Special Reconnaissance Squadron RAC

Special Reconnaissance Squadron RAC

The Special Reconnaissance Squadron RAC existed briefly in the early 1960s to provide intelligence on enemy movements and strengths, for NATO missile systems and heavy artillery, in the event of war with the Warsaw Pact. This role was undertaken by 4 man patrols hidden in well concealed observation posts and covering likely main enemy axis of advance. A secondary role for the patrols was to undertake ambushes and demolition tasks.

Although not part of airborne forces the squadron, which was formed in 1962 and based in Paderborn (Germany), had a stringent selection process and was organised in a similar manner to an SAS Squadron. It also had a close working relationship with 22 and 23 SAS. 

The squadron selection course was modelled as far as possible on the course run by 22 SAS at Hereford, with the first selection course for officers and senior NCOs incorporated into a 22 SAS all arms selection course at Hereford, which started on 24 April 1962.

The unit was trained to use, and equipped with, high frequency low intensity morse signal systems, in order to conduct long range and sustained communications, even when their positions had been overrun.

After two years squadron personnel were advised that the role would be completely passed over to 23 SAS and the squadron disbanded. 

Personnel from the SRS, and Cyclops Squadron 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, provided cadres from whom personnel were drawn to establish the Parachute Squadron, RAC in 1965. This was the first squadron from the Royal Armoured Corps to serve in airborne forces since the disbandment of 16th Airborne Division.

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