10th SFG(A) Soldiers welcome Rhodesian special forces

Ravage

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http://sinepari.soc.mil/News/2008/October/SP-081021-01.html

FORT CARSON, Colo. (Sine Pari, Oct. 21, 2008) – The 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) hosted Theo Williams, a former major with the Rhodesian Army, today's Zimbabwe, at their Regimental Mess Oct. 9.

Williams was invited to give a briefing on the Selous Scouts, a Special Forces regiment of the Rhodesian Army, active from 1973 until 1980 when the civil war ended between the national guerrilla movement and the existing government of Rhodesia.

The Scouts, named after famed British explorer Frederick Selous, were specifically formed to track and infiltrate guerilla organizations due to lack of intelligence coming through the regular Army system. Their mission, to engross themselves in the local environment – beards, attire and mannerisms – to gain the confidence of the populace and go where the terrorists were infiltrating, very similar to today’s Special Forces attitude.

Williams went on to form the Grey Scouts as the youngest major ever in the Rhodesian Army. This mounted unit of the Selous Scouts, similar to a battalion in a U.S. Army Special Forces unit was formed for deep penetration into enemy territory to gain the intelligence needed, emphasizing that, “the food of any Army is intelligence.”

The members of the Selous Scouts, numbering around 1,500 at their greatest strength, were acclaimed trackers and responsible for 68 percent of all guerilla deaths within the borders of Rhodesia. Their success stemmed from the speed at which they turned the guerillas to their side and got them back into the fight.

At the end of his presentation, Col. William H. Shaw III, 10th SFG(A) deputy commander, presented Williams with a commander’s coin and thanked him for his briefing.

Williams, in-turn, gave his thanks to be allowed to, “talk about a small group of likeminded, determined people who overcome all odds.” Further stating that, “We have to go backward to go forward.”

Rhodesia2.jpg

Theo Williams, a former special forces major with the Rhodesian Army, gave a briefing for the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at their Regimental Mess Oct. 9. Williams, who was known as the youngest major ever in the Rhodesia Army, spoke about the Selous Scouts, the Rhodesian equivalent of U.S. Army Special Forces. (Photo courtesy of 10th SFG(A))
Rhodesia.jpg

Theo Williams, a former special forces major with the Rhodesian Army, gave a briefing for the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at their Regimental Mess Oct. 9. (Photo courtesy of 10th SFG(A) PAO)
 

pardus

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The Rhodesians are popping up time and time again to help with our current conflict. :cool:

Williams went on to form the Grey Scouts as the youngest major ever in the Rhodesian Army. This mounted unit of the Selous Scouts,

This isn't correct, they were two seperate units and he wasn't the first commander of the Grey's Scouts either... :uhh:.

GREYS SCOUTS

Raised July 1975, as The Mounted Infantry Unit, at Inkomo. Redesignated 1976 as Grey's Scouts. A mixed race unit, some 150-200 strong in 1977. Some personnel transferred in 1980 to the Zimbabwe National Army 1st Mounted Infantry Battalion.
http://orbat.com/site/history/historical/zimbabwe/rhodesiaspecialforces.html




---------------------
Career
The scouts became officially recognised as No 1 MIU in the July of 1975. They were composed of 100 people, and were co-located at Inkomo Barracks near Salisbury, sharing the premises with the Selous Scouts. [3] The Grey Scouts were initially raised for pseudo-gang work, first working in Troops, but eventually developed into entire squadrons, of which there were two. This evolving of No 1 MIU was due to the amount of progress that they had made in their previous duties and occupations in gang work, tracking and military intelligence. [3] The group then became mostly concerned with several tasks such as reconnaissance, the obtaining of information, holding certain areas and places, and generally providing defence until more support could arrive. [3] The group were also involved in military intelligence, and although they did not perform well in this area of expertise, they were still effective in combat, displayed several times in disadvantageous situations. One time, a 10 man section on patrol killed 18 ZIPRA terrorists in a battle that lasted approximately 3 hours, and another time, during a mission to take over an area, they suffered only two casualties in the killing of 51 terrorists. [3] July is the seventh month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... Salisbury (IPA: , or — moving from RP to local dialect) is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, England. ... The cap badge of the Selous Scouts was a stylised osprey. ... Military intelligence (abbreviated MI, int. ... Mixed reconnaissance patrol of the Polish Home Army and the Soviet Red Army during Operation Tempest, 1944 Reconnaissance is the military term for the active gathering of information about an enemy, or other conditions, by physical observation. ... The words defense or defence can refer to any of the following: For defense of a doctoral dissertation see thesis committee For the military term see defense (military) Civil defense measures and emergency preparedness In politics, defense may be a euphemism for war For legal defense see defense (legal) For... ZIPRA or the Zimbabwe Peoples Revolutionary Army was the armed wing of the communist party ZAPU (the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union) and participated in the Second Chimurenga against white minority rule in the former Rhodesia. ...

