Bottom line is SAS are mostly made up of Para reg and their unique culture. The SBS mostly marines with there unique culture. They clash all the time. I have done both All arms courses in the 80s and found the Para course heavy on violence and live for the day because in battle we only expect to survive hours in a hostile DZ. Commando we land on a beach, prepare, stealth, survive as long as possible But both of them you need to get your head around humping heavy bergans and yomping /tabbing mile after mile. Its a lot of head/attitude work and blisters a plenty...this generation are still as hard as ever, met a few at Airborne forces weekend, good lads..
@Rockbond Clearly, you subscribe to the KISS philosophy. Thanks for posting that. It made perfect sense and wasn't a marathon read. Thanks for serving too, even it was under the Union Jack! ;-)
Fist, SAS are bad men....but SBS are harder, bad motherf**king men inmho (just the few I've talked to on Skype with another journalist-type friend of mine).
Ok...I think I get it...k? I get it. J/K lol =) not but seriously, its getting really old sometimes to beat the preverbial dead horse with the SAME groups that we see constantly doing the same mission templates. With souther border threats (no...no Ire boders, OUR borders lol) this threat, in my VERY HUMBLE OPINION (my measly 2 cents, i know) has had some major changes occurr on both sides.
The presence of highly skilled AQT-turned-Turkish car bomber (yes, this supposedly happened once and killed 20 people in a crowded airport with cops galore) who got into Turkey's main airport/s (as i recall, could be wrong...maybe w/how many whatever) are not uncommon, as you all can see in western European news like I've seen (but i'm from southern CA out by the beach near Coronade etc etc).
Plus, the Islamic Chinese tribes (which are a trip when you hear about stuff like this) that come into the OEF theater slowly but surely (with the Chechens etc) and fight no different or less ferocious than the US SOF up there. (They found numerous of these guys in Takur Ghar and it's subsequent Wolverine raid....course, could be covers and i could be totally wrong....But still, pretty sure there were Uigor Chinese on the hill where the Rangers were on Ghar.
------------------------()()---()()>>>>>>>>>>> OK! HERE, in my opinion, is what freaks me and mine the **holy hell out*** when we start getting deep into talking about it at dinner....Its hard 'cause it not quite unlike turning to that weird, Hawaiiin shirt wearing Phillipino from Basilan (Abu Gayyaff or whatever other groups etc) and expensive, stolen sunglasses and realizing, without a doubt, that you are looking at this right-under-your-greasy-phat-stupid nose is that you are looking at what is easily a terrorist (either on the way to his *big big day!**, or if he just in transit). I mean, I couldn't imagine the guys in the intel HUMINT side of the community who literally follow dudes like that into their huts, in an enclosed area sometimes even, and then the asses det it up and its all over.
Same in ALMOST all of South America, from I am hearing around here in some of the threads I saw here.
Bottom line is sites like this shouldnt exist, no offense but let the work we do remain classified....
I think our "men in black" are forever going to be living up to that Embassy siege.With so many variables that can go wrong I doesn't sit easy with me to lay the blame at the door of the SBS for this failure unless it comes to light one or more of them f**ked up! As for British press sensationalism, that's easy! thanks to veil of secrecy that surrounds our SF (perhaps a bit more than your guys ) any little titbit of information is pounced on and blown out of all proportion both " to sell more newspapers" and show "I know more than you know" even if proves to be wrong.I don't doubt a large part of the British press think the SAS and SBS are one and the same entity,mind you most of their readership probably doesn't care about such details so why should they.
@S_I I think you're exactly right about the large majority of the press/readership not knowing or caring the difference between the SAS and SBS (or ST6 and non-JSOC SEALs, Delta and Army Special Forces, etc.). Still, we're a bit different audience here so I wanted to make that fact known, since I was sometimes forced to rely on that sort of mainstream reporting to compile these lists.
As far as the secrecy thing goes -- I think that really depends on how specific you want to get. UKSF are certainly a good deal more secretive than USSOCOM in general, but I'd say that JSOC is more secretive than UKSF. For example, despite how widely known they may be, I don't believe the US govt. yet officially acknowledges Delta/DEVGRU's existence, at least not as CT units. And probably the most complete record detailing JSOC's activities in Iraq yet have come via as asides in a book about the SAS (and to a lesser degree, SBS), 'Task Force Black' by Mark Urban. It takes quite a bit of digging and time to be able to attribute almost any mission to Delta specifically. They do an admirable job keeping things hush-hush considering the modern day reality of 24/7 reporting and social media, etc.
