The selection for the Special Air Service is one of the toughest in the world. The SAS was a secret organization in the British Army, and the existence of their regiment was not made public until 1980. It is one of the longest-running special mission units still in service. It is also one of the best. If you want to find the most intelligent and brilliantly commissioned enlisted soldiers the United Kingdom has ever had, we have them on this list.

As it comes with no surprise, these agents were given the toughest of missions combatting terrorism, rescuing hostages, and all the other MI6-type operations you could think of. Here are some of their most epic operations:

Raid on Egyptian Airfields

The raid operation was carried out on July 26, 1942. Commanded by Major David Stirling, SAS attacked the German-held Sidi Haneish Airfield using their American Bantam Jeeps. It was part of the Western Desert Campaign of World War II, where they attacked five airfields in Egypt held by the Axis forces beginning July 7.

SAS members arrived with eighteen jeeps, each with 3 to 4 British or French commandos. They navigated through the desert in formation without headlights to avoid detection. Thankfully, it was a full moon and the night sky was clear from clouds. The runway lights switched on as they approached, and the raiders thought for a while that they had been busted. But, it turned out a German Luftwaffe bomber was about to land.

The SAS stormed the airfield, each holding their tracer ammunition-loaded K guns. They attacked the German aircraft base, including some Ju 52 cargo aircraft, Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers, and Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters. On the other hand, the Germans retaliated with their machine guns and anti-aircraft weapons. Nevertheless, the SAS members managed to escape, all in all, damaging or destroying around 40 Luftwaffe planes. The only casualty was Lance Bombardier John Robson, who was operating a machine gun when one of the Germans shot and killed him.

In the 15 months of this mission, the Special Air Service was able to destroy more than 250 German aircraft, earning Stirling the moniker “Phantom Major.”

Jebel Akhdar Rebellion

In the 18th century, Britain and Oman had an alliance. So when the Jebel Akhdar rebellion broke out again in 1957, and the rebels took over three forts on Mt. Jebel Akhdar, Oman asked for help. Unfortunately, at that time, the British were supposed to be leaving the country, and they could only send 64 SAS members to assist. To the surprise of many, this number was

SAS’ strategy was to launch a full-scale attack by the British brigade, made of about a thousand men, knowing this feat would be necessary if they wanted to recapture the mountain. However, Lieutenant Anthony Deane-Drummond and David Smiley agreed that they needed additional SAS troops and that one squadron would not suffice, so two were instead deployed, led by Deane-Drummond. One division was based at Tanuf, south of Jebel Akhdar, while the other was found at different positions North of Jebel Akhdar.