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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:07 pm
  

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Special Forces Support Group
SFSG


The Special Forces Support Group (SFSG) is the UK's newest special operations unit. Formed around a core component of members of the 1st Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, with additional troops drawn from the ranks of the famed Royal Marines and the RAF Regiment, the SFSG provides infantry and specialized support for the SAS and SBS, as well as being tasked to perform their own missions.

  • SFSG roles include:
  • Acting as a quick reaction force for SAS/SBS operations
  • Sealing off and guarding an area of operation
  • Taking part in large scale offensive operations alongside SAS/SBS forces
  • Carrying out secondary assaults and diversionary raids
  • Acting as a 'blocking force' against counter attacks.
  • Training/mentoring foreign militaries
  • CBRN detection/protection
  • Domestic counter-terrorism support operations

The type of operation the SFSG was specifically crated for occurred in Sierra Leone, in 2000. Codenamed Operation Barras, elements of 1 Para attacked a rebel base whilst the SAS/SBS rescued British soldiers, being held hostage, from a nearby camp. A comparable relationship exists between the US Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment and SFOD-D in the US Military. The Rangers provided perimeter security for Delta operations in Somalia in 1993.

The SFSG “stood up” at its base in St Athan, Wales in April, 2006 and has reportedly been deployed in support of UKSF operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is thought that 1 Company of SFSG is deployed to Afghanistan, in support of the SBS, under the command of a SBS officer. At least one Company was deployed to Iraq where it supported the SAS, as part of Task Force Red.

Apart from giving direct support to SAS/SBS missions, the SFSG also provides specialist training support. One of the traditional roles of the Special Air Service has been to provide foreign militaries with specialist training. Since much of this training does not necessarily require the skills of the SAS, such training tasks can now be performed by members of the SFSG, thus freeing the SAS up for direct combat missions. It has been reported that the SFSG has been training and mentoring units of the Afghan special forces and other troops.

It's also believed that the SFSG has been tasked to support UK law enforcement agencies during domestic terrorist incidents. The exact nature of the support provided is not publicly known, but it has been speculated that it may include providing additional area security around a large scale terrorist incident. Some sources indicate that elements within the SFSG have received counter-terrorist (CT) training from the SAS. Such SFSG CT elements would be able to assist the SAS/SBS in large scale CT operations. It's also believed that SFSG CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiation & Nuclear) specialists would assist in event of a domestic terrorist attack, such as a the use of a chemical, biological, or nuclear attack on the UK.

SFSG Components

Various press reports state that the SFSG is organized as follows:

1 Para
The bulk of the SFSG is composed of the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment. Paras from the other two regular Battalions, 2 and 3 Para, may apply to the SFSG after 2 years service.

Royal Marines
Commandos from the Royal Marines provide the SFSG’s second largest element. The Royal Marine’s role within the SFSG is thought to focus on amphibious operations. It's been reported that the RMs provide 1 strike company (F Coy), of approximately 120 men, to the SFSG. It is believed that all of the Royal Marines component of the SFSG are drawn form the Fleet Protection Group, Royal Marine (FPGRM), who run their own SFSG selection course. 2 Troops from FPGRM were previously attached to the SBS to provide support for Maritime Counter Terrorism (MCT) operations in the North Sea. Some sources have also indicated that elements of 539 Assault Squadron are attached to the SFSG to provide amphibious transportation.

RAF Regiment
It is reported that the RAF Regiment commits at least one flight (the equivalent of a platoon, around 30 men) of RAF Gunners from II Squadron (the parachute trained field squadron) to the SFSG. Aside from infantry support provided by the one RAF Regiment flight, other RAF Regiment elements attached to the SFSG provide a number of capabilities to the SFSG.

  • Forward Air Control - Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) specialists skilled in calling in close air support (both air strikes and movement of air assets e.g, calling in helicopters for extraction).
  • CBRN support from specialist RAF personnel provides detection and decontamination for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) terrorist attacks.
  • Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR) - elements of the Ground Extraction Force, a mix of RAF Regiment and Merlin helicopters of E Flight, No 28 (AC) Sqn

SFSG Organisation

Headquarters (HQ) Company
4 Strike Companies
A Coy (1 Para)
B Coy (1 Para + a flight of RAF Regiment)
C Coy (1 Para)
F Coy (Royal Marines)
1 Support Company (assault engineers, mortars, Javelin anti-tank weapons

Attached/Supporting units:
RAF Regiment FACs
RAF Regiment CBRN unit
RAF Ground Extraction Force
268 (SFSG) Signals Squadron
Elements of 539 ASRM

