- Special Boat Service
Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=Special Boat Service
caption=Emblem and Motto of the SBS
role= Special operations / Maritime Counter Terrorism
size= One Regiment
command_structure=UK Special Forces
ceremonial_chief=HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (Captain-General, Royal Marines)
motto="By strength and guile" [Originally "Not By Strength By Guile" the motto changed with the move from SB Sqn to Special Boat Service"
The Special Boat Service (SBS) is the
special forcesunit of the British Royal Navy. The service's motto is "By Strength and Guile". It forms part of the United Kingdom Special Forcesgroup, alongside the Special Air Service(SAS), Special Reconnaissance Regiment(SRR), Special Forces Support Group(SFSG) and Special Forces Communicators (SFC).
The SBS is an independent unit of the
Royal Marinesbased at Royal Marines Poole, in Poole, Dorset, co-located with 1 Assault Group Royal Marinesand 148 Commando Forward Observation Battery, Royal Artillery.
The roles of the Special Boat Service are predominantly focused on, but not restricted to, the
littoraland riverinewaterborne domains, including:
*Covert beach reconnaissance (Hydrographic survey) in advance of amphibious assault
*Covert assault route preparation in advance of amphibious assault
*Recovery or protection of ships and oil installations subject to hostile state or non-state (terrorist) action.
*Support to Police and customs
*Reconnaissance and target indication in the deep battlespace
*Assault on verified targets
*Personal protection of VIPs
The Ministry of Defence does not comment on special forces matters therefore little verifiable information exists in the public domain. Memoirs suggest an organisation split into four operational squadrons and a training wing, with a range of supporting personnel drawn from the Royal Marines,
Royal Navy, Royal Air Forceand the British Army.
The SBS is under the Operational Command of Director Special Forces, which allocates resources to the
Permanent Joint Headquarters, deployed forces or other tasks as required.
Qualified personnel are known as "Swimmer Canoeists" and are employed in one of the operational squadrons, training wing or elsewhere in the RM, RN, DSF or MOD.
*Two squadrons, C and X, support general SBS tasks.
*M squadron is the Maritime
Counter-Terrorismand shipboard operations unit. [cite web|url=http://www.royalmarines.mod.uk/server/show/nav.6699|title=Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines History |publisher=Royal Marines|quote=Following a study into the centralisation of the Royal Marines Maritime Counter Terrorist (MCT) forces, approval was given for elements of Comacchio Group Royal Marines to move from Royal Marines Condor to Royal Marines Poole and form part of the Special Boat Squadron (SBS); sub units of the SBS were called squadrons and existing SB sections were called troops. M Squadron was formed and was responsible for the MCT tasks formerly carried out by O Company of Comacchio Group Royal Marines. From this date onwards, Comacchio Group ceased to have any MCT responsibility but retained its main task of safe-guarding Britain's nuclear deterrent.]
*Z squadron conducts small watercraft and mini-sub insertions.
*Training Wing conducts selection and continuation training and includes a concepts and doctrine capability.
Personnel have previously been required to return to the main Commando force after the first three -year tour, potentially returning again after a short period.
The special forces element of
3 Commando Brigadeis usually provided by the SBS, tasked from the Directorate of Special Forces.
The SBS Reserve (SBS(R)), provides individual reservists to serve with the regular SBS rather than forming independent teams.
To be eligible for SBS selection, a candidate must have at least two years regular service in the British Armed Forces. Formerly candidates were from the Royal Marines or the Royal Navy, but now volunteers are taken from any arm of the services. In order to qualify as a
Swimmer Canoeist, Candidates must first undergo Special Forces Selection with the SAS before continuing to SBS selection.
For SBS Reserve (SBS(R)) selection, candidates must have previous military experience or have served at least two years in the
Royal Marines Reservebefore passing the three main elements (Hills Phase @ 4 km/h / Ex AtapHurdle / SERE) of regular UKSFselection and gaining the specialist qualification of swimmer canoeist.
