HOW TO JOIN THE
SPECIAL BOAT SERVICE
The Special Boat Service is the sister force of the Special Air Service. Previously called the Special Boat Squadron it is predominantly made up of elite Royal Marines Commandos. The SBS, along with the SAS, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment and the SFSG form a major part of the UK’s Special Forces. The selection process for joining the Special Boat Service is extremely tough. Read on to find out more about selection and the types of weapons used by the SBS.
THE SPECIAL BOAT SERVICE SELECTION PROCESS
The selection process for entry into the SBS, along with the SAS, is undoubtedly the toughest of any of the worldwide Special Forces. What makes it so tough is the fact that it tests both one’s physical and mental stamina over a prolonged period of time. Many other selection processes for different armed forces units are shorter and less rigorous. The reason for the intense difﬁculty of the process is because it is imperative that the SBS get the right men for the job.
There is no room for error during any of their missions and it requires a special type of person to be able to hold down that level of responsibility. The SBS, until more recently, only recruited from the Royal Marines. Now it is open to any member of the UK Military Fighting Forces including the Royal Engineers, the Royal Artillery and the RAF Regiment.
The SBS soldier is both physically and mentally tough. They are certainly not robots or supermen, but instead extremely ﬁt, highly skilled and totally focused on the task in hand. You will never see an SBS soldier bragging in the pubs about the fact that he belongs to the service, nor will you see him ﬁghting with anyone in the streets when the pubs close. They are highly professional and very guarded about the role that they play.
The average SBS member is not 6ft tall with a weight of 16 stone, but is more likely to be around 5ft 8 inches and of a build, appearance and stature of somebody who would quite easily blend into a crowd of people and go unnoticed. Underneath this disguised exterior however, is an immensely ﬁt and skilled person. Ask any SBS soldier and all of them will tell you that they found the selection process difﬁcult. Not one of them will ever say it was easy, because it simply isn’t.
SPECIAL FORCES BRIEFING COURSE (SFBC)
Selection starts back at a candidate's own regiment, where he must request through his Commanding Ofﬁcer that he would like to be put forward for selection. The initial phase of selection is for the candidate to attend a Special Forces Brieﬁng Course (SFBC).
The SFBC is run twice a year, over a weekend period. The course is designed to give those candidates who wish to go through selection the chance to taste what life in Special Forces is all about. It also gives the SBS the chance to see if they like you. The weekend SFBC course usually starts on a Friday evening when candidates arrive at the Special Air Service base, Sterling Lines, in Hereford.
The Special Air Service is often in the limelight when the press decides to glorify rescue missions but it is often the work of the SBS that goes unnoticed. They often train on and around the North Sea oilrigs and if you use your imagination to work out how cold the sea is up there then you will begin to realise how tough they are.
The North Sea surface temperature is rarely above 0 degrees Celsius and combined with virtually no visibility it takes an immensely skilled, brave and elite kind of person to work competently in these conditions. The SBS counter terrorism unit, M Squadron, has been successful in developing methods of rescuing hostages on oil rigs, cruise ships and cross channel ferries. Imagine how difﬁcult it must be to carry out a rescue operation on a North Sea oil rig when your only means of access is from the ice cold seas below.
The SBS regularly practice assaults on all kinds of vessels and installations. Some of these exercises are carried out at the Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire. It is from here that the SBS are able to practice on ships, aircraft and trains, high rise buildings and chemical plants. Many of the SBS, Marine Counter Terrorism operations involve simultaneous assaults from the air and sea.
Chinooks, Seakings and Lynx helicopters are used to deliver SBS MCT teams onto the target. SBS snipers ﬂy aboard the helicopters in order to provide protection for the troops whilst they make their way in. The SBS also practices with the Special Air Service on a regular basis for many of the large scale operations. Such situations will often include a terrorist takeover of a Nuclear Power station or the simultaneous takeover of multiple sites.
During exercises and real life missions the SBS wear special assault clothing which includes:
- ﬂame-retardant nomex suits
- ﬂame-retardant balaclavas
- inﬂatable life jackets
- SF10 respirator
- Kevlar helmets
Assault gear / weapons include:
- mp5 a3 9mm sub machine gun
- sig sauer p226 9mm pistol
- ﬂash bang / stun grenades
Drug Running Interception
Due to their skills, abilities and methods used to successfully combat terrorism, the SBS are also suited to boarding potentially hostile drug-running cargo ships on the seas. The SBS, on such missions will often work alongside HMS customs ofﬁcials and also the Metropolitan Police ﬁrearms Unit. During such missions the Special Boat Service will use the same techniques and wear the same gear as they do for the Maritime Counter-terrorism role. To date, wisely, upon ﬁnding their vessels swarming with heavily-armed, black-clad SBS operators, smugglers have all given up without resistance.
main product features
- How to pass the SBS selection process.
- Secret information about the SBS and their role.
- Essential ‘insider’ information about SBS selection.
- 120 pages of vital SBS information.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS INCLUDED WITHIN THE GUIDE:
THE SPECIAL BOAT SERVICE
- Introduction to the Special Boat Service.
- Badges and insignia.
- Weapons used by the SBS.
- Assault rifle – Diemaco C8 SFW.
- Sub-machine gun – HK MP5.
- Assault carbine – HK53.
- Sniper/assault rifle – G3.
- Pistol – Sig Sauer P226.
- Light-machine gun – FN Minimi Para.
- Machine gun – L7A1 GPGM.
- Sniper rifle – L96A1.
- Underwater pistol – HK P11.
- Grenade – Flashbang.
- Equipment used by the SBS.
- Surface boats.
- Fully/Rigid Inflatables.
- Long Range Insertion Craft (LRIC).
- Klepper canoes.
- Underwater craft.
- Mini-Subs and Swimmer Delivery Vehicles.
- Boarding equipment.
- Collapsible ladders.
- Caving ladders.
- Grappling hooks.
- Diving equipment.
- Draeger LarV.
- Quad bikes.
HOW TO PASS SBS SELECTION
- Introduction to the selection process.
- Special Forces Briefing Course (SFBC).
- The SBS selection process.
- Further information on the SBS selection process.
- Fitness preparation.
- Get to know the Brecon Beacons.
- Map reading competence.
- Be prepared for the elements.
- Your clothing and personal hygiene.
- Be physically and mentally prepared.
- The route selection stages.
- Learn to live with your bergen.
- Be prepared for escape & evasion and tactical questioning.
- Understand the weather.
- Phase 1 – Endurance Week 1.
- Battle Fitness Test.
- Phase 2 – Endurance Week 2.
- Map Revision.
- Swimming Test.
- Further information on orienteering.
- Physical exercise sessions.
- The Fan Dance.
- Phase 1 – Week 2.
- Phase 1 – Week 3.