Assorted elements from:
Royal Logistical Corps (RLC)
Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME)
Army Medical Services (AMS)

SFSG Operations

Details of specific SFSG operations remain vague at this time, although a handful of reports have surfaced. It is believed that the SFSG has been actively supporting UKSF in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Task Force Red / Maroon
Shortly after the units inception, a SFSG company was reportedly assigned to the US-led Task Force 145 (TF-145). TF-145, more recently renamed as TF-88, operates in Iraq and has hunted down senior Al-Qaeda members such as al-Zarqawi and associates. The British element of TF-88 consists of 1 SAS Squadron (Task Force Black), a Company of SFSG (reported by different sources as Task Force Red and Task Force Maroon) plus associated supporting units (SRR, 18 UKSF Signals, Joint Support Group, 7 & 47 Squadron RAF).

The SFSG has reportedly been operating as a quick reaction force (QRF) for SAS operations. On one such occasion, the SFSG were positioned around the area of an insurgent bomb-making factory, providing security for an SAS sniper team operation. They also supported an SAS operation to free British peace activist Norman Kember, who’d been kidnapped and held hostage, by a group of Iraqi criminals.

Operation Medusa
SBS and SFSG were reportedly involved in Operation Medusa, in September 2006. OP Medusa was a combined attack on Taliban forces in the strategically important Panjwayi district of Afghanistan that featured NATO units from the UK, US, Canada and Holland. The SBS and SFSG played key roles in the coordinated attacks acting as both attacking forces (SBS) and cut-off groups (SFSG).

UKSF Raid on Taliban Fort
Late August 2009 - SFSG troops supported a raid by the SBS on a Taliban bomb factory in Helmand Province. The SFSG reportedly carried out diversionary attacks during this operation.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:19 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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Here's the first of my LE related write-ups, it's on BORTAC, the US Border patrol's national level tactical unit. I wrote this back in the early 2000's so some stuff has changed, namely the weapons they currently use.

BORTAC
US Border Patrol Tactical Unit

The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol (USBP) is the mobile uniformed law enforcement arm of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Its mission is the detection and prevention of smuggling and illegal entry of aliens into the United States, with primary responsibility between the Ports-of-Entry.

Patrol Agents perform their duties along, and in the vicinity of, the 8,000 miles of United States boundaries. Agents patrol by means of automobile, boat, aircraft, horseback, snowmobile, motorcycle, bicycle and afoot.

To help it execute the missions it is tasked with performing, the US Border Patrol maintains several tactical units, located at various locations throughout the US. These units operate under the direct control of the Headquarters, Special Response Teams, located in Washington, DC. BORTAC is the BP's national level tactical unit.

The stated mission of the U.S. Border Patrol Tactical Team is “to provide the Immigration and Naturalization Service with a specially trained and equipped tactical unit to address unusual situations within the service by use of special techniques. This team has deployment capability to any location on short notice.”

The unit was first formed in 1984 to deal with disturbances occurring within INS detention facilities, but this mission is now handled by CBP Tactical Intervention and Control (TIAC) teams. Since its inception BORTAC has steadily expanded its scope and mission capabilities, and is now a rapid response unit capable of executing both foreign and national level domestic operations.

Over the last decade or so BORTAC has conducted several high-risk operations, and has operated extensively overseas. Some of these operations have included providing support to a joint Department of State/Department of Justice training program designed to provide tactical team and counter-narcotics training to several foreign governments police, paramilitary, tactical, drug, and specialist units, including the El Salvadoran National Police's Grupo de Respuesta Policial (GRP) tactical unit, and the border police in Albania, Guatemala, Bolivia, Honduras and most recently, Iraq.

Other operations have been conducted in support of the US Department of State‘s drug eradication programs, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). During counter narcotics operations in South America, such as Operation Blast Furnace, the unit has operated in conjunction with the DEA’s “Snow Cap” teams. In addition, they have operated with, or received training from, the US Coast Guard's now disbanded Drug Interdiction Assist Team (DIAT), US military special operations forces (SOF) such as the US Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces, and elite police and military units of several foreign nations.

Domestically BORTAC has provided assistance to the US Bureau of Prisons during large scale inmate disturbances and riots. During one such operation BORTAC, along with several FBI SWAT teams, the US Marshal's Service Special Operations Group (SOG), and US Army special operations units, successfully restored order at the US Penitentiary, Atlanta (USPA) after Cuban inmates there rioted.

Some of BORTAC’s more high profile operations have included deploying to Los Angeles in April, 1992, to help restore order after rioting broke in the wake of a not guilty verdict during a trial involving several white police officers accused of beating a black motorist.