Qualification as an SBS Swimmer Canoeist involves an extensive training course, building on the skills gained during SF Selection at
Hereford. Training includes:
*Diving both closed and open circuit - candidates swim underwater for miles in poor visibility completing complex navigational tasks and employment exercises
*Infiltration of ships, in harbour and whilst under way, and oil platforms
Canoeing- Use of the Klepper canoe during selection is extensive
*Further survival training in the wilds of
*Beach reconnaissance including
*Maritime Counter-Terrorism activities
Those who pass the selection course qualify as a Swimmer Canoeist (SC3) and are then probationers, advancement to Corporal and Sergeant are predicated on qualification as an SC2 and SC1 respectively. Advancement to Sergeant also requires completion of the Senior Command Course at
Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, mandatory for all Royal Marines at this stage.
On qualification Marines of the SBS wear the branch badge on the left cuff of lovat green and blue uniform jackets, the letters SC over a wreath, Officers wear no branch designators. On qualification as an advanced
parachutist, personnel are awarded the SBS variant of special forces parachute wings, worn on the shoulder of the right sleeve. Marines continue to wear the commandos green beret.
SBS veterans include:
* Lord Paddy Ashdown - Former Liberal Democrats leader
Duncan Falconer- Author
* Earl Jellicoe - Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords (1970-1973) †
Anders LassenVC, MC & Two Bars - Victoria Crossrecipient, World War II†
Paul McGough- Battle of Qala-i-Jangi[ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/06/24/db2403.xml "Daily Telegraph": Obituary] ] veteran †
Eric NewbyMC, CBE - British travel writer
* Richard Van Der Horst - Former CO
Special Boat Service, [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/11/27/nsbs27.xml "Daily Telegraph": Obituary following death during training exercise] ] †
British commando frogmenfor a fuller list of their WWII operations.
*1941: The Special Boat Section was formed from the Folbot Troop of HQ
Layforcein the Middle East and was sometimes known as '1 SBS'.
*1942: The personnel were subsumed within 1
Special Air ServiceRegiment and formed part of 'D' Squadron, subsequently retitled Special Boat Squadron; as such they adopted the cap badge and beret of the SAS.
*1943: A second Special Boat Section was re-raised in the United Kingdom for service with the Special Service Brigade (subsequently re-titled Commando Brigade) as '2 SBS'. As a Commando formation personnel of 2 SBS wore the Commando Green beret. The Special Boat Squadron of 1 SAS became an independently operating squadron and was subsequently expanded to regimental status as the Special Boat Service continuing to wear their parent regiment cap badge and beret.
*1946: The SBS, whether of Commando or SAS parentage, were disbanded in 1946. The functional title SBS was adopted by the
Royal Marines. It became part of the School of Combined Operations under the command of "Blondie" Hasler. [cite web
last = James Paul & Martin Spirit
title = The Special Boat Service
publisher = Britain's Small Wars Site Index
date = 2000
url = http://www.britains-smallwars.com/main/SBS.htm
format = Web
accessdate = ]
*1951: Another two squadrons were formed from British troops in
*Two volunteer squadrons were later added. Their first missions were in Palestine (ordnance removal) and in
Haifa( limpet mineremoval from ships).
*1950–1953: In the
Korean Warthe SBS were in action along the North Korean coast. They gathered intelligence and destroyed railways and installations. The SBS operated first from submarines, and later from islands off Wonsan, behind enemy lines. They used two-man canoes and motorised inflatable boats.
*1952: SBS teams were held at combat readiness in
Egyptin case Gamal Abdal Nasser's coupturned more violent than it did.
*1956: The SBS were alerted during the
Suez Crisis, but did not see action.
*1959, September: The SBS were alerted during a coup against king
Idris I of Libya, but did not see action. "Similar situations followed."
*1961: SBS teams carried out
reconnaissancemissions during the Indonesian Confrontation.
*1961: The SBS primarily gathered intelligence and trained other special forces during the
Iraqthreatened to invade Kuwaitfor the first time, so the SBS put a detachment at Bahrain.
*later: The SBS was stationed in
Gibraltar, where they gathered intelligence in case Franco's Spaindecided to invade.
*The SBS were involved in anti-drug operations in the
*1972: The SAS and SBS came into the spotlight for a moment during their involvement with a bomb threat (which later proved to be a hoax) onboard the
Cunardliner RMS "Queen Elizabeth II", in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
*1977: The SBS changed its name to Special Boat Squadron.
*1979: 5 SBS became part of the
Comacchio Company, which protected North Sea oil rigs.
*1980: SBS members played a part in the 1980
Iranian Embassy Siege.
