Special Air Service Regiment (SASR)

Special Air Service Regiment (SASR)


The Special Air Service Regiment, officially abbreviated SASR is an elite special operations force of the Australian Army. Formed in 1957, it was originally modelled on the British SAS sharing the motto, “Who Dares Wins”, and draws on the experiences of Australian Services Reconnaissance Department, independent companies, Coastwatchers and M and Z Special Units during World War II. It has been involved in operations in Borneo during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation, the Vietnam War, Somalia, Kuwait, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as many other peacekeeping missions. It also provides a counter-terrorist capability, and has been involved in a number of domestic security operations.

A direct command unit of Special Operations Command, the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) is a special forces unit of the Australian Army and “is tasked to provide special-operations capabilities in support of the Australian Defence Force. This includes providing unique capabilities to support sensitive strategic operations, special recovery operations, advisory and training assistance, special reconnaissance, precision strike and direct action”. The SASR is primarily structured to conduct covert long-range reconnaissance and surveillance in small teams in enemy-controlled territory, while commando units are utilised to conduct raids in larger groups. In addition to warfighting during conventional conflicts, the regiment is also tasked with maintaining a specialist counter-terrorist capability. Other capabilities include training local or indigenous forces, recovery of Australian citizens and humanitarian assistance. The SASR is also trained in counter-insurgency operations.

Special Air Service Regiment (SASR)