SAS reservists withdrawn from Afghan front line

Ravage

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...ervists-withdrawn-from-Afghan-front-line.html

SAS reservists have been withdrawn from front line operations in Afghanistan following a review of their unit's operational capability, it can be revealed

Troops from 21 and 23 SAS, the regiment's Territorial Army battalions, had been responsible for "mentoring" members of the Afghan National Police, but that task has been handed over to a "regular" infantry unit.

Instead of taking part in operations alongside the regular SAS, the troops from the reserve battalions are now responsible for guarding members of the Foreign Office based in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

It is understood to be the first time in the regiment's history that its troops have been used to guard civil servants on a full-time basis.

The change in roles followed the drafting of a secret military document which examined the "utility" of the territorial SAS on operations.

It is understood that the report found that the TA SAS lacked a clearly-defined role, and also stated that the reservists lacked the military capability and skillset to serve alongside the regular special forces.

The territorial SAS allows hundreds of ordinary civilians to serve in the special forces. Volunteers need to pass a selection programme and training programme similar to those for the regular SAS.

The lack of a defined role for the TA SAS has now lead to fears that one or both battalions could be axed as part of a raft of cuts expected under the next strategic defence review.

The Tories have already stated that under a new strategic defence review, "everyone and everything" within the armed forces will have to be justified, and if Labour win the election the same approach will almost certainly be adopted.

The SAS report, which was drawn up towards the end of last year for the commander of the SAS in Afghanistan, is understood to have caused divisions within the special forces world.

While many regular SAS personnel supported its findings, TA troops were said to be furious.

The report followed the deaths of four British troops – three members of 23 SAS and Corporal Sarah Bryant, 26 – who were killed when their Snatch Land Rover was blown up by an improvised explosive device in June 2008 near to Lashkar Gah.

Cpl Bryant became the first female British soldier to be killed in Afghanistan.

At the inquest into the deaths of Cpl Sean Reeve, 28, LCpl Richard Larkin, 39, and Private Paul Stout, 31, it was disclosed that the troops had not carried out mandatory searches when their patrol entered what was a clearly-identifiable "vulnerable point".

One SAS commander also claimed that the reservists did not receive proper counter-IED training and were ill-prepared for operations in Helmand.

The Cold War role of the SAS reservists was to conduct long-range patrols and report on the movement of Warsaw Pact forces as they crossed into western Europe – a role which no longer exists.

Reservists were deployed into the Balkans in the mid-1990s as a composite unit known as "V" Squadron where they took part in peace support operations, which allowed regular members of the SAS to be used for other tasks.

One senior military source said that there had been a long-held prejudice with the SAS against using members of the TA which stemmed from the first Gulf War in 1991.

He said: "The TA SAS were used as battle casualty replacements in the first Gulf War but it wasn't that successful and since then there has been a certain resentment by more senior elements of the SAS to the TA.

"In many cases they refuse to work with them. But they are a fantastic talent and a role should be found for them."

The source added that they could be used to supplement the Brigade Reconnaissance Force in Helmand, or the Pathfinders, a parachute-trained organisation which also conducts long-range patrols.

UK-based roles, the source added, could include military support to the intelligence and security community.

The TA SAS were first deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 where they helped to establish a communications network across Afghanistan and also acted as liaison teams between the various political groups, Nato and the fledgling Afghan government.

But when the insurgency in Helmand began in 2006, that role was withdrawn.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: "We do not comment on special forces."
 

Rapid

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Of course 21 & 23 SAS can't keep up with 22 SAS, but that doesn't mean they should be scrapped.
 

Jorock12

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Im very interested in how this part time special forces role works out, what happens to the 2 SAS batts when there in garrison anyways? and how are they trained when compared to Pathfinders? I know the Pathfinders here in canada couldnt be replaced by a reserve force of any kind.
 

pardus

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No fucking female is in the SAS!

This is a BS article written to sensationalize a Soldiers death unless I'm very much mistaken.

Are reserve forces as well trained as regular forces? Of course not! We in the Military have known that for hundreds of years.
However, the reserve component has much to offer that the regular Soldiers don't and in many situations perform better than the regulars.
This is a failure or Army policy and also of prejudice that is fucking a perfectly capable unit.

Fuck!
 

AWP

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People forget when discussing the Guard/ Reserves in America (and I'd guess the UK is the same or similar) is that they aren't designed to go from activation to wheels up in 18 hours. Now, you can have reserve units with a high state of readiness, and I'd venture certain MOS's and duties can be on a par with their AD counterparts though those jobs are in the minority, but reserve formations do have one unique benefit and that is bringing their civilian skill sets to the fight once activated. My old Guard unit had everything from college students to NASA employees.

