The United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) is a Ministry of Defence directorate that provides a joint special operations task force headquarters. The UKSF is commanded by the Director Special Forces. The directorate commands 22 Special Air Service Regiment, the Special Boat Service, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, the Special Forces Support Group, 18 Signal Regiment and the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing.
The UKSF was formed in 1987 to draw together the Army’s Special Air Service and the Naval Service’s Special Boat Squadron, which was renamed the Special Boat Service during the formation, into a unified command, based around the former Director SAS, who was given the additional title of Director Special Forces. The directorate has been expanded by the creation of the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, 18 Signal Regiment and the Special Forces Support Group.
The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is the amphibious light infantry and one of the five fighting arms or branches of the Royal Navy. The Royal Marines were formed in 1755 as the Royal Navy’s infantry troops. However, the marines can trace their origins back to the formation of the English Army’s “Duke of York and Albany’s maritime regiment of Foot” at the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company on 28 October 1664.
As a highly specialised and adaptable light infantry force, the Royal Marines are trained for rapid deployment worldwide and capable of dealing with a wide range of threats. The Royal Marines are organised into a light infantry brigade (3 Commando Brigade) and a number of separate units, including 1 Assault Group Royal Marines, 43 Commando Royal Marines formerly Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines (previously the Comacchio Group), and a company strength commitment to the Special Forces Support Group. The Corps operates in all environments and climates, though particular expertise and training is spent on amphibious warfare, arctic warfare, mountain warfare, expeditionary warfare, and its commitment to the UK’s Rapid Reaction Force.
Air Force Pararescue is the only United States Department of Defense elite combat force specifically organized, trained, equipped, and postured to conduct full spectrum personnel recovery to include both conventional and unconventional combat rescue operations. These Battlefield Airmen are the most highly trained and versatile personnel recovery specialists in the world. Pararescue is the nation’s force of choice to execute the most perilous, demanding, and extreme rescue missions anytime, anywhere across the globe.
The Parachute Regiment is the airborne infantry regiment of the British Army. The 1st Battalion is permanently under the command of the Director Special Forces in the Special Forces Support Group (SFSG). The other battalions are the parachute infantry component of the British Army’s rapid response formation, 16 Air Assault Brigade.
Paratroopers are trained to conduct a range of missions, from prevention and pre-emption tasks, to complex, high intensity war fighting. Watchwords are professionalism, resilience, discipline, versatility, courage and self-reliance.