I guess the media comment was more about the British press in general, which has a more sizable tabloid journalism presence than exists in US, not just SOF coverage. Not a judgement, just an observation.
Either way, none of the links in either piece should be treated as gospel. If you read seven reports on any single operation, you're likely to find contradictions in every single one of them. Even journalists with very good contacts and understanding of the units like Sean D. Naylor and Urban provide contradictory accounts (for example, there was one specific high-profile raid that Naylor attributed to ST6, while Urban claimed it was a joint Delta/SAS operation. Based purely on the details provided, I would guess Urban was probably correct in that specific case, but I'd still believe Naylor to be better informed overall. But as an outsider, you can't know for sure, which is how it's supposed to be).
With nothing to back it up, I'd guess the links included in the JSOC and UKSF pieces combined are maybe 80% accurate -- a decent overview but I'm sure there are a number of inaccuracies and flat-out falsehoods included in them as well. I'd think it'd a difficult beat for a reporter with few people willing to talk, and many of those who do likely being only partially informed and/or with agendas.
Here's video of the Iranian Embassy Siege http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0xYcP59Kwo
Now, I have the petzl lamp around his neck but I don't think I'll be able to pick up a set of those ultra slim NVG's at ye olde outdoor shoppe anytime soon, I keep seeing them from time to time like this pic though, look helpful.
With the serial Killer loose in Southern France,will your next list be about GIGN or Legion D'etranger?
As with the JSOC list, this list is almost certainly not exhaustive, and I am probably a little more likely to have overlooked a 'known' mission with the UKSF than with JSOC. If anyone is aware of any others, please note them in the comments.
It might be worth noting that the Brit press tends to be more sensationalist and quicker to release details (which are sometimes later proven to be inaccurate) than their American counterparts. Almost every one of these operations was initially credited to the SAS, and only later did it come out that a significant number of them were actually conducted by the SBS. The same is true for just about every SBS op that gets reported in the press, and like Delta, ST6, and the SAS, etc. they've been very busy the past ten years and have undertaken a number of high-profile missions that were widely credited to the SAS, at least at first. Among them was the Battle of Qali-i-Jangi, which you could argue I should have included on this list but for whatever reason didn't think of as a traditional hostage rescue mission.
I will say, however, I found it interesting that the failed rescue in Nigeria was immediately reported as an SBS operation. Makes me wonder about the placement of sources.
There is a very huge and unhealthy rift between the SAS and SBS. Very unprofessional rift. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the SAS that leaked the info outright.
Very interesting. It does certainly did occur to me that whoever is leaking info to the press has more of a SAS slant than SBS.
And it seems to be a common theme in books written about the unit (again, 'Task Force Black' by Urban, I'm thinking maybe 'Bloody Heroes' by Lewis too, etc.) that the SAS as a whole tends to look down on the SBS -- not really viewing them as their peers/equals. I think both of those books reference the SAS terming themselves as a 'Tier 1 unit' while dismissively referring to the SBS as 'Tier 2'. However, it was difficult to gauge whether it was simply a healthy rivalry or more than that.
I would have thought that sort of thing might have been reduced when UKSF merged the units' selection process but apparently not.
I just finished reading the linked stories, and one of the articles seems to indicate that the SBS do in fact undergo the jungle phase of selection and that the 'anonymous SAS member' who claimed they don't was incorrect in his assertion. Perhaps that is something that was changed when their selection was merged:
"Crucially the anonymous SAS member used as the source of the story also claimed that SBS volunteers did not take part in jungle training - the most arduous part of Special Forces selection. In fact, all SAS and SBS volunteers must pass this to join either regiment." -- (from the Telegraph)
Furthermore, wiki (I know...) claims that SBS recruits must pass the complete SAS selection process, and then move onto further selection focusing on the blue stuff.
Anyway, cool news on the piece. I'm looking forward to your contributions.
Haha yeah, that Basra debacle is definitely embarrassing.
Any rivalry between both our SMUs is friendly and 100% healthy. There have been some hiccups, but it revolves around the leadership and not the actual shooters. An example is rotating in a Six squadron in late 2001/early 2002 before all of CAGs squadrons had a chance to be in the ground in Afghanistan.
And often you might hear complaints of Six trying to step into Delta's realm of operations while Delta has never tried to get a piece of Six's maritime mandate.
And there definitely was a "wtf" moment on the UBL raid. But that moment didn't last long. Both units work together often in very close symbiotic relationships. When I was in Iraq they had the "exchange-program" going on. I'm not sure if they still do it.
That really is the scope of it. The SAS and SBS rift seems like a detriment to the overall fight.