To adequately use reserve formations you will need to provide them with a train-up period once activated. Not knowing how the UK does business I can't comment on some of the article's complaints, but I think cutting units needs to be a last resort. Instead, they should look at how to better prepare what they have and what/ who went wrong.
 

dknob

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From what I understand the capability/skill gap between 21st/23rd SAS and the 22nd is much larger than the gap between NG SF and Active Duty SF
 

Rapid

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Not sure, as I don't know what the gap between NG SF / AD SF is like.
 

pardus

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From what I understand the capability/skill gap between 21st/23rd SAS and the 22nd is much larger than the gap between NG SF and Active Duty SF

From my limited knowledge that sounds right.

In NZ you could only go reserve SAS after you'd been regular Army SAS, limiting numbers wise, but effective.
 

Ravage

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There was an idea to create a Reserve SOF unit in Poland, based on vets from GROM and the Regiment. 'Nuff said it did not work.
Then one GROM guy (one of the Unit's 'oryginals') wanted airsofters to become a 'reserve component for SOF units'......didn't work out eighter.
 

Rapid

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Then one GROM guy (one of the Unit's 'oryginals') wanted airsofters to become a 'reserve component for SOF units'......didn't work out eighter.

Airsofters? Huh?

There was an idea to create a Reserve SOF unit in Poland, based on vets from GROM and the Regiment. 'Nuff said it did not work.

What do you mean "'Nuff said"? If it didn't work out, it was someone's fault or there were limitations that prevented it from working. Reserve SOF units work when they have proper management and missions specific to their abilities.

Not only are 21 & 23 SAS extremely good (of course you can't expect the units to take on the same workload or missions as regular SAS), they also serve as a stepping stone into 22 SAS.
 

pardus

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So the people who wanted airsofters to join their unit couldn't get a reserve unit working properly? Shocking!

lol
 

Ravage

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I'm not in the loop but from what I've read SOF reserves never came to life because we didn't have a OSCOM-like command structure. Now we do in the form of DWS, so there is a chance we will open that door once again.
As for the airsofters, the idea was to give them initial military training, and 'nurture them' 'till they are of age to enter the military. Keep track of their record and help them get through the beurocratic maze to have a try for Selection to eighter GROM, The Regiment or Formoza. As I said, it did not work. Still, GROM is known to take the top O's from their classes and give them a slot at Selection. Where normally you would have to serve at least 3 years in your regular unit.
 

dknob

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From my limited knowledge that sounds right.

In NZ you could only go reserve SAS after you'd been regular Army SAS, limiting numbers wise, but effective.

Sounds like the Kiwis got it right. Thats a really good system.
 

JimMCpog

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I read that Poland will be building a larger reserve force with the TA and NG as examples. I always thought reserve forces were valued because they bring skills or life experience that may be in short supply on active duty. From what I've read about NG SF they end up training much more than 1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year. How could they with all that's needed? I wonder if the disdain for 21/23 SAS is as widespread as this article implies. They should be the first in line to draw up a plan of action to fix them, not write them off publicly.
http://www.thenews.pl/press/artykul128559_ministers-in-for-overdue-holiday.html
 

dknob

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I don't know how or why they could ever think that a reserve/territorial unit like the 21st or the 23rd SAS could ever replicate a full time counter terrorism unit such as the 22nd. That's like saying we should try creating a couple of national guard Delta squadrons. Thinking about it now, the skill gap between both sides has to be fn huge. There most certainly has to be incredible disdain by the 22nd guys because of the name sharing lol. Idk, but in my opinion i have always considered the 22nd to be the real and only SAS, and the 21st and 23rd just two units that somehow ended up sharing the same name. Bear Grylls is not that tough.
How is selection and initial training for the 21st and 23rd as opposed to 22nd?
 

Diamondback 2/2

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Free Falling hit the nail on the head “we train the RC/NG up before they deploy” and it brings those forces to a better tactical proficiency level and gets them up to date on current TTP’s.

As for the AD being better then the RC/NG, I strongly disagree with this (at least for the US). I have seen RC more so NG soldiers out perform their AD counter parts on more then just a few levels.

A good example is to watch a NG soldier running an exercise in Kuwait with a team of AD/RC/NG soldier all mixed together. I have seen it and the NG soldier were better shooters, better tactically, and had a better understanding of what was going on. I think the AD is more disciplined and normally in better physical shape at least that’s how it is on the conventional side.

I wouldn’t know on the SF AD/NG side of things though…
 

Diamondback 2/2

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I don't know how or why they could ever think that a reserve/territorial unit like the 21st or the 23rd SAS could ever replicate a full time counter terrorism unit such as the 22nd. That's like saying we should try creating a couple of national guard Delta squadrons. Thinking about it now, the skill gap between both sides has to be fn huge.

This is a very good point as well, CT level SOF is in a whole league in it’s self... How would AD SFODA compare to a SFOD-D team?
 
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