Foreign medias interest in UK Special Forces...

#1
As a freelance cameraman/producer currently working at the London bureau of a major European TV Company (equivalent to our Beeb) I'm tasked with all sorts of weirdness, but the latest may be up the ARRSE's alley:

I have been asked to research a story on the UK's special forces. The angle being: the international reputation/high esteem, Why, How etc?

This is a very bum job.
As far as I'm concerned we have no chance whatsoever of persuading the MOD to let us any where near Hereford or Poole (and quite rightly so IMHO). However, I was recently on a course with some ex-'pathfinders' who suggested that they had had a SF role? I know they had a para reg background . (Amongst an assortment of military failures I spectacularly bounced off P company many years ago)

My questions are: Who are they? and is their training likely to be as sensitive as the other types alluded to above? How can I expend the minimum amount of effort on this?

Frankly, I'm rather hoping that this story will creep up it's own fundamental but since the Blair/Brown thing died there’s not much else cooking apart from security stuff.

I’m a newbie and would like to apologise in advance if I have got off on the wrong foot by using this forum as a cheap research technique.
 
#2
Mate I admire your honesty however you have got no fecking chance of getting any info off this site. Anyone that does provide you with info(via PM ) will be a big timing walt talking crap anyway. I suggest you chat with your PF mate,he has already told you a ''big fat one ''in saying PF are SF. They dont coming DSF's control,so I am led to understand.
 
#3
Fair enough- can't say I'm surprised. However it's interesting what you say about the PF not being SF because his comments were made in the presence of ex-SAS types - both instructors and fellow candidates. None of whom were shy of handing out oout slaggings to the deserving.

looks like I'll have to knock up the HAC then.
 
#7
bigeye said:
looks like I'll have to knock up the HAC then.
puts head in hands, bangs it rhythmically against desk and sobs quietly... composes himself... breathes in, deeply...

The HAC are not SF. They never have been, they never will be; fine body of men though they are.
 
#9
Thanks ladies and Gentlemen, for your input. It's not all bad. I'm going to suggest nipping down to Bluebell DZ on the off-chance of getting shots of people piling out of a Herc. The Stag (?) public house at Up Avon will make a great unit base.

Sorry, the HAC thing was supposed to be ironic (in light of previous posts I've read here)
 
#10
Here's a tip mate...if anyone offers you information on UKSF, ask them what colour the boathouse roof at Hereford is.

Only real SF operators could answer that one!
 
#11
There have always been pathfinders in airborne forces. Their classic role is marking DZs. In WW2 they set up Eureka beacons for the aircraft to home to, for example. Because they were first in and jumped, obviously, on to unmarked DZs, they required particular training, resourcefulness and abilities and were something of an elite within airborne forces. As far as I know, this role still exists.

There was a TV programme about the services and the MOD made when Bunter Soames was Minister of State and Portillo was Sec of Defence. That featured, among other things, the pathfinder platoon. One sequence was of Mike Jackson presenting platoon TRFs to new boys who had just completed their pl selection and training. He said that it was probably the most demanding outside SF (my bold). The programme also featured some pl training. It clearly emphasised the long range reconnaissance patrolling aspect of their role, as you might expect.

So, not SF, but very selective, very highly trained and very committed.
 
#13
bigeye said:
Thanks ladies and Gentlemen, for your input. It's not all bad. I'm going to suggest nipping down to Bluebell DZ on the off-chance of getting shots of people piling out of a Herc.
Bit of a tip - make sure you got a fkn good lens then. You prob won't even see or hear the Herc.

B_T :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
#14
bigeye said:
I have been asked to research a story on the UK's special forces. The angle being: the international reputation/high esteem, Why, How etc?

As far as I'm concerned we have no chance whatsoever of persuading the MOD to let us any where near Hereford or Poole (and quite rightly so IMHO).
If you don't ask you won't get. At least make an attempt to get your story straight from the horses mouth!
 
#15
Maybe you could get Ross Kemp to present it?

It's a little-known fact that his appreances in Ultimate Farce were actually a cover to explain his high level of skills as an SF operator. He's been a member of THEM for 14 years now, fitting in a series of low profile missions behind enemy lines among his many acting engagments.

Surely, you must have wondered about his "Who Dares Wins" tattoos in ep 472 of Eastenders, as well ast the obvious bullet scars when he was giving Babs windsor the good news in the Christmas Incest special?

However, as he was Air Troop, he never did the course indefending himself from a GWAR bird, and thus allegedly got chinned by his ex Mrs.
 
#16
It has to be said that the British armed forces tend to be more particular in their definition of "Special Forces" than others. Special Forces are, broadly, those deemed to have a strategic rather than purely tactical role, and, therefore, SAS/ SBS are Special Forces, whereas 16AA Bde Pathfinders, 5 Cdo Bde Recce Troop/ MLs etc, which perform essentially tactical roles, are not.

That stated, the distinction between "tactical" and "strategic" is often problematic, and - at times - meaningless! In many other armed forces, if a unit's members undergo rigorous selection/ training & perform arcane/ highly specialised operations (particularly in small sub-units, and/ or in relative isolation, esp "behind the lines") then they'll tend to be regarded as SF. Certainly, in most other armies, units like 16AA Bde Pathfinders, Cdo Bde Recce, and probably HAC, would be deemed SF, or SOF - Special Operations Forces. This is true, for example, of the US Ranger Regt, USMC MEUs ("Special Operations Capable"), and all Israeli "Sayaret" (Scout) units - only "Sayaret Maktal" (and its naval equivalent) are directly comparable to SAS/ SBS in terms of roles, chain of command etc; the others are brigade scout units similar to Pathfinders/ MLs.
 
#17
Here is the address (its secret so no passing on)

SAS (Media relations)
The boathouse
Hereford
 
#18
MSSC wrote:

PF not SF? HAC not SF? SO19 not SF? UKSF all work for Kroll now... Goodness... what does DSF do all day?

_____________________________________________________________

They are always on telly selling their latest range of leather and fabric suites at half price.

Pmsl
 
#19
Werewolf said:
Here's a tip mate...if anyone offers you information on UKSF, ask them what colour the boathouse roof at Hereford is.

Only real SF operators could answer that one!
Ha Ha!!!

There aint one!

Pmsl
 

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