SAS commanders are fighting back after defence chiefs revealed they want to axe some of the elite regiments part-time troops. The move comes after last weeks announcement on the future of the Territorial Army by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond. Mr Hammond failed to reveal the future of the SAS Reservists. Staff officers at Armys Land Forces HQ in Andover proposed axing one of the two part-time SAS units but special forces bosses refused to accept the deal. Now SAS chiefs are fighting a home-front battle to keep their reserve soldiers in uniform. They believe there has never been more demand for reservists amid pressure to meet growing counter-terror threats. As regular SAS soldiers recover from injuries received in Afghanistan, reservists are filling manpower gaps and making sure the SASs elite Sabre Squadrons can still work at full capability. Senior officers at the Directorate of Special Forces want both units, which have centres across England, Wales and Scotland, retained and have asked for SAS Reserves to be ring-fenced from any cuts. SAS Reservists must pass the same gruelling tests as regular counterparts. That includes freefall parachuting and survival courses. And, once badged SAS parlance for passing the course and being awarded the regiments winged dagger emblem they can serve all over the world. Last night Ministry of Defence sources indicated a deal had been done in which the two units could be merged. That would allow at least one TA centre to be closed but means special forces commanders could keep the force level they want. Last week the closure of 26 TA centres across England, Wales and Scotland was announced. Mr Hammond said the Territorial Army will be renamed the Army Reserve and become an integral part of the regular Army. A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: We never comment on special forces.