United Kingdom Special Forces

United Kingdom Special Forces
Founded 1987 (28 years ago)
Country United Kingdom
Type Directorate
Role Special operations coordination
Part of Ministry of Defence
Director Special Forces Major-general Mark Carleton-Smith

The United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) is a Ministry of Defence directorate which 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.[1][2][3][4][5][6]


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, the 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:


Following the Army 2020 reforms, 21 Special Air Service Regiment and 23 Special Air Service Regiment have been moved from the command of UKSF to 1st Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade.[12][13]

See also


  1. ^ a b Special Reconnaissance Regiment, publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2014
  2. ^ a b c Elite special forces unit set up, BBC. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b "18 Signal Regiment". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Who is Based Here, RAF Odiham. Retrieved 21 February 2014 (JSFAW)
  5. ^ "SAS(R)". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "The secretive sister of the SAS". BBC. 16 November 2001. Retrieved 10 March 2010.  (SBS)
  7. ^ "Special Boat Service (Reserve)". Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom). Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  8. ^ Overstretched SAS calls up part-time troops for Afghanistan, www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2014
  9. ^ a b c 1 PARA, www.army.mod.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2014
  10. ^ http://www.veterans-uk.info/pdfs/publications/guides/admin_guide/h_part8.pdf
  11. ^ Gary Parsons (January 2014). "News briefs". AirForces Monthly (Stamford: Key Publishing): pg.7. 
  12. ^ Janes International Defence Review, May 2014, page 4
  13. ^ 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).

External links

  • Official UKSF (Reserve) website
  • Artists Rifles Advice & Training, a discussion forum for potential SAS Reserve (21 & 23) recruits
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