Growth
Upon forming of the group, the 100 or so men of the original pack provisions unit quickly rose to approximately 400 (250 being troopers, with veterinary personnel also being posted to the Scouts) [3] No 1 MIU became Grey's Scouts on 1 July 1976, but it was in January 1977 that they were accepted onto the Army ORBAT. [3] By 1979, there were 1,000 Scouts in Grey's Scouts (some 250 Regular/NSM as troopers, territorials, and support personnel Reg/TA), in two regular squadrons. [3]




The Commanders and Scouts
Major Anthony Stephens was the first commanding officer of both the Regular and Territorial units of the Grey's Scouts. Born in 1932, Stephens had been a National Service officer in the Irish Guards, and as a civilian in Singapore, had married the daughter of the second in command of the Rhodesian African Rifles in Malaya. [3] He can be credited for shaping the Scouts, and he provided good leadership to the units. [3] Due to illness, he retired in 1977, being replaced by Lieutenant-Colonel Michael MacKenna. [3] Second in command of the Scouts was Sergeant Roy Elderkin. He provided good support for Stephens during the early years of the Scouts, and was a former riding instructor or rough rider with the King's Troop. He had retired and was the manager of a horse stud/riding school near Inkomo Barracks. [3] Whilst the group was mainly composed of both black and white Rhodesians, a number of foreign people had joined the ranks, as well as many women from the Rhodesian Women's Service, the members of which were responsible for chores such as the working of the horses, as well as taking care of the several dogs which had been later enlisted when the Grey's Scouts also became involved in the training of tracker, explosive and mine and guard dogs raised for the Rhodesian Army and Air Force. [3] Year 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will take you to a full 1932 calendar). ... This article deals with the current British Army regiment, for historical regiments, see Historical Irish Guards regiments. ... Map of Peninsular Malaysia Peninsular Malaysia (Malay: Semenanjung Malaysia) is the part of Malaysia which lies on the Malay Peninsula, and shares a land border with Thailand in the north. ... This article needs more context around or a better explanation of technical details to make it more accessible to general readers and technical readers outside the specialty, without removing technical details. ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ... This article is concerned solely with chemical explosives. ... Mine can refer to a number of things: Mines are tunnels used in mining for extraction of resources. ...
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Grey's-Scouts
 

Philistine44

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There was also another Major Mike Williams, a former American SF officer, who served as Grey's Scouts 2IC until the end of the war. I worked for him briefly in 1980. Williams later wrote a bio with Robin Moore called "Major Mike" in the mid 80s.
 

pardus

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There was also another Major Mike Williams, a former American SF officer, who served as Grey's Scouts 2IC until the end of the war. I worked for him briefly in 1980. Williams later wrote a bio with Robin Moore called "Major Mike" in the mid 80s.

You were in Rhodesia in 1980?

I sent an email to Roy Elderkin to find out what the scoop is...
 

Philistine44

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Actually, I worked for Maj Williams (the Grey's Scout one) after he returned to the U.S. (Spring- Summer 1980). I left for South Africa Sept 1980.
 

pardus

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This isn't correct, they were two seperate units and he wasn't the first commander of the Grey's Scouts either... :uhh:.

OK, Ive been in contact with a couple of Rhodesian Soldiers of significant standing.
They have both confirmed that Major Theo Williams did not form the Grey's Scouts and that the Grey's Scouts were not a part of the Selous Scouts.
One of the Rhodesians I contacted was a senior member of the Selous Scouts, he confirmed that Major Theo Willams was indeed a member of the Selous Scouts.

Without a transcript of the speech given by Major Williams I'm going to assume an editorial mistake with the inaccurate information about the Grey's Scouts.
 

archade

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Ron Reid Daly as told to Peter Stiff, "Selous Scouts top secret War", Galago Publishing ltd, 1983, Cape ISBN 0 620 06674 1

STIFF Peter, the Rain Goddess, Galago publishing ltd, 1982, Cape
 
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