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Special Air Service (SAS)

            The Special Air Service: The Royal Army's Elite.
             This is the motto that is representative of the best of the best of Britain's Royal Army. They are known as the Special Air Service, or more commonly, as the SAS. Although the SAS began only with small missions in Northern Africa during the 1940's, they now carry on numerous operations throughout the world today. The unit has seen action in such areas as Borneo, Bosnia, Iraq, North Ireland, and also in their home territory of Great Britain. Today, the British Special Air Service is an elite force of highly trained and highly specialized soldiers that carry out a variety of operations throughout the world, specializing in every form of combat and carry out operations that range from jungle reconnaissance to counter-terrorism, all of which have gained the unit international recognition.
             The idea for the Special Air Service was first introduced by David Stirling in 1941 during World War II. Instead of using a conventional assault group of forty or fifty men (which was common during this period), Stirling devised the idea that a smaller group of only four or five men would be more effective against the German defenses (Special Forces of the World). Had Stirling not been able to speak directly to the commanders of the Royal Army by means of circumventing his immediate superior officers (as this was a strict code of the military during this time that Stirling deliberately ignored), the Special Air Service may never have come about. This was partially because of the fact that at that time, special forces elements were viewed by the military to be more cost than they were worth (Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment). His idea appealed to a number of high officials in the Army, however, and the "L Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade- was formed. It is interesting to note, however, that it was not a brigade. It was originally given this name for the purpose of making the Germans think that the unit was much larger than it actually was (Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment).

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