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Special Reconnaissance Regiment

The Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) is a relatively recently formed special forces unit of the British Army, specialising in surveillance and intelligence gathering operations. The secrecy surrounding the SRR is even greater than the SAS or SBS, with very little info about the unit leaking into the public domain.

Special Reconnaissance Regiment - Role and Organisation

It is believed that one of the main roles of the SRR is to support SAS/SBS special operations by providing close target reconnaissance, surveillance and 'eyes-on' intelligence. The regiment employs state-of-the-art electronic surveillance gear to eavesdrop on their targets.

Little is publicly known about the SRR's size or structure. Recent press reports have put the regiment at company size - around 150 operatives. The SRR is believed to be based alongside the SAS at RHQ Credenhill, near Hereford.

It has been reported that the SRR sometimes deploys as a Specialist Reconnaissaince Detachment, or 'SpR Det', which has a focus on a specific task.(1)

Special Reconnaissance Regiment - Selection and Training

Following a grueling selection process, SRR operatives are trained in the arts of surveillance, photography, close quarters battle (CQB) and advanced driving. (see 14 Company section for more details of such training). With the shift of emphasis to operations in the Middle-East, SRR operatives are likely to become proficient in Mid-Eastern languages such as Arabic and Farsi.

The SRR recruits from all 3 UK arms of the military. It is the only UKSF regiment to include women in operational roles.

Special Reconnaissance Regiment - History

The SRR was formed in April 2005. The unit absorbs the 14th Intelligence Company ('The Det'), a special plainclothes surveillance unit created in 1973, specifically for operations in Northern Ireland. The skills and experience gained in Northern Ireland by The Det have been passed down to SRR operatives who have since taken a role in the global war against terror.

Special Reconnaissance Regiment Operations

Since its formation in April 2005, the SRR has been involved in several controversial operations:


In July 2005, following a wave of bombings in London, the SRR were deployed on the streets of the UK capital in a bid to counter the threat. It was reported that members from the SRR were involved in the surveillance operation involving Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes. The electrician was mistakenly thought to be connected to the July 7 attacks and was trailed to an underground tube station by SRR operatives. As he boarded the train, he was fatally shot by police.

note: the official IPCC report into the Stockwell incident does not mention the SRR, instead identifying the surveillance operatives involved as being from S012 (Special Branch) and S013 (Anti-terrorist Branch) (both now combined into S015 Counter Terrorism Command). Some reports indicate that the SRR provided 'technical assistance' to the Police at the time.

more info / further reading:


srr operatives
SRR operators arrested in Basra, Sept 2005

In September 2005, 2 members of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment were reportedly arrested in the Southern Iraqi city of Basra. They had apparently been involved in a surveillance operation against the local police when they aroused the suspicion of Iraqi police. A gunfight ensued and the 2 SRR operators were taken into custody. Unable to secure the 2 men's release through diplomatic means, they were rescued by their SAS colleagues in a controversial operation which included the use of British APCs in a diversionary raid on a police station.

Note: later reports indicate that the 2 captured soldiers may have been from the SAS.

more info / further reading:

Global War On Terror

Various brief mentions of the SRR have surfaced in press reports from Iraq and Afghanistan. A number of SRR operatives are believed to be operating alongside Task Force Black, an SAS Squadron assigned to a joint international task force hunting Al Qaeda and ex members of Saddam's regime in Iraq. The Special Reconnaissance Regiment is also thought to be active in Afghanistan, most likely assisting the SBS in seeking out high value Taliban leadership targets.

more info / further reading:

Northern Ireland

In March 2009, reports surfaced that a small number of SRR operatives were active in Northern Ireland, keeping watch on Republican dissidents.

SRR Related Items

references :

The SAS Training Manual
Chris McNab

How to Get Fit Enough to Pass a Special Forces Selection Course.

more info: The SAS Training Manual
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