UKSF: The United Kingdom Special Forces

Operators from the United Kingdom Special Forces regroup following an assault on an oil rig during exercise Night Hawk 21 on October 6 2021. 1.0 Introduction After the Second World War, the British Government realised the need for small, highly capable special forces units that could be deployed anywhere in the world. The response was the creation of the Special Air Service (SAS) and Special Boat Service (SBS). Following this, in 1987, the UK created a new Directorate, the United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF), which unified its existing forces. A decade later, in the context of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), the UK was forced to strengthen its Special Forces (SF), creating and adding new units to the Directorate. These “Tier 1” units are tasked with carrying out the most dangerous and demanding missions, as well as supporting other forces. The UKSF is the British equivalent of the US JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) and SOCOM (Special Operations Command) . UKSF Emblem ( source ). 2.0 UKSF History 2.1 Second World War Today’s Special Forces have their origins in the commando units created during World War II. These Commandos, also known as British Commandos, were formed in June 1940, after the fall of France, following a request from Winston Churchill. The idea was to create special forces that could carry out raids against German-occupied Europe ( source ). Therefore, the British established this small but well-trained and highly mobile assault and reconnaissance force. It was inspired by the mobile commandos of the Boer War (1899-1902). Initially, the Commandos were recruited from within the British Army from volunteer soldiers of the Special Services Brigade. In time, the ranks of the Commandos would be supplemented by members from all branches of the British Armed Forces and some foreign volunteers from […]

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