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Special Reconnaissance Regiment
File:Special Reconnaissance Regiment (crest).jpg
Cap badge of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment
Active 6 April 2005 – Present[1]
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Type Special Forces
Role Special reconnaissance
Size One Regiment
Part of United Kingdom Special Forces
Garrison/HQ Hereford[2]
Engagements War In Afghanistan
Post-invasion Iraq, 2003–present
Director Special Forces
Abbreviation SRR

The Special Reconnaissance Regiment or SRR is a Special Forces unit of the British Armed Forces. It was established on 6 April 2005 and is part of the United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) under command Director Special Forces,[1] alongside the Special Air Service (SAS), Special Boat Service (SBS) and the Special Forces Support Group (SFSG).

The SRR was formed to meet a demand for a special reconnaissance capability identified in the Strategic Defence Review New Chapter. The regiment conducts a wide range of classified activities related to covert surveillance and reconnaissance. The SRR draws its personnel from existing units and can recruit volunteers from serving male and female members of all the United Kingdom's Armed Forces.[2]


The Ministry of Defence does not comment on special forces matters, therefore little verifiable information exists in the public domain.[3] The Special Reconnaissance Regiment was raised at RMA Sandhurst and conducts surveillance operations mainly but not limited to counter terrorist activities.[4] It was formed to relieve the Special Air Service and the Special Boat Service of that role,[4] and is believed to contain around 50 personnel.[5] Media reports state they are based alongside the Special Air Service, in Hereford.[6] The regiment was established following a Strategic Defence white paper identifying a requirement for assets to engage in covert special reconnaissance and surveillance in support of military activities worldwide. It is the second newest Special Forces regiment in the United Kingdom's Armed forces, announced by the then Secretary of State for Defence Geoff Hoon in 2004.[6] The regiment was formed around a core of the already established 14 Intelligence Company which played a similar role against Irish republican and loyalist terrorism in Northern Ireland.[7]


United Kingdom Special Forces

Shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes

On 22 July 2005 Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by armed police officers on the London Underground rail system, at Stockwell tube station. Three media reports carry unconfirmed assertions by unattributed UK government sources that SRR personnel were involved in the intelligence collection effort leading to the shooting and on the tube train whilst the offensive action occurred. A partial Ministry of Defence response was reported by the Sunday Times. [8][9][10]

Northern Ireland

In March 2009, Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde informed the Policing Board that he asked the Special Reconnaissance Regiment to be deployed in Northern Ireland to help the PSNI to gather intelligence on dissident republicans. He claimed that they would have no operational role, and would be fully accountable, as required per the St Andrews Agreement.[11]

Uniform distinctions

Personnel retain the uniforms of their parent organisations with the addition of an 'emerald grey' coloured beret and the SRR cap badge. The cap badge shares Excalibur (the sword of King Arthur) in common with the other Special Forces units, in the case of the SRR placed behind a Corinthian helmet surmounting a scroll inscribed RECONNAISSANCE.[7] The stable belt of the SRR is similar in style to that of the SAS, however is darker in appearance, being Midnight Blue.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Special Reconnaissance Regiment". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 26-March-2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Special forces regiment created". BBC. 2005-04-05. Retrieved 20-March-2010. 
  3. "Special forces quitting to cash in on Iraq". The Scotsman. Retrieved 9-March-2010. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ryan, p.218
  5. "A secret army of Amazons guards Olympic Games". Express. Retrieved 5-March-2013. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Special forces regiment created". BBC. 2005-04-05. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Thomas Harding (2005-04-06). "New Special Forces unit will spy on the terrorists". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  8. Smith, Michael (2005-07-31). "Could this ‘police officer’ be a soldier?". Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  9. Richard Norton-Taylor (2005-07-04). "New special forces unit tailed Brazilian". The Guardian. London.,16132,1542186,00.html. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  10. "AN INNOCENT MAN SHOT DEAD ON THE LONDON TUBE BY POLICE ... since then everything we’ve been told has been wrong.". Sunday Herald. 2005-08-21. Archived from the original on 2005-12-04. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  11. anon (2009-03-06). "Forces are a 'threat': McGuinness". BBC. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 

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