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United Kingdom Special Forces
Active 1987
Country United Kingdom
Branch Tri-service
Role Special Forces

The United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) is a UK Ministry of Defence Directorate which also has the capability to provide a Joint Special Operations Task Force Headquarters. UKSF is commanded by Director Special Forces (DSF), a Major General.



UKSF was formed in 1987 to draw together the Army's Special Air Service (SAS) and the Special Boat Squadron Royal Marines (SBS), which was renamed the Special Boat Service at the same time, 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 and the Special Forces Support Group.

Roles and tasks

UKSF assets undertake a number of roles, with a degree of interaction and interoperability:


The badge of each UKSF unit shares a representation of the Sword of Damocles (or Excalibur) in common.

Special Force units

United Kingdom Special Forces


Royal Navy

Support units

The UKSF is supported by a number of units:

Special Forces Support Group


  • 18 (UKSF) Signal Regiment
    • 264 (SAS) Signals Squadron, attached to 22 SAS
    • 267 (SRR) Signals Squadron, attached to the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR)
    • 268 (UKSF) Signals Squadron, specialist sp to UKSF
    • SBS Signals Squadron, attached to the Special Boat Service
    • 63 (SAS) Signal Squadron, reserve unit attached to 21 and 23 SAS


The Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing provides fixed-wing and rotary-wing support to UKSF. Four units of the Army Air Corps (AAC) and the Royal Air Force (RAF) are thought to have the task of supporting British Special Operations[1]:

Six Hercules C.3 (C-130H-30), upgraded in C.3A standard (with more countermeasures and navigation systems), were added to the "SF Flight" because of SF needs after 11 September 2001 attacks.[3][4]

See also

External links


  1. ^ UKSF Air Support
  2. ^ Ripley, Tim (10 December 2008). "UK Army Air Corps received Dauphins". Janes Defence Weekly 45 (50): 10.  
  3. ^ Lake, Jon (September 2006). "Herculean service". Air Forces Monthly.  
  4. ^ Ripley, Tim (March 2006). "The doomed Hercules". Air Forces Monthly.  


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