Director Special Forces
Director Special Forces (DSF) is the professional head of the United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) directorate which is a senior role within the Ministry of Defence (MoD). As Director, the incumbent is responsible for the provision of special forces capability to MoD, Commands the UK Special Forces Group, and holds Operational Command for discrete Special Forces operations.
In March 1987, the UKSF was established that then consisted of the Army Special Air Service, Royal Marines Special Boat Service and Army 14 Intelligence Company under the command of the DSF, a rank of Brigadier, and with a Deputy, a rank of Colonel. The directorate typically had an SAS Brigadier with an SBS colonel as a second-in-command.
During the 2000s, the size of the directorate increased substantially with the inclusion of the Special Forces Support Group, Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (formerly 14th Intel Coy). This was to meet a demand for a special reconnaissance capability identified in the Strategic Defence Review: A New Chapter published in 2002 in response to the 2001 September 11 attacks.
In 2008, the DSF was upgraded from a one star to two star level to a Major-General with the directorate becoming an independent, operational-level component command, alongside Air, Navy and Air elements in the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) and in the deployable Joint Task Force Headquarters.
Directors have been:
Director Special Forces
- 1986–1988 Brigadier Michael Wilkes (late Royal Artillery)
- 1988–1989 Brigadier Michael Rose (late Coldstream Guards)
- 1989–1993 Brigadier Jeremy Phipps (late Queen's Own Hussars)
- 1993–1996 Brigadier Cedric Delves (late Devonshire and Dorset Regiment)
- 1996–1999 Brigadier John Sutherell (late Royal Anglian Regiment)
- 1999–2001 Brigadier John Holmes (late Scots Guards)
- 2001–2003 Brigadier Graeme Lamb (late Queen's Own Highlanders)
- 2003–2006 Brigadier Jonathan Shaw (late Parachute Regiment)
- 2006–2009 Brigadier Adrian Bradshaw (late King's Royal Hussars)
- 2009–2012 Major General Jacko Page (late Parachute Regiment)
- 2012–2015 Major General Mark Carleton-Smith (late Irish Guards)
- 2015–Present Major General James Chiswell (late Parachute Regiment)
- 1969–1972 Brigadier Fergie Semple (late Royal Engineers)
- 1972–1975 Brigadier John Simpson (late Gordon Highlanders)
- 1975–1979 Brigadier John Watts (late Royal Ulster Rifles)
- 1979–1983 Brigadier Peter de la Billière (late Durham Light Infantry)
- 1983–1985 Brigadier John Foley (late Royal Green Jackets)
- 1964–1967 Colonel John Waddy (late Parachute Regiment)
- 1967–1969 Colonel Mike Wingate Gray (late Black Watch)
- Special Air Service
- Special Boat Service
- Special Reconnaissance Regiment
- Special Forces Support Group
- 18 Signal Regiment
- Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing
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- Davies, Andrew; Jennings, Peter; Scheer, Benjamin (2014). A Versatile Force: The Future of Australia's Special Operations Capability (PDF). Barton, Australian Capital Territory: Australian Strategic Policy Institute. ISBN 9781921302978.
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