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New Role for UK Special Forces

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New Role for UK Special Forces

Old 17th Jul 2021, 07:07
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New Role for UK Special Forces

My heart sinks at getting handfuls of troops involved against Russian mercenaries in the heart of Africa….

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/m...ssia-hgbdwcsg7

Military chief reveals secret new role for special forces against China and Russia

Britain’s special forces will take on a new covert mission against China and Russia as they shift their focus to countering “big state adversaries”, a senior military chief has revealed.

Brigadier Mark Totten said that the SAS and SBS would have more time and assets for “higher risk” counterstate tasks requiring more detail, planning and specialist expertise. The Royal Marines will take over the units’ traditional roles.

Army sources said special forces might be given “politically treacherous” tasks such as training the navies of countries near the South China Sea to better defend against Chinese hostility.

Totten is in charge of a 4,000-strong “future commando force” of Royal Marines who will “burden-share” with Britain’s elite units. They will base themselves in small numbers around the world carrying out counterterrorism operations, deterring mercenaries and responding to crises.

They will also use technology such as fish drones and artificial intelligence, and carry out “deception” operations with fake signals or diversionary forces to confuse an enemy.

Totten, who joined the Marines in 1998, said: “What we will be able to do is allow [special forces] to focus on more difficult, more complex, counter-Russia, counter-China [tasks].

“It takes real specialist expertise, so we will allow them to have more time and people to address those and we can conduct some of the tasks, such as maritime counterterrorism for example, or partnered operations, where it is difficult, where there is a higher risk.”

His comments are the first official acknowledgment that special forces will be tasked with tackling the threat from China and Russia.

Normally the government does not comment on the activities of the troops, although earlier in the year the head of the army, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, admitted they would be asked to take on “hostile states” more generally.

It is thought the highly secretive operations could involve troops operating alongside MI6 to mount surveillance against Chinese and Russian intelligence and military units. Part of their job will be to track adversaries and build a picture of the changing and “accelerating” nature of the threat.

An army source said: “You’re not going to get a gang of guys running around China.” However, the source said they could, for example, pop up around the South China Sea to train other navies in sensitive situations.

“You could send 25 guys from special operations to Africa carrying out counterterrorism and send four guys from the SAS to somewhere in the South China Sea as this would need to be lower profile and is politically more treacherous.”…..

Royal Marines will also be deployed east of Suez and could go to the Indo-Pacific ready for any conflicts that may arise. He said they could provide teams that could conduct training and “if there is a crisis that bubbles up we’ve got a footprint on the ground.”….

They could also act as a deterrent to the Wagner Group, Russian mercenaries believed to be carrying out the Kremlin’s bidding, by having a presence in countries where they would not normally be.

“I’m not saying that we will move into a direct confrontation as in military to mercenary but . . . you don’t make it easy for them because they have to think about what we are doing and what we will see,” he said, adding that it was an “indirect” way of taking them on.

The army will also get a Rangers regiment for special operations, easing pressure on the SAS. Modelled on the US Green Berets, it will have its first mission in Africa……

Last edited by ORAC; 17th Jul 2021 at 08:05.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 08:02
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
My heart sinks at getting handfuls if troops getting involved against Russian mercenaries in the heart of Africa….

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/m...ssia-hgbdwcsg7

Military chief reveals secret new role for special forces against China and Russia

Britain’s special forces will take on a new covert mission against China and Russia as they shift their focus to countering “big state adversaries”, a senior military chief has revealed.

Brigadier Mark Totten said that the SAS and SBS would have more time and assets for “higher risk” counterstate tasks requiring more detail, planning and specialist expertise. The Royal Marines will take over the units’ traditional roles.

Army sources said special forces might be given “politically treacherous” tasks such as training the navies of countries near the South China Sea to better defend against Chinese hostility.

Totten is in charge of a 4,000-strong “future commando force” of Royal Marines who will “burden-share” with Britain’s elite units. They will base themselves in small numbers around the world carrying out counterterrorism operations, deterring mercenaries and responding to crises.

They will also use technology such as fish drones and artificial intelligence, and carry out “deception” operations with fake signals or diversionary forces to confuse an enemy.

Totten, who joined the Marines in 1998, said: “What we will be able to do is allow [special forces] to focus on more difficult, more complex, counter-Russia, counter-China [tasks].

“It takes real specialist expertise, so we will allow them to have more time and people to address those and we can conduct some of the tasks, such as maritime counterterrorism for example, or partnered operations, where it is difficult, where there is a higher risk.”

His comments are the first official acknowledgment that special forces will be tasked with tackling the threat from China and Russia.

Normally the government does not comment on the activities of the troops, although earlier in the year the head of the army, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, admitted they would be asked to take on “hostile states” more generally.

It is thought the highly secretive operations could involve troops operating alongside MI6 to mount surveillance against Chinese and Russian intelligence and military units. Part of their job will be to track adversaries and build a picture of the changing and “accelerating” nature of the threat.

An army source said: “You’re not going to get a gang of guys running around China.” However, the source said they could, for example, pop up around the South China Sea to train other navies in sensitive situations.

“You could send 25 guys from special operations to Africa carrying out counterterrorism and send four guys from the SAS to somewhere in the South China Sea as this would need to be lower profile and is politically more treacherous.”…..

Royal Marines will also be deployed east of Suez and could go to the Indo-Pacific ready for any conflicts that may arise. He said they could provide teams that could conduct training and “if there is a crisis that bubbles up we’ve got a footprint on the ground.”….

They could also act as a deterrent to the Wagner Group, Russian mercenaries believed to be carrying out the Kremlin’s bidding, by having a presence in countries where they would not normally be.

