forms part of the Sri Lanka Special Forces, alongside the Commando Regiment (CR), Special Forces Regiment (SF), and SLAF Special Forces (SLAFSF). Unlike any of the other Sri Lankan special forces units the SBS is a naval special forces unit.
Established in the 1993, the SBS was modeled after the Special Boat Service of the Royal Navy. In its role as a naval special forces unit it takes up wide variety of operations such as amphibious raids, Maritime Counter-Terrorism, Reconnaissance and target indication, combat swimmer missions and small boat operations. As a Special Forces unit, its role is not limited to water-borne operations. SBS conducts operations on land, either with Commando Regiment (CR), Special Forces Regiment (SF), regular ground combat units of the Navy and the Army and in many occasions separately.
The SBS was inaugurated on 18 January 1993 at SLNS Elara in Karainagar, Jaffna with three officers and 76 able seamen. Shortly after completing special training the first Special Boat Squadron consisting of 25 was established. The first operation carried out by the SBS was in November 1993, when it took part in the recapturing of the Navy camp in Pooneryn which had been attacked by LTTE Terrorists. The SBS was the first to penetrate the camps defences shortly after the camp was captured. The SBS has taken part in many major operations carried out by the Sri Lankan military including operations like Rivirasa, Dirithara and Agnikheela. In recent months with the resumption of hostilities the SBS has been actively deployed.
The roles of the Special Boat Squadron are predominantly focused on, but not restricted to,
- Small boat operations in support of littoral operations
- Covert beach reconnaissance (Hydrographic survey) in advance of amphibious assault.
- Covert assault route preparation in advance of amphibious assault.
- Recovery or protection of ships subject to terrorist action.
- Maritime Counter-Terrorism
- Reconnaissance and target indication in the deep battlespace
- Assault on verified targets
- Protection of senior naval officers.
- Military of Sri Lanka
- Sri Lanka Navy
- Military ranks and insignia of the Sri Lanka Navy
- Sri Lanka Army Special Forces Regiment
- Sri Lanka Army Commando Regiment
- Sri Lanka Air Force Regiment Special Force
- Ministry of Defence Sri Lanka
- Sri Lanka Navy
- Three Intakes of Sailors along with Elite SBS Contingent pass out at SLNS Nipuna