What is without a doubt BORTAC’s most high profile operation to date, was undertaken in April of 2000. Code named “Operation Reunion”, a team of BORTAC operators was tasked with executing a raid to ensure the safe the return of Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez to his father. During the operation BORTAC, and several other INS tactical units, executed an early morning warrant on the home of Gonzalez's Miami relatives. Despite the huge amount of negative publicity generated by the raid, and complaints of excessive force being used by the BORTAC entry team, the unit showed a large amount of restraint considering the amount of resistance they faced. The team successfully entered the home, removed the child, exited the area, and safely returned the child to his natural father, all without firing a single shot.

In June 2003, in response to increased illegal immigrant activity along the southwestern border, CBP launched Operation Desert Safeguard, which was designed to “dramatically reduce migrant deaths along the Southwest border with Mexico.” Teams from both BORSTAR and BORTAC were deployed to increase the number of Border Patrol Agents working along the “West Desert Corridor”.

Beginning in March 2004, BORTAC teams returned to the Tucson, Arizona area as part of the “Arizona Border Control Initiative“. During a one year period the BORTAC team was responsible for the apprehension of over 1,500 illegal immigrants. Then in August of 2004 a BORTAC team deployed to Iraq to begin training members of the newly formed Iraqi Department of Border Enforcement in border enforcement operations. The deployed teams work on a rotational basis, deploying for three month tours before returning to their normal duties in the US.

In August of 2005 a BORTAC team was deployed to Honduras, at the request of the US Embassy, to support the arrest and deportation to the US of Ramón Romero. Approximately one month later, in September 2005, the Border Patrol conducted the largest tactical operation in its history. Two teams BORTAC Agents and Border Patrol Special Response Teams (SRT) deployed to New Orleans, Louisiana on Sept. 5 to support of local law enforcement agencies in their efforts to restore order in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The deployment, which was conducted with no notice or rehearsal in less that 24 hours, consisted of a team of 87 Agents drawn from BORTAC USBP Special Response Teams, BORSTAR, five UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and 20 vehicles.

BORTAC headquarters is collocated with its training unit at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas. The BORTAC training unit is currently responsible for conducting all INS tactical team training. They are also responsible for developing and overseeing, Precision Shooting (Counter Sniper) training for all CBP Special Units. In addition the unit also provides specialist training to other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and several state National Guard units involved in border surveillance operations.

Prospective candidates for BORTAC must have a minimum of three years service the BP and they must successfully complete the unit’s three phase selection course. Phase one consists of weapons qualification, with a minimum of 90% proficiency with their service weapon; they must then score a minimum of 90% on the BP Physical Efficiency Battery Test (PEB); and finally an oral interview. Those candidates who still remain move onto phase two, the grueling BORTAC Basic Section Course.

The 21 day BORTAC Basic Section Course , held in El Paso, Texas, is considered one of the most difficult and arduous training courses in civilian law enforcement. The course covers such diverse subjects as operations planning, land navigation, patrolling, tactical tracking, rappelling and fast roping, close quarters battle (CQB), riot control techniques, defensive tactics, drown proofing, trauma medicine, combat firearms, and air assault operations. During the course the candidates will be expected to complete a six mile timed road march carrying a 34lb rucksack, and a weapons qualification course.

As proof of the difficulty in obtaining a spot on the team, and completing the initial training course graphically displayed in July of 1999, when BORTAC Basic Training Class XI graduated. The original group of BP agents applying for BORTAC membership consisted of one hundred men, of this group sixty were eliminated during the initial physical fitness test. Of the forty remaining agents, thirty-eight reported for training, with twelve actually completing the entire course. Upon successful completion of the course, the survivors move on to phase three of their training where new team members are placed on a one year probationary status before becoming fully qualified members of the unit.

Because of its national and international responsibilities BORTAC is authorized a wide range of weapons systems not normally available to other BP personnel. The following is a partial list of the approved specialized weapons available for use by BORTAC: Berretta 96D 40 cal. Brigadier Service Pistol, Heckler & Koch (H&K) USP40, SIG- Sauer P-229 DAO 9mm, Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun with 14” barrel, M-4A1 carbine, M-16A1 or A2 5.56mm rifle, M-14 7.62mm rifle, H&K UMP40 .40 cal submachine-gun (SMG), Remington 700 .308 rifle, Remington M40 XBKS .308 rifle, M-79 40mm grenade launcher (GL), M-203 40mm GL, 37 mm gas guns, H&K MP-5A2 or A3 9mm SMG, H&K 33A2 rifle, H&K 53A2 or A3 rifle, and the Steyr SSG rifle. The Remington shotguns have been specially modified by Scattergun Technologies.

