Monday, July 10, 2017

Australian Special Forces Likely to begin Operations in SE Asia

According to the Marine Corp Times, the Australian Special Forces may be planning on going the fray against regional ISIS groups in SE Asia, most notably Indonesia and the Philippines, which is picking up new importance with ISIS attack and subsequent control of much of the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. In 2003 the Australian Government directed the establishment of a Special Operations Command. The new Special Operations Command would be equal in status to Maritime, Land and Air Commands, in order to enhance Australia’s ability to use non-conventional war fighting means to respond to the asymmetric threat of terrorism. The motto of Special Operations Command is 'Acies Acuta', which is Latin for ‘The Cutting Edge'. The main Operational Combat Units within the Australian Special Operations Command include:

Special Air Service Regiment:

The Special Air Service Regiment is a special missions unit with unique capabilities within the Australian Defence Force. Operating under the motto 'Who Dares Wins' the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) is a direct command unit of the Special Operations Command with a demanding role. SASR personnel are specially selected and highly trained to act with discretion and discipline in situations that may have national and strategic consequences. Personnel are required to work in small teams for extended periods, often without support.

SASR can trace its beginnings back to the Australian Z Special Unit and Independent Commando Companies that fought during World War II. On 25 July 1957, the 1st Special Air Service Company, Royal Australian Infantry, was raised at Campbell Barracks in Western Australia. In 1964, 1st Special Air Service Company was expanded to become the Special Air Service Regiment.

SASR is tasked to provide special operations capabilities in support of the Australia's national interests. This includes providing unique capabilities to support sensitive strategic operations, special recovery operations, training assistance, special reconnaissance and precision strike and direct action. Force elements from SASR have served in various major conflicts (including Borneo, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq) and provide support to peace enforcements and peace keeping operations (including Rwanda, Somalia, Cambodia and Timor-Leste (East Timor)). In addition to international operations, SASR remains prepared to meet domestic and offshore counter-terrorism tasks.

1st Commando Regiment:

The 1st Commando Regiment is unique within Army. As the oldest unit within the Australian Army’s Special Operations Command, the regiment has provided unbroken service from the commandos of world war two through to the modern Australian special operations community of today. The 1st Commando Regiment contains some of the most skilled, dedicated and combat experienced soldiers within the Australian Army.

Over the past decade, combat operations and the evolution of the commando role has changed the character of the 1st Commando Regiment. The regiment consists of highly skilled, well equipped and motivated soldiers, who maintain high levels of preparedness to provide collective and individual special operations capabilities. As a result, the regiment is being increasingly relied upon to augment and supplement the efforts of regular Army special forces counterparts on both operations and in training.

The regiment is an integrated unit comprising a high number of full-time and part-time soldiers, all of whom are required to meet the same rigorous standards of a regular commando. The primary role of the regiment is to provide a scalable and deployable mission command headquarters to Special Operations Command. In addition, the regiment is manned, trained and equipped to provide commando force elements up to a company size, as well as providing high quality, competent individual commandos to round out, reinforce and rotate with other Special Operations Command capabilities.

Raised in 1955, the regiment has grown from two independent commando companies in Sydney and Melbourne, to a commando signals squadron, and finally, a regimental headquarters in 1981. In recent years, the regiment has frequently deployed on operations, providing small detachments and individuals to Bougainville, Timor Leste, the Solomon Islands and Iraq, and up to company sized combat elements to Afghanistan.

The sherwood green beret is the primary head dress and formally recognizes the individual achievement of a commando qualification. The sherwood green beret reflects the regiment’s close association with the British Army and marine commandos of world war two. The regiment maintains a lineage to the 1st Battalion Australian Imperial Force and the 1st Battalion, The Royal New South Wales Regiment (Commando) through the regiment flag and colors of black on sherwood green. The 1st Commando Regiment is known as the “City of Sydney’s own Regiment”

2nd Commando Regiment:

2nd Commando Regiment (2 Cdo Regt) is one of three combat-capable units within Special Operations Command. 2 Cdo Regt was established on 19 June 2009 when it was raised from 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (4 RAR (Cdo)), becoming Australia's first regular commando capability.

This development was conducted through a period of continuous operational tasking with collective deployments to Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Iraq and Afghanistan. Throughout these operations, 2 Cdo Regt served with distinction, most notably receiving the Unit Citation for Gallantry for its service as a part of the Special Operations Task Group in 2005-2006.

The 2 Cdo Regt regimental badge was created to reflect the history and traditions of Australian commandos and the offensive nature of the unit. The centre feature of the badge is a silver Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife, universally recognised as the symbol of a special forces unit. It is backed by the blackened double diamonds, representative of the felt colour patches worn on Australian commando uniforms of World War II. The unit motto is included in a gold scroll ‘Foras admonitio’, latin for 'Without warning', which highlights not only the challenges of modern warfare, but the modus operandi of the 2nd Commando Regiment.

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