Guardian: Army asks Hoon for 'SAS-lite' unit

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hackle, Dec 14, 2004.

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  1. not the first time this has been mentioned, but this is from today's Guardian,,3604,1372947,00.html

  2. Amazing, that last paragraph. The reason the SAS failed to locate OBL was insufficient troops looking for him. Fit well trained light role infantry battalions used imaginatively could more than adequately support SF. This over reliance on SF and almost contemptuous indifference to regular infantry and reluctance to deploy them on such tasks as were common place in the 1950s and 1960s is incomprehensible. SAS "Light"? Utter B******s!
  3. Hereford has asked that the three Para battalions are rotated through the role, citing Op Barras in Sierra Leone as precedent and an example of good cooperation in the past. If it goes ahead, it gives some protection to the Para Reg from critics of a largely non-useable para capability. It might also suit POD. Last gesture to the Toms to help secure their future before he retires next year, perhaps?
  4. Op con has been used for years with the Para reg units, as Hereford normally only request them as back up for a number of Ops. Afghan they used 1 Para Mortars, OP barras, and one or two we cannot mention here that were before that. its just never been an established role on paper, its like the delta farce and the Rangers.

    I think the herald had somthing about it the other day
  5. This is relatively old news.

    I love the reference to the CIA and Mossad as 'friendly intelligence agencies'!! :)
  6. Quite so, I made that point when I posted the Guardian article but it contains 'new' info/speculation, and these matters are somewhat topical this week. Thanks for pulling up the original article. :wink:
  7. Busterdog hits the nail on the head - why are the SAS being used in completely non cost-effective way in tasks which could be performed just fine by a properly-resourced infantry btn?

    Oh, I guess we don't have any properly-resourced infantry battalions.....
  8. Why dont they just create the Army Commandos again - although the Royal Marines already suit the role perfectly. In Australia they have Army Commandos........bloody good they are too...........

    Another option is to increase the size of 3 commando brigade from 6000 troops up to 10,000...........(by the time 'commando 21' restructure comes into effect)

    Anyway, the paras would be more effective than the US Rangers anyway - look at the successful mission they had with the SAS in Sierra Lione.......???!!!!???!!!

    Hoon sounds confused about what he really wants............
  9. That last sounds not unlike an Arabic version of the FRU to me.

    Bet that'll be a fun job.
  10. It's a (vain) attempt to save one of the 4 Bns up for the chop.
  11. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    There's a lot of conjecture out there.

    The original article (second in this thread) is for a covert urban recce unit formed around the very limited number of 14 Int guys. The follow up talks about a Para Bn being attached to SF. 14 Int don't yomp around Afghan mountains. Para's do but they don't hide in jamjars in Terr's kitchens so the two articles are talking about opposite roles.

    Reading the above my view is the press defence sexperts are throwing in opinions based on their experience rather than the requirements of the regt.

    I guess the first question is how "special" will these guys be. The para's, last time I checked, were there to kill people, far more than the UKSF. Sure their Pathfinders can man OP's but then can so many other Inf Bn Recce units, ditto COP, ditto RM. Would UKSF want a specialist Int providing logistical ground holding force, or does he want a covert team of sneaky beaky's? When you're looking at professionalism there is a limited shared ground here that actually doesn't become SAS-on-the-cheap.

    And I'm really not sure about the SAS's job of killing people comment. There are plenty of UKSF guys that have never killed anybody. Or at least there were prior to GW2

    If the requirement is for more UKSF (due to the volume of deployments) but the standards are too high then it seems to me to be a way of answering this.

    If the requirement is for a support unit then they've got the sigs/RLC model to copy already in place.

    If the requirement is for a assault unit (Barras) then a dedicated Para or RM unit attached sounds like the answer.
  12. Don't be so sure about the vanity of this approach. The lack of fire sp after the 1995 cuts saved 4 TA Bns from being axed...and at least one justified the faith placed in it but that's a different thread.
  13. Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent - pish..........

    The press should stop having 'Special Forces' wet dreams all the time. Plus do they have to use that bloody saying, it pisses me off.

    Wars are won on good intelligence and strategy. Oh dear we have neither!! Dont worry though, 'special forces' will save the day (armed with chinese equipment, oh the joy).
  14. was he not an officer ??
  15. Yep, did three years in 3 Para. Nice bloke, was at the Sun for a while, then got the push from the Daily Mail, where he was Defence Correspondent, for fiddling his expenses. He seems to have worked his way back into a state of grace now at the Torygraph.