Charles Wade-Palmer — The Star April 14, 2019
Troops from 21 and 23 SAS, the elite regiment’s two reserve battalions, have been mobilised for operations on the Estonian border with Russia.
The two SAS units are part of the 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade, and have been deployed in Estonia for the past six months.
It is understood that the troops are conducting Human Environment, Reconnaissance and Analysis (HERA) operations, where they monitor the movement of a potential enemy and analyse their intentions.
The part-time troops are trained by serving members of the SAS and must all pass an extensive selection process.
It is understood that in the event of a Russian attack on Estonia, the SAS troops would remain behind enemy lines where they would send back encrypted reports on troop movements. The SAS troops is also trained in using reconnaissance drones which are capable of spying on the Russian as they move along the Estonian border.
The SAS reservists units are made up of civilians from various professions including barristers, accountants, architects and doctors, although their role is combat and life preservation.
The troops can undertake voluntary mobilisation where they can be deployed in Estonia for several months at a time.
During this period they will be paid as soldiers, although their jobs will be held open for them.
One source said: “The SAS reservists are probably the best in the British Army, at least as good as regular infantry troops. They are especially trained in long range surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The regular SAS troops are busy in Iraq and Afghanistan so this highly important operation was passed on to the SAS reservists.