*1982 March-June: In the
Falklands War, 2 SBS took part in the liberation of South Georgia and 6 SBS reconnoitered in East Falkland. Their only losses were to friendly firefrom the SAS.
*1987: The SBS became part of the UK Special Forces group alongside the
Special Air Serviceand 14 Intelligence Company.
*1987: The SBS changed its name to Special Boat Service and was brought under the command of the Director of Special Forces.
*1991: During the
Gulf War, the SBS made raids on the Kuwaiti coast to draw Iraqi troops away from the land attack. The liberation of the British embassy in Kuwait was one of their most high-profile operations.
*1999 or later: The SBS were involved in operations in
*2001, November: The SBS took part in the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, where they secured
*2003: The SBS took part in the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
*2005, 14 March: The
commanding officerof the SBS, Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Van Der Horst, [Sky News, [http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-13312451,00.html SBS Chief Killed on Exercise in Norway.] Retrieved 5 October 2006.] was killed in a training accident in Norway.
*2006, 27 June: Captain David Patten PARA and Sergeant Paul Bartlett,
Royal Marines, were killed and another serviceman seriously injured in a Talibanambush in Helmandprovince, southern Afghanistan. [ [http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/MilitaryOperations/CaptainDavidPattenAndSergeantPaulBartlettKilledInAfghanistanOn27June2006.htm Captain David Patten And Sergeant Paul Bartlett Killed In Afghanistan On 27 June2006.] ] It was reported by some sources that the ambushed vehicle was part of an SBS patrol and further sources reported that it was a special forces patrol. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/5152430.stm Killed NI soldier 'was due home'] [http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=17307784%26method=full%26siteid=94762%26headline=on%2dthe%2dtrail%2dof%2dtaliban%2d-name_page.html On the trail of Taliban: As two SBS soldiers die in Afghanistan, we visit British troops charged with keeping the peace ... and fighting a resolute enemy.] ]
*2007, 12 May: A joint British Special Boat Service (SBS) and Special forces support group (SFSG) team killed
Talibanleader Mullah Dadullahin Helmandprovince after a raid on a compound where his associates were meeting. [BBC News, Long haul fight to defeat the Taliban http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6237290.stm]
*US Navy SEALs
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Special Boat Service — Période 1941 Pays Royaume Uni Branche Royal Marines Type Forces spé … Wikipédia en Français
Special Boat Service — noun A Royal Marines force specializing in reconnaissance, sabotage and spearheading amphibious assaults • • • Main Entry: ↑special … Useful english dictionary
Special Boat Service — (SBS, Специальная лодочная служба) подразделение специальных операций Королевской морской пехоты Великобритании, дислоцируется в Пуле (графство Дорсет). Имеет тесную связь с SAS, поскольку обе службы берут свое начало от одного и того же… … Википедия
Special Boat Service — Abzeichen des SBS Der Special Boat Service, Royal Marines (SBS) ist die maritime Spezialeinheit der Streitkräfte des Vereinigten Königreichs. Wie der Special Air Service, das Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) und die Special Forces Support… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Special Air Service — (SAS) Regiment Période 1er juillet 1941 Pays Royaume Uni Branche Armée de terre britannique Rôle Forces spéciales, contre terrorisme Fait partie de United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) Garnison … Wikipédia en Français
Special Air Service — − SAS − Badge des SAS Aufstellung 1. Juli 1941 – 8. Okto … Deutsch Wikipedia
Spécial Air Service — Special Air Service Insigne de béret du SAS. Le SAS (abréviation de Special Air Service) est une unité de forces spéciales des forces armées britanniques, créée en 1941 par le lieutenant David Stirling avec des volontaires britanniques. Cette… … Wikipédia en Français
Special Air Service — The Regiment redirects here. For the video game, see The Regiment (video game). Special Air Service Special Air Service cloth cap badge Active … Wikipedia
Special Boat Squadron — The Special Boat Service of the British Royal Marines was also known as the Special Boat Squadron between 1977 and 1987. Infobox Military Unit unit name=Special Boat Squadron caption=A passing out parade of the SBS dates=1985 Present country=Sri… … Wikipedia
Boat service — A boat service is regularly scheduled transport using one or more boats, typically on a river, at a set charge, normally depending on the length of the trip and the type of passenger. The service may only be available for foot… … Wikipedia