Founded in 1955, New Zealand’s Special Air Service (NZSAS) is a small but formidable unit. Currently task organized into four squadrons, including the counter-terrorism tactical assault group, NZSAS has seen multiple deployments to Afghanistan in recent years conducting operations in and around Kabul. The unit has had both its share of honors and controversies. One NZSAS operator named Willie Apiata was awarded the Victoria Cross for heroic actions taken during a firefight in 2004. Last year a book was published titled “Hit & Run: The New Zealand SAS in Afghanistan and the meaning of honour” which alleged that the SAS had committed war crimes in Afghanistan, a charge the unit refutes. As of 2018, a government inquiry is still ongoing.
Lead image courtesy of the New Zealand Defense Force.