United Kingdom Special Forces
|United Kingdom Special Forces|
|Founded||1987 (29 years ago)|
|Role||Special operations coordination|
|Size||2,000 personnel (2009)|
|Part of||Ministry of Defence|
|Director Special Forces||Incumbent unknown|
The United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) is a Ministry of Defence directorate that provides a joint special operations task force headquarters. The UKSF is commanded by the Director Special Forces. The directorate commands 22 Special Air Service Regiment, the Special Boat Service, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, the Special Forces Support Group, 18 Signal Regiment and the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing.
The UKSF was formed in 1987 to draw together the Army's Special Air Service and the Naval Service's Special Boat Squadron, which was renamed the Special Boat Service during the formation, into a unified command, based around the former Director SAS, who was given the additional title of Director Special Forces. The directorate has been expanded by the creation of the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, 18 Signal Regiment and the Special Forces Support Group.
Roles and tasks
UKSF assets undertake a number of roles, with a degree of interaction and interoperability:
- Unconventional Warfare
- Covert reconnaissance
- Special reconnaissance
- Direct action
- Close protection
- Counter-revolutionary warfare
- Reconnaissance of the deep battlespace
- Offensive operations in the deep battlespace
- Battlespace preparation in transition to war
- Infrastructure disruption
- Capture of subjects of interest
- Human intelligence (HUMINT) collection
- Defence diplomacy
- Training of other nations' armed forces
- Special Boat Service (Naval Service)
- Special Boat Service (Reserve; Naval Service)
- 22 Special Air Service Regiment (British Army)
- Special Reconnaissance Regiment (British Army)
- 18 Signal Regiment (Royal Corps of Signals, British Army)
- Special Forces Support Group
- A Company
- B Company
- C Company
- F Company
- Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing
Following the Army 2020 reforms, in 2014 21 Special Air Service Regiment and 23 Special Air Service Regiment were moved from the command of UKSF to 1st Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade.
Professor Paul Rogers, Bradford University, provides an overview 'UK Special Forces: Accountability in Shadow War'
- "SAS and other special forces to be expanded to defeat al-Qaeda". the telegraph. 25 April 2009.
- Special Reconnaissance Regiment, publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2014
- Elite special forces unit set up, BBC. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- "18 Signal Regiment". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 2013. Check date values in:
- Who is Based Here, RAF Odiham. Retrieved 21 February 2014 (JSFAW)
- "SAS(R)". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 2013. Check date values in:
- "The secretive sister of the SAS". BBC. 16 November 2001. Retrieved 10 March 2010. (SBS)
- "Special Boat Service (Reserve)". Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom). Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- Overstretched SAS calls up part-time troops for Afghanistan, www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2014
- AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. November 2015. p. 62.
- Gary Parsons (January 2014). "News briefs". AirForces Monthly. Stamford: Key Publishing: pg.7.
- Janes International Defence Review, May 2014, page 4
- Army Briefing Note 120/14, NEWLY FORMED FORCE TROOPS COMMAND SPECIALIST BRIGADES, Quote . It commands all of the Army’s Intelligence, Surveillance and EW assets, and is made up of units specifically from the former 1 MI Bde and 1 Arty Bde, as well as 14 Sig Regt, 21 and 23 SAS(R).