“I’m not saying that we will move into a direct confrontation as in military to mercenary but . . . you don’t make it easy for them because they have to think about what we are doing and what we will see,” he said, adding that it was an “indirect” way of taking them on.

The army will also get a Rangers regiment for special operations, easing pressure on the SAS. Modelled on the US Green Berets, it will have its first mission in Africa……
None of which is military aviation related.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 08:06
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You think? We already have Chinooks supporting French troops in Africa. You think RM troops operating in Africa will do so without any type of air support?
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 08:08
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
You think? We already have Chinooks supporting French troops in Africa. You think RM troops operating in Africa will do so without any type of air support?
Yes, I do think. None of that is military aviation related. At what point does any of that diatribe reference any form of aviation assets - clue, it doesn’t.

Not a story; admin please move elsewhere.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 08:17
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Diatribe? You seem very keen for a report of a speech by the Brigadier in charge of the future RM Commando force to disappear.

p.s. If you want military aviation content here’s one of the parts I elided….

At present Marines have to deploy from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, or from Plymouth, and sometimes the critical moment has passed before they can arrive.

Last edited by ORAC; 17th Jul 2021 at 08:29.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 08:22
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Well, whatever you think about this - it ain't secret anymore!

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Old 17th Jul 2021, 08:31
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Seeing as it’s printed in Today’s Times I’m pretty sure every embassy will have a copy and their Int services an online subscription…
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 08:35
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Diatribe? You seem very keen for a report of a speech by the Brigadier in charge of the future RM Commando force to disappear.

p.s. If you want military aviation content here’s one of the parts I elided….
Look, ORAC, please stop clutching at straws. This story is categorically nothing to do military aviation. Go and post it somewhere else, that’s cool, but don’t post it on this forum when it doesn’t belong here.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 08:45
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The problem is there is no specific "military but not aviation" Forum - in the same way there isn't a generic one about say "airliners"

as these days all defence issues are linked, by default this is where any discussion of such things ends up.

You could ask the Mods to introduce a new Forum or thread I guess - they were happy enough to start a Space one recently
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 09:19
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Originally Posted by Foghorn Leghorn View Post
None of which is military aviation related.


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Old 17th Jul 2021, 09:53
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Originally Posted by Foghorn Leghorn View Post
Look, ORAC, please stop clutching at straws. This story is categorically nothing to do military aviation. Go and post it somewhere else, that’s cool, but don’t post it on this forum when it doesn’t belong here.
Dude, you have a point, but there are far worse threads posted here than this one!
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 09:53
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"Military chief reveals secret new role for special forces against China and Russia"

Hardly a Fecking secret anymore then?
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 10:01
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The headline is that of the Times’ edutor.

The story makes clear that this was an “official acknowledgment” of the role - it is the subsequent operations which will be “secretive”.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 10:20
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Originally Posted by Foghorn Leghorn View Post
Yes, I do think. None of that is military aviation related. At what point does any of that diatribe reference any form of aviation assets - clue, it doesn’t.

Not a story; admin please move elsewhere.
Fog, you may think you are having a dig at aircrew supporting SF whilst flying under an RN, RM or Army cap badge (a little harsh there too given the light blue supporting all those elements) but you are firing a direct shot at 47 Sqn, 7 Sqn, 14 Sqn & a whole range of supporting RAF assets.

Unless you are simply blind to everything else that you do not personally get involved in, which would be rather sad.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 10:48
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Originally Posted by Foghorn Leghorn View Post
Yes, I do think. None of that is military aviation related. At what point does any of that diatribe reference any form of aviation assets - clue, it doesn’t.

Not a story; admin please move elsewhere.
Who appointed you guardian of this thread ? Don't remember you complaining about the BBQ thread.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 11:16
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Last time I checked....the Mod's are quite capable of determining when to close a Thread and need no assistance in that.

Some folks need to get a sense of humor.



Now back to the Thread Topic.....

It would appear the UK SpecOps community are beginning to use a similar organizational setup that the US SpecOps Command does.....as we also built up USMC Special Operations capability and have dedicated Air Support from ALL the branches involved in a joint coordinated command structure.

The World has changed a bit of late....due to the successes of Allied Counter-Terrorism efforts....and the coming threat is by Russia and China so it makes good sense to look ahead as best we can to tailor our capability to combat the growing threat of both adversaries.
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 13:11
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What does the A in SAS stand for?
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 17:43
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Stirling's ex secretary once commented to me when a gentleman of reduced stature was sounding off...
"SAS"'
"Wot?"
"Short Arsed Syndrome"

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Old 17th Jul 2021, 21:14
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Last time I checked....the Mod's are quite capable of determining when to close a Thread and need no assistance in that.

Some folks need to get a sense of humor.



Now back to the Thread Topic.....

It would appear the UK SpecOps community are beginning to use a similar organizational setup that the US SpecOps Command does.....as we also built up USMC Special Operations capability and have dedicated Air Support from ALL the branches involved in a joint coordinated command structure.

The World has changed a bit of late....due to the successes of Allied Counter-Terrorism efforts....and the coming threat is by Russia and China so it makes good sense to look ahead as best we can to tailor our capability to combat the growing threat of both adversaries.
USMC Raiders/MARSOC aside, the Marine Corps Commandant has directed a radical shift in philosophy and direction of the Corps as a whole. Gone will be counter insurgency and large land warfare and in is good ole fashioned island hopping. I wonder who has islands in need of raiding these days? UK doesn’t have oil, so they’re out, who else…hmmm…
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Old 18th Jul 2021, 08:45
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Island hopping is fine but it requires islands - easy in parts of the Pacific and SE Asia but you'd be a bit stuck off (say) S America
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