1982 - 1991
Formed in 1982 by the Thatcher Government, the Home Service Force (HSF) was intended purely as a Home Defence unit to be use to guard key points throughout the UK against sabotage which was thought might come from the Spetznaz (Russian Special Forces) or any other source for that matter.
The HSF was a limited commitment section of the Territorial Army/Reserves and its members were personnel who had previously served in the armed forces. This meant that there wasn’t the usual raw recruit training, just refresher training to bring everyone up to scratch, for example, some of the volunteers were used to the Lee Enfield 303 rifle and many a drill night was spent getting to grips with the SLR and then later with the SA80.
5 Company only recruited ex Airborne forces These ex-service personnel brought with them a broad and varied military experience including seeing action in most of the trouble spots around the world since the Korean War.
The HSF developed into a unique unit that became the subject of the expected mickey taking that inevitably ended up with the question: “who the hell are you lot.”?
They were assessed at the time as being a “ Highly motivated unit” Most if not *all* the soldiers who formed 5 Coy HSF had seen military action somewhere in the world ….... From Palestine, Aden, Northern Ireland and The Falklands. On disbandment many members were posted to 10 Bn. Mainly Defence Platoon.
Maj. Don Forbes MBE. TD
Lt. Col Orpen Smellie OBE
Maj. Norman McKay TD
With information courtesy of Bryan Burnikell and http://www.parachuteregiment-hsf.org/5%20Coy.htm