In the counter-terrorism and special recovery roles the SASR specialises in tasks such as direct action and hostage rescue, including boarding moving ships (ship underway). In contrast with the SASR’s reconnaissance role, when operating in the counter terrorism role SASR units are only tasked with the mission statement “to rescue the hostages”. The SASR provides Tactical Assault Group (West), with the 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Commando) providing Tactical Assault Group (East).
In contrast with this TAG (WEST) assumes additional roles in which TAG (EAST) does not. TAG (WEST) is responsible for special recovery operations outside of Australia, whereas TAG (EAST) provides a domestic counter-terrorist capabliity.
The SASR’s three ‘sabre squadrons’ rotate between the war/reconnaissance and Counter-Terrorism/Recovery roles. Two squadrons are maintained in the war/reconnaissance role with the remaining squadron filling the Counter-Terrorism/recovery role.
Rotations occur every 12 months, so each squadron fulfills the counter-terrorism/recovery role and configuration every three years.
Reports that the squadron filling the counter-terrorism role is always designated 1 Squadron are incorrect as that practice ceased in the late 1980s.
- SASR Role
- SASR Reconnaissance
- SASR Counter-terrorism and Special Recovery
- SASR Early days
- SASR Vietnam
- SASR After Vietnam
- SASR Peacekeeping
- SASR The Blackhawk tragedy
- SASR Broader horizons
- SASR in Afghanistan and Iraq
- SASR in Philippines and East Timor
- SASR Uniform and equipment
- SASR Selection and training
- SASR Alliances & Organisation