When conducting operations BORTAC personnel normally wear OG-1O7 “rough duty” uniforms, or sage green flight suits with a subdued BP patch sewn on. Each team member is also equipped with a Kevlar ballistic helmet, and an armored assault vest. Boots worn by individual team members depend on the operator’s personal preference.

Special thanks to "Augie" & "Sharky"

*NOTES*
BORTAC has been VERY busy since 9/11 between operations along the US South West border, deployments to Iraq, and several other overseas missions. They have also been increasing the amount of medical training they receive, as well as acting as advisors to number of foreign police units. They've also dumped their MP-5s in favor of HK-UMP40's or Colt M-4 carbines. One other note, they also now get a fair amount of training in the us of former communist block small arms and crew served weapons, as many of the countries they operate in either us those weapons, or they'll encounter them.

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"No one assails me without punishment"


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:45 am
  

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OLD ONE

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Comment: PROUDLY Not a member of the "Cabal of 24"
These are all very cool! Two Thumbs up! Can not wait for you to finish more of them and perhaps put game stats, etc.. "member of this group should/would focus on these skills, etc.."

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:52 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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I just wanted to say a big thank you for all of this information. many of my characters in various games are designed to be special operators of some sort. this article has helped my thinking allot.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:15 am
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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Been a minute since I've had time to add anything to this, but, hopefully things will slow down a bit next year, and I can get back to it.

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"No one assails me without punishment"


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:28 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:33 pm
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Just like a bad STD, I'm back after a long break, and in the mood to do a little writing, so I'll be making a few additions to this thread, and a few others. I'll also be posting some updated info on US SOF units.

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"There is no such thing as a dangerous weapon, only dangerous men"
"No one assails me without punishment"


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:18 pm
  

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Hero

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Glad you are back. Take care and get busy posting.

-STS

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:47 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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I'll get cracking on some new stuff once I get caught up on a few gaming projects I'm working on.

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"There is no such thing as a dangerous weapon, only dangerous men"
"No one assails me without punishment"


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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:45 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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Special Collection Service

The Special Collection Service (SCS), or F6 as it's referred to at the NSA, is a highly classified joint U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-National Security Agency(NSA) program charged with inserting eavesdropping equipment in difficult-to-reach places, such as foreign embassies, communications centers, and foreign government installations. Established in the late 1970s and headquartered in Beltsville, Maryland, the SCS has been described as the United States' "Mission Impossible force". The SCS has been involved in operations ranging from the Cold War to the Global War on Terrorism.

According to documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the SCS is part of a larger global surveillance program known as STATEROOM.

Mission

Jointly staffed by the CIA and the NSA, the SCS is a "black budget" program that has been described as the United States' "Mission Impossible force", responsible for "close surveillance, burglary, wiretapping, breaking and entering". It's headquartered in Beltsville, Maryland, in an obscured building that was at one time labeled simply "CSSG". Next door is the U.S. Department of State's Beltsville Messaging Center, to which the SCS is linked via fiber optic cable.

The SCS reportedly employs exotic covert listening device technologies to bug foreign embassies, communications centers, computer facilities, fiber-optic networks, and government installations. The U.S. government has never officially acknowledged its existence, and little is known about the technologies and techniques it employs. The sole inside account of SCS comes from a Canadian, Mike Frost, whose 1994 book Spyworld revealed that the program was known to insiders at the time as "College Park".

SCS operatives are based out of U.S. overseas embassies and consulates, and its operatives often use Foreign Service or Diplomatic Telecommunications Service cover when deployed. Their mission is to intercept sensitive information on espionage, nuclear arms, terrorist networks, drug trafficking and other national-security-related issues.

The SCS was initially established to overcome a problem in that the NSA typically intercepts communications "passively" from its various intercept facilities throughout the world, yet the increasing sophistication of foreign communications equipment renders passive interception futile and instead requires direct access to the communications equipment. The CIA, meanwhile, has access to personnel who specialize in conducting clandestine operations, and thus is more able to gain access to foreign communication equipment, yet lacks the NSA's expertise in communications eavesdropping. Hence, the SCS was born, combining the communications intelligence capabilities of the NSA with the covert action capabilities of the CIA in order to facilitate access to sophisticated foreign communications systems

_________________
"There is no such thing as a dangerous weapon, only dangerous men"
"No one assails me without punishment"


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:57 am
  

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Knight

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I just stumbled across this thread, and wanted to say thank you, both for the articles and your service.

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