Former SAS Commander Calls For Scottish Special Forces Squadron
A former SAS deputy commander has claimed that an independent Scotland would require it's own special forces unit.
Clive Fairweather told a conference in Edinburgh that the preparation for the formation of an independent special forces squadron should be looked into now. It was suggested, in the event of a referendum on Scottish independence returning a 'yes' vote, that only a small number of Scots currently serving in the SAS and SBS would be likely to volunteer to make the switch to a Scottish force. There would likely be an initial overlap of responsibility with UKSF, Fairweather went on to say.
The former SAS man projected that a 75-strong squadron would cost around £10 million to establish and £5 million a year to fund.
One of the roles for a Scottish special forces unit would be the protection of the oil and gas platforms in the North Sea. Currently, any terrorist action against these assets would result in a response from the Royal Navy and special forces, likely to include the SBS, backed by Royal Marines with the SFSG and/or 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group (43 Cdo FP Gp RM). 43 Cdo FP Gp RM is based at HM Naval Base Clyde on the West Coast Of Scotland, where it guards the UK's Trident submarine fleet.
Mr Fairweather aso commented on the need for an independent Scottish intelligence capability, saying that Scotland would probably have to rely on existing UK intelligence services for information.
The question of how an independent Scottish military, including any special forces, would coexist with UK forces has yet to be settled. The Scottish National Party (SNP) want a referendum on independence to be held in 2014.
more info, further reading:
- Scottish independence: Military man says Scots SAS is needed
- Spooks and special forces needs mean reliance on England - for time being
- Post-independence defence discussed