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SASR - The Early Days

The Australian Special Air Service was established on 25 July 1957 as the 1st Special Air Service Company, Royal Australian Regiment. The SASR was expanded to three 'sabre squadrons and gained Regimental status on 20 August 1964 when the Australian Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) was established.

The SASR first saw action in 1965 as part of the British Commonwealth force stationed in north Borneo during the Indonesian Confrontation. The Australian SASR troopers operated alongside their British and New Zealand counterparts in operations aimed at stopping Indonesian infiltration into Malaysia, taking part in Operation Claret. Despite often being deployed in the reconnaissance role, SASR units inflicted at least 20 kills on Indonesian forces in a series of ambushes and contacts, on both sides of the border. Three SASR soldiers were killed during these operations, one gored by an elephant and the other two drowned during a river crossing.