And yet a number of UKSF's most high-profile successes in recent years can actually be attributed to the SBS and not the SAS.
One that immediately sticks out is Operation MARLBOROUGH in Iraq in 2005, originally credited to the SAS in the press but later confirmed to be M Squadron of the SBS (the same one that got ambushed and lost their equipment in 2003). Here's an early report of the operation, crediting it to the SAS:
And it's not as if the SAS didn't suffer it's own moments of embarrassment in Iraq, such as two troopers being arrested/taken hostage while on a surveillance op in Basra (as noted above in the rescue list).
It's clear there exists a rivalry between Delta-ST6 as well. Would you characterize theirs to be healthier than the SAS-SBS rift?
Anyway, I appreciate and am enjoying your insight Iassen. When are we going to see you start contributing some pieces for the site?
Although they merged the selection process - the SBS candidates don't move on to the Jungle phase.
The SAS have time and time again attempted to get the SBS out of Iraq and out of Afghanistan. In Iraq supposedly the SBS got ambushed and according to the reports, left the vehicles and made a run for it. When they came back, the vehicles and everything had been stolen. It seems more so the SAS playing the role of DBs without making an effort to constructively help the SBS in any areas they are lacking. The entire time, the SBS just keep quiet and go on with their business in a professional manner.
While our Navy SEALs have recently been criticized by McRaven for not being as proficient in their diving/underwater skills as they should be (he also mentioned the Rangers need to brush up on their airfield seizure mission as well). It looks like the SBS spend TOO much time on water operations and significantly less time in land warfare. Hence the opposition by the SAS of having these guys on the ground in landlocked countries. This operation in Nigeria just fuels this rift even more. I feel bad for them.
@The Nature Roy Thanks again Chris, great work in putting this together for our readers.
@JackMurphyRGR My pleasure Jack. Thanks for allowing me to contribute.
Yeah, that worries me...
@LCpl X They're so sensationalist they report stuff that actually happened in video games. From http://strategypage.com/htmw/htmurph/articles/20120318.aspx
"For example, last September, to illustrate a documentary on terrorism, video from a 2009 video game (Arma II) was used to show a shoulder fired missile taking down a helicopter. More recently, a newspaper story on a recent attempt (it failed) by British and Nigerian commandos to rescue two hostages used screen captures from a more recent video game (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare) to illustrate the piece."
@The Nature Roy You're a beast Chris, have a cold one on me.
Assault with no cover....you got that right.
@ArcticWarrior Remember the Battle for Goose Green? Those boys really had it hard. I think it was units from the Paras. Still, shows the mettle of British Steel.
Yeah your right. I dont remember Munich but I remember seeing the SAS and the nightly news showing Paras and Royal Marines in the Falklands and thinking why dont we do that? The SAS certainly taught the world a bunch on CT. A true friend and Allied Nation even if they still refer to us as the Colonies.....
The Iranian Embassy mission was amazing, it left no doubts about the ability of the UK to defend their interests. Funny note: within a couple of years the war in the Falklands proved it again.
" It also seems to me the British reporting tends to include more details immediately -- both correct and incorrect. The British press also tends to back the home team a little more heavily while the American press tends to look harder for faults" - great observation. As a side note The SAS had lots of work in Ireland that really never made the full light of day. Those were tough times, The Troubles,for all involved, in urban settings.
Plus they gave us a daylight infil complete with rappeling through windows while knowing every camera in the UK is rolling is sheer balls. As a kid I was astonished. Hats off to the boys in the Mother Country.
@LCpl X Obviously there are notable exceptions (UBL raid). But if Delta rescued someone tomorrow and the SBS did too, I would expect the American reporting of the Delta operation to be something along the lines of 'American special operation forces rescued...' and the British coverage of the SBS mission to be 'Herioc SAS conduct another daring operation...'
It also seems to me the British reporting tends to include more details immediately -- both correct and incorrect. The British press also tends to back the home team a little more heavily while the American press tends to look harder for faults. For example, the Farrell rescue (which is an example of one originally reported as an SAS mission that I only later came across follow-up reporting suggesting it was actually 'SBS-led') is pointed to by some in the British press as a success while others in the American press portrayed it as a failure.
I have worked as a sports journalist in both the American and British press and these are just my own impressions, and I'm admittedly painting with an extremely wide brush here. But the bottom line is I just wanted to say that the reports we've linked to in either piece are not guaranteed to be accurate and it's always wise to consider the source.
*** It might be worth noting that the Brit press tends to be more sensationalist and quicker to release details (which are sometimes later proven to be inaccurate) than their American counterparts. ***
LOL! What are you trying to say here?