Special Operations: November 16, 2004

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Britain has modified its earlier plan to increase its SAS commando force by 80 men. Britain will now form a new organization in its Special Forces, the SRU (Search and Reconnaissance Unit). This outfit will have 200 personnel and is being formed around an existing (and little reported on) unit; 14 Intelligence Company. This outfit belongs to the army and was formed for counter-terrorism operations in Northern Ireland. The SRU will operate on a global scale, tracking terrorists wherever they may be.

Currently there are 400 SAS commandos, and 200 SBS (similar to American SEALs) commandos. The SRU will be directed at counter-terrorism work, and will seek to recruit Moslems and Arabic speakers. While SAS and SBS are known mainly for their commando operations, a lot of what they do is collecting information, often by sneaking into remote or hostile areas and staying put for weeks, or months, at a time. In many respects, the British Special Forces are rather like secret agents who happen to spend most of their time in uniform, and have a license to kill.

 


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